45 Responses

  1. Rachel Leadens
    Rachel Leadens at |

    Brandon you made such a convincing argument that I quit caffeing 7 days ago. I’m 1 week sober. ha. I didn’t drink quite as much as you, but I drank coffee every morning religously. Also, I would usually drink coke or redbull on the weekends filled with cancer causing aspertame. I’ve been thinking about making changes in my routine for a while mostly due to cost. I drank coffee from Starbucks every morning which is like burning money in a fire pit every day, but I never really got motivated about making the change until reading your post so thank you. I didn’t get headaches but have gotten them before from not drinking coffee so I guess I just got lucky this time. I still need something warm in the morning so I’m drinking lemon water. I had read it’s good for you in many places before, so I figured if the idea kept coming up everywhere I’d try it out. It was also a routine my grandmother had and she was a health nut so I’m sure she was onto something there..
    I have so much energy now it’s ridiculous. For the last few days I’ve been so sharpe and on top of things someone actually came up to me at work yesterday and said “you look really focused.” During my yoga sessions I find it easier to focus and I feel STRONG, really strong. Definately liking the positive changes so far and going to continue a caffeine free routine. Take care.

  2. Mark
    Mark at |

    That was a fun read. I have gone through caffeine withdrawals before but never really paid too much attention to the withdrawal symptons. It was a hoot to hear your positive attitude. I do enjoy drinking tea and often force myself to drink it instead of reaching for a fourth cup of coffee. I don’t know if I will ever give up coffee but kudos to you for surviving the withdrawals.

  3. Jamie
    Jamie at |

    Hi Brandon,

    Those withdrawal days sound pretty un-fun, but kudos for pushing through. You make a great case for cutting it out! I especially like the part about being in better tune with your body now.

    I keep telling myself I’ll quit coffee when I’m out of the office job – but then I think of all the chai in India!

  4. matt
    matt at |

    Ok ok. I CAN do this. I have a few questions. How long did it take to get your intestines working normally again? I work with teenagers i have not quit yet because I do not want to be a jerk. I have a vacation coming. How long before I am not a jerk (assuming quitting coffee will help that)?
    Thanks for the inspirtion

  5. Mimah Beltran
    Mimah Beltran at |

    I will certainly give this one a try. The first four days without caffeine was horrible then I succumb to caffeine and drank today. But I’m going to try this and go without caffeine for a month! Wish me luck! 🙂

  6. Tim
    Tim at |

    Hi Brandon,
    thanks for posting this. I’ve ‘quit’ numerous times before, but your 7-day journal was a helpful reminder of what to expect. I definitely relate to your picture of Golem 🙂

    In my experience, day three is also the worst. It seems to get worse before it gets better.

    Eliminating coffee makes your body feel a lot better, but also your mind! I have a word document where I paste encouraging words from people getting off coffee. Here are some I found particularly inspiring/hopeful:

    “I feel more peaceful, more connected to my true being”

    “I feel like I’m constantly embracing all corners of my intelligence.”

    “Going on my first month with no caffeine after a long term dysfunctional love affair with the stuff. I just feel an amazing sense of peace and more energy.”

    “I finally got my brain back – yayy. Much more creative, much more logical and practical in thought.”

    “After two months, I started to wake up hungry. Not ravenous, but genuinely, normally, happily hungry. Good lord, I haven’t woken up hungry since 1994.”

    I hope this is helpful to anyone considering quitting.

    have a good one,

  7. Nick
    Nick at |


    I appreciate your format and day-to-day journaling of your coffee kick! This was a very entertaining and enjoyable read.

    I found your article at the right time in my life. My wife and I are buying our first house and get the keys this afternoon. Anxious for the big day, I’ve found myself waking up every morning at 5:00am instead of my usual 7:30am. Waking up early has been bittersweet. On one hand, I love having the peace and quiet to read blogs, books, and plan my day–all with a delicious, energy-providing coffee by my side. On the other, I hate feeling the need to brew and begin drinking a cup of the stuff within 5 minutes of waking in order to not feel physically ill. I’m a creature of habit and love the tradition of brewing, but lately it has seemed as if the can of coffee grounds is commanding me at gunpoint! What started out as a nice morning process has morphed into a beast of an addiction.

