Has Anyone Here Quit Caffeine?

With all the coffee deals going around, I'm curious to know has anyone from ozbargain attempted to and successfully quitted caffeine for good?

I have been drinking coffee daily for over 10 years and went cold turkey last Friday. Having big headaches and muscle pain, didn't know caffeine was so addictive.

Edit: just thought I'd add, although I do have the on/off headaches and muscle pain, my sleep has definitely improved slightly, and I'm not too sure if it's related but I'm seeing more dreams.


  • +33

    2 x 500ml Mothers per day for the past 8 years. Quit cold turkey start of COVID.

    Best thing I ever did!

    • +44

      Your teeth will also thank you.

      • -9

        Eddie Murphy: "Your teeth can't thank you when you already have false teeth." taps forehead

        • +22

          uhh…you know the guy in the meme isn't Eddie Murphy right?

        • groan

    • +3

      I did it for 12 years. Dentist advised me of some major issues with my teeth in June and I immediately went cold turkey

    • Wow, back in year 12 I used to drink a bottle of green V everyday, and occasionally the big rockstar can.

    • +12

      I find when I go on a bender with Mothers (I mean one a day), my body eventually becomes saturated with caffeine and I get anxiety. Then I stop cold turkey and swear I will never drink them again.. Then a few months later.. well you know how it goes #junkie.

      • +5

        thats me, but with grilled Doritos, cheese, spring onions and olives.

        • +2

          please give me a video on how this recipe marvel is made!!

          • +6


            1. Line a plate with Doritos
            2. Place a light layer of cheese
            3. Another layer of Doritos
            4. Another layer of cheese
            5. Sprinkle spring onions and olives
            6. Add a few more Doritos if you want to.

            Grill or microwave. The latter cooks it in around 1-1:30

        • +1

          I want that on Menulog sans Olives, Stat. lol

    • +2

      I'm amazed you're still alive, well done

    • Congrats. That stuff is toxic. (profanity) yo teeth majorly.

    • +2

      Coffee is fine, but drinking "energy" drinks like Mother or monster is just madness

    • Jesus 1L a day

  • +3

    Yes. You can drink roasted corn kernals

    • +1

      Don't know why you got a neg, I also like this tea, you're referring to roasted Korean tea right? Not only corn but barley as well, very nice.

    • -2

      Good luck finding non-GMO (i.e. pesticide-laden) corn.

      • +2

        The one I bought from Korean grocer is non-gmo one.

      • *non-GMO = pesticide-free

        • +3

          GMO and pesticides are different things.

          Just because something is non-GMO doesn't mean it hasn't been sprayed with insecticides or fungicides.

          • @Harold Halfprice: True. But if it is GMO, it certainly has been.

            • +2

              @wisdomtooth: Not necessarily. Some GMO crops have been modified to be pest resistant. So they get sprayed with less pesticides than regular crops.
              If you’re worried, just buy organic.

            • +1

              @wisdomtooth: maybe not. typically the GMO ones are for increased yied and better resistence to pest etc. They may not have needed it!

              • +1

                @palitu: Typically GMO are modified for resistance to pesticides, not to pests. They then get bathed in glyphosate, which kills pretty much anything else, weeds and insects.

  • +4

    I drank dandelion tea for a period to drink less coffee. I don’t feel coffee does a lot for me at the moment, had a sleep study and I was told I don’t have sleep apnea but I’m just a sleepy person and might have to try modafinil

    • +1

      Have you tried ordering some melatonin from iHerb? 5mg a night would be a good start to help regulate some proper sleeping patterns.

      • A good reminder to give that a go!

      • +2

        Micro dose it instead…not 5mg.

        MIT study showed 300mcg worked better.

      • +2

        That is a massive dose. Your brain secretes max ~700mcg a night

  • +3

    I gave up the evil bean for about 3 years back on it now but I can still remember the withdrawers it's only then you realise it's a drug. Planning on giving it up again soon. One thing I do remember from when I gave it up was how much better it worked if you did have one. If you have a big night drinking or not much sleep and when you don't regularly take caffeine it works amazing.

