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Quitting Caffeine Pills
06-06-2014, 11:38 PM
Post: #1
Quitting Caffeine Pills
Hi Everyone,

I've learned a ton reading through the posts on the website. Thanks to everyone for sharing and to Sean for starting this discussion/forum. I am wondering if anyone has information on quitting caffeine pills specifically. I've been taking about 100-200 mg of caffeine in pill form for the last 10 years. For the past 10 years, I've been fairly consistent in my 100-200 mg usage. Last year, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which I am now recovering from. My doctor stated that caffeine dosage under 300 mg should not be a concern. However, like many of you, I do not like the idea of having to take caffeine in order to be optimally productive. Please let me know any thoughts you have on quitting caffeine pills. By the way, I have 2 young children so withdrawals are a bit of a concern as I need to be attentive when caring for them in the evening after work.
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06-07-2014, 01:09 AM
Post: #2
RE: Quitting Caffeine Pills
Hey Arthur,

Thanks so much for starting a thread and for reading the site.

I am sorry to hear about the testicular cancer and wish you a speedy recovery.

About the caffeine. I agree with your doctor that you should not be too worried in terms of the caffeine making you sick, but I understand the desire to quit and not have to rely on it.

I think the fact that you have been using pills is a blessing to you.

1) You know exactly how much you have been taking

2) You can taper down from pills by breaking them to ease withdrawal.

Most people on the site only drink caffeine and then 100% stop it.

I think the wisest thing for you to do would be to taper down slowly over the course of 6 months. For example start taking 175mg for a month, then 150mg for a month etc, until you are down to 25 mg a day and then go off it completely. (you would have to break the pills, y0u could get a pill cutter and eyeball it.) This should allow your brain to get used to being off caffeine and adjust overtime and you should have a much better time.

This takes patience, but would be well worth it.

Sean Russell is the owner and operator of MenProvement.com and this forum. He is a self improvement enthusiast who loves to help others improve their lives while enjoying his own.
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06-07-2014, 01:11 AM
Post: #3
RE: Quitting Caffeine Pills
Also,

If you find it really difficult, don't feel bad about staying on caffeine. 100-200mg is not a horribly high level and understand that after quitting you may be fine in a 2 weeks, but for some it takes a lot longer. Especially if you are prone to anxiety or depression.

Sean Russell is the owner and operator of MenProvement.com and this forum. He is a self improvement enthusiast who loves to help others improve their lives while enjoying his own.
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06-07-2014, 01:24 PM
Post: #4
RE: Quitting Caffeine Pills
Thanks so much for the feedback Sean. I'm going to try your suggestion of slowly tapering down and see how that goes. I look forward to sharing my progress on this forum.
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06-09-2014, 05:13 PM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2014 05:17 PM by Bex.)
Post: #5
RE: Quitting Caffeine Pills
Hi Arthur,

I reckon Sean's advice is very good. From one who was using a high amount of caffeine (particularly in the last few years), going cold turkey I believe was a mistake. First of all, I do not believe it is fair on the body (or you) to go from having caffeine everyday, to where your body has had to learn to adjust to, to then cutting it off dead. I have found it quite devastating, as dramatic as that sounds. It interfered with my mental and physical function so badly, I actually thought I would have to quit my job. I would often sit or lie down for lengthy periods of time, simply due to the incredible exhaustion and drowsiness that was both physical and mental. Incredible! But to have that everyday for weeks, possibly months on end? Yeah, not such a great idea.

I believe the healthiest way is to reduce (taper down) gradually over time, to allow the body to cope easier and time to adjust. I think cold turkey withdrawal takes so much out of the body and is, in a sense, a shock to the system.

The benefits of being caffeine free at the moment for me is during sleep. I am sleeping very deeply and am dreaming vividly and actively. I am now not easily woken up like I was when I was on caffeine, which demonstrates that I am having deeper sleeps, which can only be a good thing! However, my daytime functioning leaves a lot to be desired, and that is what is getting me down.

I am, at this time, over 2 months into it and the symptoms are still going on. So there is no quick fix for this, unless somebody is not a very strong user and/or daily user of caffeine. Such people may not go through such a rough time.

I wish you all the best and hope that you will find the slower, more gentler approach is the better way to go.
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06-10-2014, 10:19 AM
Post: #6
RE: Quitting Caffeine Pills
Thanks for the comments Bex. I hope your recovery begins to speed up for you.

