My No-Caffeine Experiment


You know how much I love my morning cup of coffee. The first few days of this infection I really missed it and went through my mornings with a steady headache.

But after that, the headaches went away and I kind of stopped missing it. Plus I slept better. 

I started doing a little online research about caffeine in general. And I found out there are a lot of health problems caused by caffeine that I was not aware of.

I won't list them all here. You can go online and Google them if you're interested.

For one thing, caffeine is a stimulant. It can make you irritable, restless, increase your heart rate and blood pressure. I have high blood pressure and take medication for it. Maybe cutting out caffeine would help with that.

I also take medication for acid reflux, and caffeine can produce heartburn. So that is another thought.
 
 
Drinking coffee can stimulate something called peristalsis, which is the process in the digestive tract that makes us head for the bathroom after we drink coffee. 

Which may seem like a good thing if you have a problem with constipation. But there's a bigger problem. 

By stimulating peristalsis, coffee seems to promote increased gastric emptying and thus the stomach's contents are quickly passed into the small intestines. Unfortunately often before the digesting food has been broken down. 

In this partially digested state, it makes it a lot more difficult for us to absorb the nutrients from the food we eat. This also happens with decaf, so obviously there are other components besides caffeine to this problem.

So I'm going to try a no-caffeine experiment. At least for awhile. Which means coffee, tea and chocolate. I need to cut down on sugar anyway.
  
I'm going to take it a day at a time and just see what happens. 

Thoughts? Experiences? Suggestions? Do you skip caffeine?


12 comments

  1. Keep in mind that tea also has caffeine. Try the many herbal tea flavors and add a little sugar or honey. I also am trying to wean off of coffee. I only drink one cup in the morning of 1/2 caffeine. But it would be nice to not drink it at all.

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  2. I have few vices and caffeine is one of them. I have a cup in the morning which I really enjoy so I will continue to have that treat. IM far too busy later in the day to even sit down to eat my lunch while continuing to work, let alone have time for having a second cup of it.

    From what I've seen,,there is just as much good written about coffee as there is negative information. Then again, that seems to be true for just about any foodstuff out there. The Internet is full of info saying yea and nay on everything. So I guess we just have to decide if we feel it affects our health. My BP was higher when I drank no coffee or tea at all so I'm safe with that matter (I take 3 meds for BP.)

    I work with a lady who is vegan and her meals don't excite me. I'm vegetarian so I have more variety of foods to choose from. Do I feel more healthy not eating meat or meat products? No, but I feel much better than slaughtering animals just to eat them. I couldn't imagine eating my beloved pet so I transfer that thought to other animals.

    The leaves are starting to drop off the trees quite heavily. It looks like there is a big raking job ahead for someone!

    Glad to hear you're feeling better!

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  3. I do enjoy my first cup of coffee each morning. It is my kick start to the day. Rarely do I ever finish the second cup -- it is never as good as the first cup and by then, I am busy with the dogs/cat and planning the day. I do realize that caffeine in excess is not healthy and I do try to limit my caffeine intake after lunch (tea and chocolate). For you, it appears that there have been benefits from limiting your caffeine. And I admire you for your willingness to eliminate caffeine from your diet and look forward to reading about your results and finding out if you are going to continue "caffeine free" indefinitely.

    I hope you are feeling better.

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  4. There are some WONDERFUL and yummy herbal teas out there with great flavors.. no caffeine in them and beneficial herbs. Hibiscus is a good herb for high bp and the heart, and if you read the ingredients on alot of the herbal teas, hibiscus in the first ingredient! You can get a pure hibiscus herbal tea also. Check out herbs online as to what is good for your heart, bp, etc. and then find teas with those herbs in them. Celestial seasonings and Stash teas are wonderful. Beware of Yogi teas, as alot of them do have caffeine and some gluten in them which have bothered me in the past. Actually, Starbucks Coffee has some really good teas and one is called, I think Passion, which is high in hibuscus and tastes wonderful. Use raw local honey for a sweetener, which is good for you and helps your immune system. Enjoy! My all time favorite tea is the Stash Meyer Lemon tea. It is so lemony if you like lemon! A lemon-ginger tea is also healthful and tasty. But if you want ginger in full force, get a Nutritional Medicinal pure ginger tea. It's great for any ills, flu, cold, tummy problems, etc. Combination ginger teas with other flavors are tasty, but you don't really get the full benefit of ginger. Enjoy! Marilyn

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  5. Yes, caffeine is a stimulant and in excess, is not good for you. It'll be interesting to see if going without coffee will help your high blood pressure and acid reflux. Worth a try. There's other things you can do for both of those too, nutritionally speaking. Won't go into it here - you can Google if interested. Most of our maladies can be helped/cured by what we do or don't put into our mouths.