    • +5

      The body develops a tolerance to caffeine after about 2 weeks.
      Beyond that your body has adjusted to expect the caffeine so when you don't have it your body experiences a low and when you take it again you experience a 'high', which isn't actually a stimulant effect but just returning your body to a normal state.

      So infrequent use provides the stimulant effect as you've observed but regular use does nothing.

      Once you start noticing it you realise that all the people saying "I can't function without my coffee in the morning" are no different to "I need the meth\heroin\whatever to get through the day", it's an addiction without even the benefit of hallucination or euphoria behind it.

  • +1

    It's weird that I have never developed a dependency for caffeinated drinks, despite having a long education history (not sure if there is a correlation here but I used to see my peers downing coffee like there was no tomorrow). I sometimes drink coffee after dinner as my dessert.

    However I have read and heard that it is pretty easy to wean-off coffee. You gonna feel shit for a few days but you will eventually be ok. Teas have caffeine too, but I have read that they don't work the same way as the caffeine in coffee, therefore you won't experience "withdrawals" if you were to stop. If you want to go caffeine-free completely, maybe hot water in the morning can still provide the same soothing effect as coffee??

    • +8

      Caffeine in tea is the same as coffee, there's just less. Teas like matcha provide subjectively different effects because the caffeine effect is mediated by high theanine content, which is also in black tea but at much lower levels. Hot water will not do anything to stave off coffee withdrawals but may replace the vague feeling of it, much like vaping and smoking.

      • +1

        Analysis of 97 different Espresso drinks in Queensland found an average value of 106mg per serve. The range varied enormously (25mg to 214mg).

        An average cup (237 ml) of black tea packs 47 mg of caffeine but can contain as much as 90 mg.

    • Same. I did engineering at uni and my friends were so dependent on coffee & redbull.

      There was this one year I did a couple of all nighters during an exam period. I tried coffee one night and chilled water the other night. I liked the taste of coffee but felt that drinking chilled water (and splashing it on my face a few times) woke me up better.

      I also drink coffee as evening dessert, or sometimes before going to bed. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • +92

    Software programmer here. If I stop caffeine, no code will come out.

    • +10


      • +5


        if caffeine is not in belly:
        # Comments are the only thing that come out.

        • /*
          No caffeine
          Added a comment

          • @colossus: Can I copy this code for hackathon?

            • @dajackal: Ha ha ha - be my guest. :-)

              • +2

                @colossus: SELECT * FROM users WHERE clue > 0

                0 rows returned

                • @tamerg: I'm a DBA so I'm afraid I've seen that one before! :-)

                  But thank you :-D

    • +48

      You must be Java developer!

      • Well played.

        • +2

          Thanks, I guess it was my Just-in-time compilation ;)

  • +6

    I was having insomnia issues and my doctor recommended that I cut back my caffeine intake. I went from 1x Espresso (from Killer Coffee Co, so advertised/expected higher than typical caffeine content) + 2x Pepsi Max /daily to cold turkey.

    I actually found it surprisingly easy, I had expected the worst. There was a couple days of headaches, but they passed quickly and weren't anything that panadol couldn't handle.

    Did 3 months of zero caffeine, made no difference to my sleep, so I now consider myself "caffeine avoidant" - I'll occasionally have a coffee or tea (I'm drinking a green tea right now) but it's days, or even weeks, between drinks. Don't think it's made any noticeable difference to my overall health but I'm happy to keep it up for whatever un-noticeable differences there may be. I have regular bloodwork every 3 months, and my vitals are steady in all categories.

    • -5

      Most people don’t realise Green tea has more caffeine than black tee

      • +4


        Green tea contains less caffeine than black tea — about 35 mg per 8-ounce (230-ml) cup, compared with 39–109 mg for the same serving of black tea

        • +4

          You’re right
          Checked again turns out some kinds of green tea has more caffeine than black tea (…horrible in fact)

          • @CandyMan: "Kinds" of green tea??

            Green tea is a type of tea that is made from Camellia sinensis leaves and buds that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong teas and black teas.

