Reset Coffee Habit

Posted on December 13, 2018


I came across this LiveJournal entry from 2007 that looks at the role caffeine can play in enhancing productivity.

It points out that "caffeine has a number of effects on the body, but the one that is relevant here is that it blocks adenosine receptors in the brain," which tricks your brain and "increases neuron firing rate and increases focus and concentration." Sounds pretty great!

But "caffeine tolerance builds up rather quickly (2-3 weeks)" and "over the long term, consistent caffeine consumption is as good as nonconsumption, because of (you guessed it) tolerance." But all is not lost...

"Periodic abstinence lets adenosine levels return to normal. With complete abstinence, it takes 5 days to reach adenosine normality." And I'm looking at the holidays and thinking, I have time for this... I could return to adenosine normality and the start the new year with coffee's full power!!!

On the other hand, that's going to be a pretty rough week... so maybe not? Also, this is all based on a LiveJournal entry from 2007, so maybe it's not even real?

Should I take five days and not have any coffee or caffeine?

Past Discussion

Mike Merrill 🎖🌮🌴
As much as I want that feeling again of the full caffeine rush I am not looking forward to a week of detox...
beau 💯☕️ (191 shares, voted yes)
Highly supportive of this as an experiment, to find out both how you handle the withdrawal and if resuming caffeine consumption provides you with more of a positive effect. I'd be even more in support of a continuing schedule of caffeine drug holidays (a term of art for this), but that depends on the withdrawal effects. I like gwern's writeup about caffeine, btw:
curtiszimmerman 🎖💯 (203 shares, voted no)
Or don't, and then just do more later.
curtiszimmerman 🎖💯 (203 shares, voted no)
That was only partially a joke (it wasn't), but would like to add that I would vote "aye" if the break wasn't over the holidays. I am generally a tolerance break hardliner when it comes to chemicals. But putting yourself through withdrawal during the holidays sounds like a version of hell.
jer ☕️🌮 (20 shares, voted no)
I'm with curtis; the holidays are hard enough without intentionally making them worse.
davehayden ☕️💯 (278 shares, voted yes)
I disagree with the previous comments. Doing this while you're out of your daily routine is the perfect time.
awnelson17 ☕️🌮🕴 (10 shares, voted yes)
I've been caffeine free for almost two years. I still drink coffee (just decaf). I also stopped drinking almost all beverages with added sugar, especially soda pop. Most soda and other canned beverages are really bad for you, especially the energy drinks. It took a while to recover from it, but I feel much better now. I also agree with the other posts that the holidays are a great time to introduce moderation to your diet.
GriffithParker (3 shares, voted no)
what, exactly, is the potential upside of stopping? Maybe try to cut back a bit but don't put yourself through withdrawal to quit something that you enjoy and has very few medically proven downsides.
Mike Merrill 🎖🌮🌴
The upside is that after a five day break, my body will (according to LiveJournal) treat the impact of coffee on my body as if I have no tolerance, thus making it like a super drug!
awmahan 💼☕️ (48 shares, voted yes)
I stopped drinking caffeinated coffee this summer cause I was concerned about it being a trigger for migraines. Switched to one cup of black tea in the mornings, then maybe a decaf coffee in the afternoons. Didn't have any withdrawal symptoms! And I don't get a crash in the afternoon/early evening like I did when I was drinking a couple cups of coffee a day.
wwwhitney (7 shares, voted yes)
I'm in my mid-30's and only started drinking coffee in my late 20's. I recently moved to another country and the caffeine plus anxiety about being in a new place was extremely overwhelming, felt like I was going crazy drinking it. So I quit cold turkey, felt mentally so much better, and now usually just drink decaf because coffee is delicious. Will occasionally drink when I'm on a business trip with tons of jet lag but even there I'm trying to avoid. 100% scientific opinion: quit coffee, go less crazy. AYE
suesy_x (3 shares, voted no)
How sad when you have to stop drinking coffee to increase your productivity. The smell of a good cup of coffee alone is enough to increase productivity. The taste of even one sip of a good espresso, no matter your level of adenosine, is enough. But, if you have to, because of the majority of your voters say so, I would recommend chicory coffee as an alternative. It has a good taste when you drink it strong. It has always been popular in France as a morning drink and is becoming increasing popular in the small country where I live. I like the brand Chikko Not Coffee Roasted Chicory Bio.
Mike Merrill 🎖🌮🌴
And just a reminder here, this is a vote for a five day break from coffee. I am not quitting. I am not ready for that.
weston ☕️ (80 shares, voted yes)
Is there any chance you will not go back to drinking coffee?
Mike Merrill 🎖🌮🌴
If I consider that it would be another vote, but I REALLY love coffee and even if I didn't need/want the effects of it as a drug I would like to be able to keep drinking it forever.
Mike Merrill 🎖🌮🌴
Oh, and my old 23andMe report said that I am a Fast Metabolizer of caffeine. The new report says I am likely to drink slightly more caffeine than average.
HeHateMe 💯 (383 shares, voted yes)
This has sparked my interest in the effects of constant caffeine. Good luck Mike! You got this!