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Should I give up caffeine?

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5
PWZ wrote: your experience in not having a cup vs mine sounds very different, and I'm an all day every day sorta guy.

Not my personal experience, but that of partners for which I have minimal sympathy. I'm glad it doesn't affect you, superman :-) 

Consider that if you're missing a cup outdoors, you're probably already in an unplanned suboptimal situation where you might be dehydrated or otherwise in bad shape. It's not like missing a cup on a normal day. 
Charles Vernon · · mind & body in Colorado, he… · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 2,624

I've been a steady drinker ever since college and have given it up twice, the first time for about six months in 2009 when I was in law school and started having panic attacks (giving up coffee helped a bit), and the second time about a year ago, also for six months, when I started having regular bouts of vertigo. Both times were pretty much cold turkey; of the two, the second time was much worse, I dealt with headaches, sometimes severe, for about a week. Although I love coffee I'd like to give it up again (increasingly it seems to cause issues when I have to go to court in the morning...ahh, aging...TMI) and switch to green tea with a coffee "treat"/"rocket fuel" once a week such as before a big day hike or day of climbing. That way I'd get the benefits of green tea, the occasional coffee treat without a massive overstimulation going from zero mgs caffeine to 200+, and could easily enough skip the green tea on mornings when I need to go to court.

To answer your (OP's) other question, it didn't seem to affect my climbing either time. But I also agree with someone else who said maybe now isn't the best time unless you're in a particularly good place emotionally...although I guess you could always just start right back up. 

ECD H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2019 · Points: 0

It’s a drug so treat it like a drug; espresso shots only, ditch the milk, sugar and excess water.
It’s  god’s  way of saying ‘get shit done’. 

B K · · Laramie, WY · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 30

Danny,  I have seen how happy your midday coffee makes you. You got no chance of quitting.

Naw but really I quit drinking caffeine in the afternoon, and I go to sleep earlier and feel generally better. Now that I am used to it I do not really feel like I have a mid-afternoon crash which helps on climbing days and work days alike. Still drink my morning cup tho!

curt86iroc · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 125

you can have my mug....

...WHEN YOU PRY IT FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!!!!!!!

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,610
Danny Poceta wrote: Like most of you, I am super addicted to caffeine. It has been almost ten years since I went a single day without coffee, and I typically feel the headache comin on if I don't drink it within about an hour of waking up. But, I also LOVE coffee aside from the caffeine.

But sometimes I feel a little bad about being so dependent on a drug, even a fairly harmless one. I've always thought about what it would be like to try to detox from caffeine, and if it would even be a positive thing. and with the COVID stuff, I currently have no work, no climbing, and no obligations of any kind. This is probably (hopefully) the only time my life will be so open, so its hard to imagine a better time to try.

I'm curious to hear from people who have quite caffeine cold turkey and what it was like, if it affected your climbing, etc. Convince me to do it! or to not.

I don't see an upside.

Danny Poceta · · Calgary · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 61
Ned Plimpton wrote: "A man doesn't go to drink coffee after climbing, coffee is integral part of the climbing."

— Wolfgang Güllich

I think about this quote often.

Thanks for all the replies. I think I just don't like the idea of being so dependent on something for happiness and functionality. Some days I feel more strongly about it, but other days I don't really give a shit. We will see. I only drink it black (or irish...) so the only health concern is the caffeine.

Good points made about this maybe not being the time, psychologically speaking. So far my spirits are still pretty high but I might give it some more time in case I am on the brink of that deteriorating.
Danny Poceta · · Calgary · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 61
B K wrote: Danny,  I have seen how happy your midday coffee makes you. You got no chance of quitting.

Naw but really I quit drinking caffeine in the afternoon, and I go to sleep earlier and feel generally better. Now that I am used to it I do not really feel like I have a mid-afternoon crash which helps on climbing days and work days alike. Still drink my morning cup tho!

Watup Bailey! Yes the afternoon coffee I think is the real problem. Sometimes I feel like I enjoy it more than the morning cup even. Maybe as a start I will try pushing it earlier and earlier so it is all consumed in the morning...

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 1,703
ECD H wrote: It’s a drug so treat it like a drug; espresso shots only, ditch the milk, sugar and excess water.
It’s  god’s  way of saying ‘get shit done’. 

It's not often that you see "water" used with a negative connotation...