    If you want a hot beverage, try an herbal tea. There's so many different kinds and flavors out there now. I can drink mine plain, but if you need a bit of sweetener, try either organic stevia or raw, organic honey.

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  6. I vacillate between hypo and hyper thyroid,1st symptom of over medicated is an increased heart rate.
    Had a slight Mountain Dew addiction for a while,those headaches were wicked!
    Good luck,there's decaf regular tea too.
    Feel better

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  7. Hi Brenda~

    I have been off of caffeine for about two weeks or so, and I feel so much better! I have been drinking, kefir water, google it, you might like it. I make my own at a very minimal cost, way cheaper than soda or coffee. Just a thought.

    I hope you are feeling better!

    Hugs,
    Barb

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  8. I have overactive bladder and was up and down so much at night that I wasn't getting sufficient rest. After reading about your woes I decided to limit my coffee to 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup in the evening. I have noticed fewer trips to the bathroom during the day as well as at night. I plan on sticking to this. Hope you continue to feel better.

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  9. Hi Brenda - I never started drinking coffee (I kept thinking I'll drink coffee when I grow up! Now 56 and still waiting...) and doubt I ever will. On the 3 occasions that I have drunk coffee, my heart pounded and my head throbbed. Similar, but milder reaction happens if I drink sodas with caffeine or a large amount of a super chocolaty dessert, so I avoid those. I've never been much of a tea drinker, but life finds my husband and I living in China and frequently restaurants will put down a pot of tea and mugs just like restaurants serve glasses of water at home. The tea is generally pretty weak and doesn't give me any of my usual caffeine symptoms. They may process some of the teas differently here and that can affect the amount of caffeine. There are an amazing number of teas available - some restaurants have a tea menu, similar to a wine list. One went on for 8 pages. They also serve mugs of warm water which I thought I'd hate (still not a huge fan during the hot summers), but I do enjoy sipping the warm water the rest of the year. Sometimes I add a squeeze of lemon. I think you just need time to get used to a new normal, whatever that might be. Always pay attention to how substances that you ingest, clean with, bathe with, rub on your skin, make you feel.

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  10. I am not a coffee drinker except occasionally. I do like the taste of a good cup of coffee diluted with quite a bit of milk or cream, but I really can't tolerate the caffeine. It makes me very jittery and keeps me awake at night if I drink it too late in the day, which is anytime after 12 noon!

    I sometimes drink decaff at night if I'm out to dinner and want it with dessert. Other than that, I just don't drink it. I drink organic green tea every morning with my breakfast and iced sometimes during the day. I know that it has caffeine, too, but it doesn't seem to affect me the same as coffee.

    If you feel significantly better without the coffee then I think you should go with not drinking it every morning. Try Yogi brand organic green tea and see if you like it. My favorite of their green teas is Green Tea with Pomegranate. I hope the UTI is better and gone soon. Take care.

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  11. When I developed atrial fibrillation the cardiologist said no caffeine. I was never much of a coffee drinker, so the only time I miss coffee is on Christmas morning, when I always made coffee.
    I did have a real problem giving up diet caffeine cola. I am still bad and drink diet cola but have discovered that there is non caffeine diet cola, and I can't taste any difference at all. So I have been decaffeinated for two years now. I still have a terrible time falling asleep at night, even with no caffeine. I think that my thyroid medicine possibly causes me to have insomnia.

    I hope you will be feeling totally well again very soon.

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  12. I also have high blood pressure issues and palipitations... and occasional anxiety.. and trouble sleeping well. I gave up caffeine to and I do feel better without it. Right now (5:30 a.m.) I am drinking decaf... but didn't know that also can create issues. I only have one cup, and it's really out of habit - something warm in the chill of the morning. Maybe I'll look for an alternative. I'm not a big fan of tea.

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time.

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