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Old 12-10-2005, 06:47 AM   #1
John Burket
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On November 18th, I decided to quit caffeine in all its forms, after using it for 40 years. The first two days after quitting, I experienced severe body pains (especially in the legs), and a headache. I started to get very grouchy, and my mind started to go into a fog, but I was able to reverse these negative effects by using magnesium taurate (for mood) and gingko biloba (for brain clearing). Nevertheless, my physical performance dropped considerably. After a week of withdrawal, I thought I was ready for my workout routine. To my dismay, my performance was not up to par. I was accustomed to doing 31 consecutive chin-ups, and now I could only do 26. Then, I tried with all my might, and could only do 40 inclined situps (I did 42 just before I got off caffeine.) Then, I raced my bike up a steep hill in high gear, and clocked myself at 47 seconds, a full four seconds longer than my pre-caffeine days. To my utter surprise, I became dizzy after about 10 minutes, and nearly passed out! Can anyone who has quit caffeine tell me when I might get back to normal? Will I eventually be more energetic? Any pointers would be appreciated.

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John
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:24 AM   #2
Jesse Woody
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Is there a possiblity that your performance could be attributed to other factors that were in place that day? The drop in performance isn't that extreme. Is it possible your diet wasn't 100%, you weren't sufficiently rested, hydrated, etc. that day? And don't forget that mentality can have a lot to do with it, so if you were perhaps dwelling on the lack of caffeine and its possible effects on performance, you could have created the problem mentally.

Just my .02
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:37 AM   #3
Craig Van De Walker
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John,
Is there a chance you happened to get sick at the same time you went cold turkey? I quit the same way a few years back, had a significant headache for days but no other problems affecting me physically. I started back of coffee about three weeks later. I quit thinkink it was the reason I was so tired at night, unfortunately it was my stressfull job and 60 hour weeks, so being caffeine free did not help...
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:45 AM   #4
John Burket
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I sure wish it was just a bad day; but I've consistently performed poorly ever since I got off the coffee and tea. Today I only did 24 consecutive chin-ups. It might be depleted adrenals. Meanwhile, I'm starting to take special supplements to aid buildup of the adrenal gland. Some of the supplements that were said to be good are borage oil, folic acid, biotin, and Vitamin B5.

A strange phenomena that accompanied caffeine withdrawal was localized aches that come and go in the strangest places. When I first quit, my legs ached all over, and then went away. Next, a sharp pain hit me in the upper buttocks area. Later, it migrated to the hip area, and finally (I hope) up to my neck/upper back area. I haven't the foggiest idea what is happening.

John
http://sookagym.tripod.com
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Old 12-10-2005, 08:52 AM   #5
Jesse Woody
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Is there any specific reason you're abstaining completely from caffeine?
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Old 12-10-2005, 08:56 AM   #6
Steve Shafley
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John.
I go on and off coffee fairly regularly. I use a tea called yerba mate as a direct drop in replacement. It allows me to drastically reduce my intake of caffiene, yet still has a mild stimulant effect, but without the jitters.

It takes a week or two of drinking mate before I can stop drinking any kind of stimulant drink at all with no ill effects. I like teas and coffees, though, so I use the mate when coffee consumption really gets out of hand.

Mate's an acquired taste. I like it, but everyone else who's tried it with me calls it "dirt tea".

It's inexpensive at www.ma-tea.com
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Old 12-10-2005, 09:58 AM   #7
Ian Holmes
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John,

I dropped coffee for the past 8 weeks just for the hell of it. Not that I drank much before that, but I like knowing that I am not over dependent on anything. I found that my problems cleared up after a while.

How long have you been off? Given that this is a long time habit it may take a few months for your body to adjust... therefore I am not sure whether lots of supplements are reall what you need. I would push for making sure the diet is really good and getting a ton of water.
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:09 AM   #8
John Burket
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Like Ian, I just decided to drop caffeine to see what would happen. It was only then that I realized there was a strong dependency on it. I wake up much easier in the morning without it now, and its been 3 weeks since I quit.

An article I came across motivated me to try quitting. It said that caffeine stimulated the adrenals to the point of exhaustion over time (over-simplified synopsis).

Theoretically, it seems that I should eventually have more overall energy, as is claimed by others who got off it. The strangest part about quitting is that I don't even miss coffee anymore.

John
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:48 AM   #9
Larry Lindenman
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I've seen articles regarding caffeine, I take them with a grain of salt! If performance is still down, get the monkey back on your back, but keep it to two or so cups a day.
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Old 12-10-2005, 06:14 PM   #10
Ian Holmes
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I would debate that Larry... for while I also take a lot of caffeine related articles with a grain of salt I think it is important to develop a degree of performance that is free of any kind of performance enhancement.

Of course one could argue that caffeine is simply part of ones diet and therefore I should learn to perform without eating anything... which wouldn't happen...

Though perhaps I will end by cedeing that the important factor is perhaps not having the dependence, and understanding that an occasional coffee isn't that bad of a thing.
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