Patti Degner · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 106

I switched to tea. It has some caffine, but less, and is still a nice warm drink with a good taste. You can go herbal or decaf tea if you want to cut caffeine completely.

Gumby the White · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2019 · Points: 172

YERBA FUCKING MATE will rock your socks off at the crag. And not that shit out of the can, you want the kind you can free base with the straw. Thats how you send your proj's braj's. Sometimes you just need that boost you NAWAMEAN!?!?

Sean Onasch · · fort collins · Joined May 2016 · Points: 200
ECD H wrote: It’s a drug so treat it like a drug; espresso shots only, ditch the milk, sugar and excess water.
It’s  god’s  way of saying ‘get shit done’. 

Hell yeah. I bought a espresso machine a few weeks back and and found a local roaster I like to use. Honestly life changing. I went from drinking two 24ounce mugs of moka coffee a day , to only 2 double shots of espresso. It has now made most other coffee completely unpalatable unfortunately. 

Marco Velo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,936

No need to go cold turkey. Just start blending decaf in.

I was 50:50 caf:decaf for years, but I drank a lot of it. Eventually even that gave me some interesting heart rate abnormalities (no, not the usual racing heart rate AKA palpitations, that was my "overdoing it" alarm, and I knew how to deal with it) - my heart would skip every 3rd or 4th beat. I decided I didn't like that so I'm now down to 25% or less caf.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

If you smoke cigarettes with your coffee, they cancel each other out. It's a little-known, but highly-effective health strategy. I'm only sharing this with my closest friends. While they're alive.

Danny Poceta · · Calgary · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 61
Sean Onasch wrote:

Hell yeah. I bought a espresso machine a few weeks back and and found a local roaster I like to use. Honestly life changing. I went from drinking two 24ounce mugs of moka coffee a day , to only 2 double shots of espresso. It has now made most other coffee completely unpalatable unfortunately. 

My dream is to someday own a nice espresso machine, but my impression is that they're not worth investing in unless you're really able to get something high end. Moka is my current primary intake and I love it, for what it is at least.

Shamus Gaffney · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 50

I literally didn't read the original post or any of the following posts, just the title. I skipped right to the end cuz this is the dumbest fucking question ever. I would have more respect for "Should I slam my dick in a car door?" THE ANSWER IS NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zane Dordai · · Salt Lake City · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 132
Danny Poceta wrote:

My dream is to someday own a nice espresso machine, but my impression is that they're not worth investing in unless you're really able to get something high end. Moka is my current primary intake and I love it, for what it is at least.

Not true imo, I have a $100 espresso machine that has been doing a great job for a year (I paid $30 for it with a sale/gift cert), shoot me a message if you'd like that information.


My father also drank caffeinated coffee for almost 2 decades and decided to go cold turkey one day. The first day was bad, but the second day in the evening he got a migraine so bad that somewhere between 4-8 ibuprofen did literally nothing for him. He couldn't sleep or eat for about 24 hours and then started to resume feeling more normal after that. He almost never drinks caffeinated coffee now. This is reason enough for me to not develop a habit forming addiction to this particular substance (given that I am cut from the same genetic cloth).

I personally get into a habit of drinking it only when I am training and climbing very frequently; I find it only provides any physical benefits when I drink it, at most, 3 times a week (and even that is a stretch).

An interesting article about how different folks digest caffeine can be found here: nytimes.com/2020/02/13/styl…

"...Some of us have a polymorphism, a genetic variant that slows our metabolism for caffeine. It’s these individuals that Dr. Grosso recommends limit their refills. “They take a coffee, and then they have the second and the third, and they still have the caffeine of the first,” he said. "

Also: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl…

Sorry for the essay. TL:DR: Cheap espresso machines can be worth it, research would suggest drinking coffee every single day (sometimes multiple in a day) can become quite a strain on your body, and lastly...everyone is a bit different with regards to their metabolism/how their bodies react.
Bill Schick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2019 · Points: 0

If caffeine is truly your biggest problem - you've knocked down sugar and fat intake, your weight is good, you get out and exercise, etc - you're probably in the top 5% or better of healthy individuals.  Good on you if you want to quit.  I never will.

Adam W · · Katy, TX · Joined Dec 2019 · Points: 0

Caffeine does nothing for me energy wise I could drink a case of energy drinks and go to bed after.  You might as well try quitting now while stuck at home.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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