    Anyway, the move has encouraged us to each examine our lives and to make some pretty significant changes in the way we do things. We have tried to eliminate as many bad habits and non-essentials as possible so that they don’t follow us into the new house. It only makes sense to reduce, and eventually eliminate, coffee/caffeine from our lives as well. Thanks for the encouragement–your article has definitely turned this idea into a goal for me!

    I quit caffeine cold-turkey about 4 or 5 months ago, only to find myself back on the 3-4 cups per day regimen after 2 weeks. This time, I think the weaning will need to be more gradual and planned. You mention eating lots of fruit and drinking tons of water during this process. This inspired me to whip out the old juicer once the move is final and make some vitamin-packed beverages throughout the day. I guess it’s better to be addicted to this than coffee, right? Whatever helps smooth out the transition. Hats-off to you for going cold turkey with it. My big mistake was going cold-turkey without the headache management regimen. I learned at that time what a migraine felt like.

    I’m glad to hear your break from coffee is a lasting success. Thanks for the good read–I think I’ll dump the rest of today’s coffee down the sink right now. 🙂

  8. Sandra Mader
    Sandra Mader at |

    Found your blog today – so glad I did!
    Today is day 3 of no coffee for me. Starting to feel the headache and nausea today. Felt calmer though by the end of day one.
    I quit coffee in 2013 for 10 months – not sure why I started back. I think it was cold and dreary and winter was coming so the coffee seemed like a nice warm thing to drink. I really did regret jumping back on that bandwagon. I quit for health reasons and believe I can do this again. This time around I really noticed the many adverse effects that coffee has on me (it seems different for everyone): jumpy, irritable, inability to concentrate, poor sleep, weight gain, the crash after (hate that!), stomach aches. I’ve just made quite a list on paper of all the reasons why I am quitting – I was surprised at the $$ I spent each month – so that will come in handy! Good luck to everyone else!

  9. Jessa Flux
    Jessa Flux at |

    I am quitting coffee cold turkey this week & I have had any caffeine since Sunday. I’ve been REALLY HUNGRY since yesterday. Is this normal? Were you more hungry when you first quit?

  10. Coffee Vines
    Coffee Vines at |

    Thanks for the post, Brandon. And yeah, drinking too much coffee is very serious. But then again, same with water. Everything in moderation.

  11. Scott
    Scott at |

    Thanks for this Brandon. I’ve been a tea drinker for 28 years and I feel like crap most of the time. I was up to about 4 cups per day of black tea so it’s not like kicking coffee but a challenge nonetheless. At 43 I’m fit and eat organic, unprocessed foods/gluten free yet I still lack energy. I think my adrenals are shot after spending most of my adult life in stressful jobs. Today I woke up, felt like crap again and said “no more”. I’m improving the way I eat even more so this is one part of a more rigorous lifestyle change.

    I’m going cold turkey and I’m already experiencing headaches/fatigue on day 1 but I’m committed. I’m a teacher so I told my students what I was doing and apologized ahead of time if I’m a bit cranky. I’ve been thirsty as hell all day but I feel confident I’ll start feeling better by Friday or so. Again, thanks for the boost with a positive attitude and a bit of humor. I’ll kick this for sure but its’ nice to get some support. Peace.

  12. Jolten
    Jolten at |

    I just finished my caffein detox after drinking coffee and diet cokes for more years than I care to remember. It got to the point that I had to have coffee and or diet coke several times a day or I would have a Migraine , I couldn’t drink a beer or 2 without a Migraine . It took me close to 4 weeks to get over the headaches , Migraine strength
    Eccecedrin was the only thing I found to knock the headaches down I will not drink Coffee or Sodas ever again.I am 63 and am an addict……………….

  13. Michael
    Michael at |

    Trying to quit caffeine after it sent me to the psych ward. I was taking no doze with mountain dew shots(6 times a day) 6 days sober 3 without hallucinations. I am still tired all day slept in until 2 pm in light chunks nodding in and out. My daily vitamins do a lot more for me then they used to. Food cravings have picked up as well for mixtures of protein and carbs. i have yet to feel cravings for vegetables but consider them around the corner.