The one thing I struggle with is being dependent on caffeine while raising children or being around young kids for that matter. Kids look up and learn from adults and I think it would be hard as a parent or role model to tell kids to maintain a healthy diet yet consume a drug daily in order to get through it. I know many wouldn't agree with this and maybe I'm being to extreme, but, I think a successful person that doesn't consume caffeine can be a positive influence for others. That being said, I wish anyone who is trying to end this addiction a quick recovery.
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06-13-2014, 01:06 PM (This post was last modified: 06-13-2014 01:07 PM by Bex.)
Post: #7
RE: Quitting Caffeine Pills
Thanks, Arthur. So far, I'm still experiencing the same symptoms, so as time goes on, I'm feeling a bit despondent about the whole thing. Keep waiting for the improvements. I'm about 2 months and 2 weeks into it (or thereabouts). I'm enjoying the better sleep and the vivd dreams, but the waking hours are a feeling of deadness and no motivation. Starting to wear thin. I am not sure what to do at this point. I'm trying to reach the 3-month mark at least and see how things are then.

It must be extra challenging when you are trying to raise children and go through this, so I wish you all the best and hope it won't be too hard on you. Does highlight the benefits of weaning yourself off it slowly, rather than opting for cold turkey.

Certainly, if there is one thing I have gotten out of this is becoming awake to the obvious potent actions of caffeine on the body and how difficult it is to get off it, especially if you have consumed it much of your life. I'm more aware of it and the sources of it, so even if I do ever allow "some" back into my life, I will not be going back on the amount I was having, which was excessive to say the least. I would balance it out with water and caffeine-free herbal teas and try for weaker cups of the caffeinated teas. I do not drink coffee, so that's not an issue. I'd personally rather not go back on it at all, but I'm finding life very, very hard without it.
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06-18-2014, 09:57 PM
Post: #8
RE: Quitting Caffeine Pills
Thanks for the reply and encouragement Bex. How are you feeling lately? If you had to estimate, how much caffeine were you drinking leading up to quitting? I think you are doing a great job hanging in there and believe your condition will improve in the near future. Hope things are starting to get better for you.
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06-20-2014, 02:37 PM (This post was last modified: 06-20-2014 08:12 PM by Bex.)
Post: #9
RE: Quitting Caffeine Pills
Hi Arthur, thanks for your response and words of encouragement.

I'm still feeling bland/jaded most days. I feel as though I've hit a point and it's not going any further. I'm nearly 3 months into it now, and have only really noted deeper sleep, vivid dreaming and reduced pain on menstruation. As for my day-time/waking hours? Not really seeing any results in improvements in energy or anything else (apart from being over the major exhaustion of the earlier withdrawal). I have kept to the plan and have not deviated at any point and feel that I should have noticed more improvement by now. There is another frustration: I already had a problem detoxifying from toxic exposures in the past, but oddly, this appears to have gotten worse since I have given up caffeine? I wonder if it might be because things have "slowed" down? because my system might have been used to being stimulated and sped up by caffeine, it now hasn't got this any longer, so it's almost as though the other problems in the detoxification regard have worsened. So instead, I find the toxins remain, rather than get shunted out (I always had this, but seems much worse now).

Before I went caffeine-free, I was on around 20+ cups of strong black tea a day (possibly more). I went cold turkey and the withdrawal was pretty insane. Just the sheer exhaustion was almost intolerable. I have kind of gotten past that intensity, but energy levels are remaining at a rather "bland" level. And again, the detox difficulties have worsened.

I'm trying to stay the course and each day I hope for better, but it appears to be remaining the same. Unfortunately, as this is interfering with my performance at work and daily life, I may not be able to continue. I have been pretty good at sticking to this for this amount of time and am not going to berate myself if I need to get back on some caffeine.

How are you doing? I hope that you are noting some positive changes? Or you might be experiencing withdrawal, still? Let me know how it's going for you. I guess we are all different, so cannot expect the same response/outcomes or the time periods they occur.

Just a note, I found this comment on the net: I've been told it can take six months to feel fully alert and normal without caffeine if you've been an addict. I am a caffeine head, and I believe it.
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06-21-2014, 02:54 AM
Post: #10
RE: Quitting Caffeine Pills
Thanks for the reply Bex. Sorry to hear that you are still not seeing the energy benefits. Hopefully things will start turning around for you since you've put so much work into quitting caffeine. Has anything else in your diet changed since you quit caffeine or is everything directly related quitting caffeine?

As for me, I'm down to about 150-200mg's of caffeine per day. I'm struggling to reduce any lower since I'm only able to sleep 5-6 hours a night due to my 6-month old getting up at night. I'm curious if you, or anyone else for that matter, gets less then 6-hours of sleep a night and can still function at a reasonable energy/focus level without caffeine?

If I drop below 150mg, I'm pretty tired throughout the day. I think it would be better for me to go cold turkey and hopefully get through the withdrawals quickly rather than be constantly tired for an extended period. Wondering what thoughts are about that?
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