            • @wisdomtooth: What an attitude
              This is a friendly forum, go bother someone else

              The more complex (and complete) answer is that the amount of caffeine in green tea varies from type to type, and green tea can contain anywhere from 12 mg of caffeine to 75 mg of caffeine, or even more for some types of matcha green tea and other powdered green teas


              • +1

                @CandyMan: That green tea with 75 mg of caffeine is a Starbucks concoction. Sticking to the more natural teas on that list, the highest is Stash Tea Dragonwell Exotica Green Tea, with 47.8 mg.

                • @smartazz104: I’m not an expert but my initial comment was based on a green tea I had at home that had double the caffeine of the black tea. Was horrible. I never tasted a green tea after that
                  Now I realise not all green teas are equal

  • +10

    I've been drinking 1-2 espresso based drinks every day for the last 7 years. I stopped for 2 weeks a couple of years ago and felt the same. I stopped for 2 weeks this year and felt no difference. Maybe I'm lucky.

    Why quit? Unless it is interrupting your daily life?

    • +1

      I have done similar a couple of times, and have been drinking coffee since my mid-teens and now in mid-30s. I got headaches for a couple of days the few times I stopped for a couple of weeks, but I didn't feel any different not having coffee, so haven't had a break in years. My consumption has gone down a fair bit since covid hit. I only ever have two a day when I am at home (double shot espresso based each), where as I found I'd need a lot more to get me through a day in the office.

      I'd imagine a lot of people saying they feel better coming off V, Red Bull Monster etc is as much to do with significantly reduced sugar/colourings/whatever other nasties are in those.

    • +1

      Everyone is different. Personally I drink probably 2 or 3 coffees a day, I love coffee, it is a passion. That said I can not drink it and suffer no side effects, similarly for whatever reason I can have coffee right before bed and have no trouble falling asleep.

      Then you have people like one of my friends, quit coffee and said he dealt with mild headaches for probably 2-3 weeks before it went away.

    • Well if you feel the same when you stop, why start up again? :)

      • Because it is a passion. Taste, process of making it is relaxing

  • i did it for about 18months.. just went cold turkey. I was never THAT big of a drinker of caffeine though, only tend to have 1 maybe 2 cups of coffee a day

  • +18

    Imagine waking up in the morning knowing that's as buzzed as you're going to get today. What a way to live.

    • +4

      I've never been a coffee or tea drinker. I've only ever had a sip of coffee (it's ok - nothing special) and 1/4th of cup a tea (it's just flavored hot water - disgusting).
      I survive the day on a glass of nesquik and then just bottles of water.

      I just assume because I've never drunk coffee, I've never needed it to function. I just wake up and go. A bit of water on the face during a shower will wake you up easily.

      • +5

        What if this whole time you’ve been running at half speed. Without caffeine.

        • +4

          Then Usain Bolt better watch out when I decide to take the red pill.

      • +1

        "1/4th of cup a tea (it's just flavored hot water - disgusting)."
        add sugar & milk

      • +1

        A glass of Nesquik still has Theobromine in it. So you can’t say you’re completely clean.

        • +2


          Maybe that's my secret. To be fair I could live without it. I just love a good choccy milk.

  • +1

    I have since 2012, the headaches will quickly go and you won't notice any difference.

  • +1

    I usually have one in the morning and another in the afternoon. No big deal for me if I don't have it, just part of my routine, more so for the taste rather than craving that caffeine hit. Though ages ago when I worked in a Cafe as a part time thing during Uni days i'd have multiple a day…. nowadays not so much. As long as you don't have an excessive amount of coffee, it shouldn't cause headaches etc.

    • +3

      I am definitely not perky and I don't drink coffee unless someone else is buying or making it for me. Am I still trustworthy?

  • +23

    I used to have 4-5 coffee's per day. now just one in the morning. the others got replaced with beer.

    • +2

      username does not check out

  • +3

    2 a day. Have quit before - terrible headaches for about a week. Then all good :)
    I like drinking coffee though, so I'm back on it.

  • +1

    When I was in the office before, I used to drink 4-5 coffees/day during meetings. I've been doing this for many years. For the past 18 months, I've been at home and barely even think about coffee. I have the odd coffee here and there, particularly on social occasions, but I don't have cravings or anything.