  14. Kristi Watterson
    Kristi Watterson at |

    Your picture of Gollum made me laugh SO hard; that was the perfect image! I gave up coffee/caffiene about a week ago because I was drinking so much of it that I would get severely dehydrated at least once a month…not fun. You’re description is amazingly accurate! I get the foggy headaches, it’s difficult to concentrate, my sleep schedule is all over the place. I’ve been drinking tons of water & started a daily workout regimen. I want to start drinking caffeine free green tea now! I loved how you said you’re more in tune with your body now… that’s my goal! I’m aiming for a more natural lifestyle, which is why I gave coffee up (it’s been hard…I love everything about coffee!) I went organic with skin care and cleaning supplies too

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  16. Tom
    Tom at |

    Hey Brandon,
    I also suffer from tension headaches, with a lot of tension in my neck, and shoulders. I’ve tried quitting before and I only made it a couple of weeks. During that time, my neck and shoulders got EVEN WORSE. Is it possible I just didn’t give it enough time? Thanks for your story. I’m really encouraged to give it another go. I’ve been weening down off of coffee for the past 2 weeks. I only have a half cup a day for the past 2 weeks. Still, obviously, have headaches that start from my shoulders and neck. Take care.. Let me know what your thoughts are if you can.

  17. Tom
    Tom at |

    Hey all,
    I’m on day 10 of basically no caffeine. I’m hanging in there. Honestly, days 8 and 9 have been the hardest for me. Absolutely NO energy, and the tension in my neck, and head has gotten way worse. (I’ve had daily headaches/neck pain for over 2 years now, so that’s what convinced me that maybe coffee is not helping me in this area.) I also heard that you can get rebound headaches, or medication overuse headaches from using caffeine everyday. I guess it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I’m never going back to caffeine no matter what. I’ve been dreaming more, and I can wake up easier. Oh, and I’ve developed a sore throat over the past few days also. So, I will keep you all updated on my progress.

  18. Deepak Hari
    Deepak Hari at |

    Hi Brandon,

    I drink coffee like i drink water…i used to drink like 1.5litres of coffee every single day, that was like few years back. Now i consume atleast half a litre of coffee every day. I put milk and sugar in my coffee so that’s a lot in terms of calories…have tried many times to quit but in vain…now was looking for an article on quitting coffee just to give me motivation. Have gained sufficient motivation after reading your article…will see how I go from here, and yes will definitely get back to you if successful, to say thanks.

  19. Gregg Moyer
    Gregg Moyer at |

    great article Brandon. I just finished 3 days without coffee but I gave in on day 4 and had a cup this morn . the reason, I’m 62 yrs. old and ride my bike on average of 15 miles a day. The last 2 days I could barely make it 12 miles. I was physically exhausted and almost called my wife to pick me up. Could this be due to quitting coffee.
    Also I believe I found a way to seriously reduce the headaches. It’s water, However much you weigh, divide it by 2, example : If you weigh 200 #s divide by 2 which is 100, drink 100 ounces of water a day. I had only a slight headache using this formula.

  20. Lenora
    Lenora at |

    Hey Brandon-
    Just found your article after looking up caffeine/ coffee withdrawal. I’m in my early 40s and have been hooked on coffee on & off for the past 20+ years (since college). It’s my last vice, besides chocolate (haha). The past 10 years or so have been particularly bad. 2 extra large DD coffees a day bad, if not more.

    This is day 6, and I’m starting to feel better. The first 5 days of withdrawal were headaches, irritability, weepiness and stomach/ digestive issues. I’ve been substituting Inka, a coffee substitute from Poland that I used to drink in college, and maybe that upset my stomach? Not sure. I’m not off of caffeine completely, because I’m now drinking green tea or matcha green tea (a weak cup) in the mornings, but I’m starting to feel better. More “normal”. Like in childhood, when you just went along in your day without the feeling of being addicted to anything. Haven’t felt that freeing “normal” feeling in ages. Looking forward to seeing how it feels as more time passes without coffee.

    Thanks for the blog, it was great to read it, as well as all of the responses. Knowing others can relate and hearing how they got off of coffee helps.
    Lenora recently posted…How to Stay Eco-Friendly While Traveling the WorldMy Profile

  21. Matt
    Matt at |

    Hi Brandon!

    I just wanted to thank you for making such a detailed post on this subject. It’s helped me know vaguely what to expect, quitting out of nowhere – I felt better late in day 3 when I quit cigarettes, so knowing that wasn’t going to be the case this time around was a great help in terms of gritting my teeth and getting through the initial blah. You’re the best! I truly appreciate it.

    I’m currently halfway through day 4 and although I still feel like sleeping every couple hours it honestly seems as though I’m beginning to “come up” into my natural mind. The effects of meditating have already started changing, I’ve noticed: for one, I can’t really meditate after a meal anymore, because I become aware of an organic urge to relax and take a nap to allow my food to digest! So that’s new. I also have started to become much more creative in the mid-morning and throughout the day because my cognition is no longer bottlenecked by a stimulant (I’m an artistic person so this is especially good news!). Also, my social anxiety is a shadow of what it used to be, and when I spot hang-ups in my thought processes I know for certain that caffeine has nothing to do with it; just pure, homegrown, self-limitation! Hahahaha. 😛 Seriously though, the clouds are clearing and you were very helpful in that. Thanks again, and best wishes to you in your travels!


  22. dan
    dan at |

    Thanks Brandon!
    You did a great public service here. I am a huge coffee addict (3 large coffees a day with sugar for 25 years) and I am trying to quit for my physical (High BP and bad stomach) and mental (it really causes me to stress out and have bad anxiety). I have tried before but the withdrawal for me has been bad, so I start using again to stop the multiple symptoms. I am in day 3 of my current attempt and feeling like hell – no energy, depressed/anxious, nauseous, headache, etc. Your story has inspired me to hang in there and fight through to the finish.
    The other part is, it is good to hear that your life after caffeine has been better. I would hate to go through this suffering and not find the reward worth it. I feel re energized hearing how well you are doing long term. It inspires me to stay the course.


  23. Dayna
    Dayna at |

    i don’t normally comment on posts BUT 1 week ago i cut out coffee cold turkey after 16 years. I had IBS and constantly had stomach issues (severe gas, bloating, un-normal bowl habbits) I had reached my limit on not being able to figure out what was bothering me, dr. after dr. The stress of eating was really getting to me b/c i didnt know what was going to bother me. I’m 5’3″ and 110 lbs and 5 out of 7 days a week i looked 6 months pregnant. I was at my witts end. I came across a post that said caffeine/coffee was the worst thing for digestion issues. SO, i decided to give it one last fair shot and quick this addiction of 16 years….My story
    Day 1: this isnt hard whatsoever! slight headache and lethargic but nothing intolerable
    Day 2: stomach was NOT bloated, i was feeling mentally positive. withdraws really kicked in! massive headache and constantly tired, felt for about 17 hours of the day. nap after nap after nap
    Day 3: just kill me…insanely hurtful headache, body aches, nauseous/vomiting & chills/shaking
    slept again for the majority of the day
    Day 4: headache not AS bad and not sick to my stomach anymore. MY lower back/joints hurts which made it hard to sit still. Took some Advil to ease that pain
    Day 5: faint headache but compared to the last 4 days, nothing i cant easily deal with – still a little tired
    Day 6: headache gone, more in tune with my body, my hunger, my feelings, got more energy and overall felt SO MUCH BETTER
    Day 7: ALL my symptoms were gone and i felt GREAT.

    Overall: the withdraws are very hard and physically painful. At times i said i cant do this! i cant do this and wanted to go make coffee. I didnt though b/c i was so far into it i didnt want to go back. BUT in the end, SO worth it!
    My stomach for 7 weeks now straight has NOT been bloated what so ever! I had not 1 bit of bloating, not 1 gas pain, no stomach pains/cramps, it was incredible & a miracle. I have more energy, i sleep better and longer at night & my mood has overall just been relaxed & my anxiety has decreased significantly.

  24. Tandy
    Tandy at |

    Oh my I am on day 2 of no coffee. Attempting to break my drink coffee all day long habit. I am exhausted. I slept sitting hunched over half upright in my recliner off and on all afternoon. I could barely stay focused at Sunday school today. I know I have been a “jerk” to my family just a wee bit. I just want to say I’m done and grab a hot one. After reading your article though I know I would be better off if I could push through. Ugh I am sooo tired.


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