  • +1

    Yep, had a steady onset of insomnia which i correlated to drinking caffeine, resulting in lower and lower quality sleep and an increased dependence on coffee to get up in the morning.

    Tapered off coffee over a week, put up with feeling crap all day and eventually it got better. Feel far more energetic than i ever did on coffee.

    Just like anything it's a drug and withdrawing from it is tough but it's worth it. I now focus on getting at least 9 hours sleep a night to clear the backlog of sleep deficit.

    • I drink a lot of coffee: about a cup every 90 minutes 12 hours a day, most days.
      It used to be 16 hours a day, and never affected my sleep until after I gave it up for a month. Then a single cup would result in a restless night.

      I now cut out the coffee a few hours before bedtime. I reckon I must be so dosed up I can't imagine it makes a difference. I reckon it's mainly in my mind, so I'm just trying to summon the willpower to believe I can drink coffee at night again.

      But your saying you feel more energetic without coffee has me considering giving it up. I never considered that coffee might be the cause of my lack of energy. I never liked the stuff anyway. It just seems like a suitable after meals and between meals and with snacks beverage, I kinda can't imagine life without coffee.

  • +1

    Timely topic.
    I quit alcohol 100+ days ago but I don't feel excellent so just make more changes 1 at a time.
    I'm on day 2 no caffeine, usually drinking 1-2 energy drinks and Pepsi Max during the day. It makes me on edge and I think it's affecting my sleep.

    Pepsi Light has no caffeine so can still have a Pepsi fix.

  • +1

    I moved to a country where the coffee was rubbish - I tried it for a few months then gave it up when I fell ill with something else - so I did feel terrible but I was going to feel terrible anyway. I picked it up again once I came back to Aus.

    • +1

      I thought the twist was going to be that it was Australia.

  • Haven't tried but will attempt it later on, currently on 2 coffees a day and I get cranky if I don't have one first thing in the morning.
    Went cold turkey on the cigarettes 10 years ago but I suspect caffeine will be way harder

    • coffee is so much more common and affordable than cigs. the temptation is literally everywhere.

    • +1

      Wean yourself off the milk, then the sugar or visa versa. You'll eventually realise it tastes so crap you'll gladly give it up.

      Source: I gave up milk as a child, and sugar as a teenager. I'm currently in the "this is disgusting" phase - about 30 years of black coffee. I Expect to be giving up any day now.

      • Congrats on the progress. I have only reached ditching the sweetener stage 20 years ago. I might try stopping the milk soon. On track to give up the coffee when I'm 100 being fed through a tube. By then it won't matter if I'm constantly grumpy - it will be expected

      • Damn you sound miserable.

  • +7

    Drink alot of water, should help with the side effects.

  • +1

    ….good luck!

  • +12

    I think every teenager with an anxiety disorder should quit drinking caffeinated beverages for a few months as a first step. I'd also recommend teenagers that say they only need 4 hours of sleep try sleeping longer as well. I'm only mentioning this because I'm surprised how many people are surprised by these recommendations.

    • +4

      Agreed, the correlation between coffee culture uptake and increase in anxiety and insomnia goes hand in hand. This and electronic devices/social media creates a perfect storm.

      • +2

        Coffee is causing my anxiety too??

        I've been trying to convince myself that coffee has no affect on me, and I have no reason to give it up. I think this thread might be going to change my life.

        • +1

          Caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety. It won't cause anxiety, but it'll give it a boost afaik, and from my experience.

    • Would you include tea in "caffeinated beverages", I drink a few cups of tea a day so I'm kinda wondering…

      • +3

        I personally felt negative effects from the cups of black tea (with milk and sugar) I started drinking during an emotionally difficult part of my life, but I couldn't definitively say it was the tea's fault or that I wasn't uniquely sensitive to caffeine, tea, milk, sugar or large volumes of liquid. I don't regularly drink tea/coffee.

        It's been theorised that tea's reputation of having a weaker "caffeine-typical-effect" per suspected caffeine dose when compared with coffee may be due its natural content of L-theanine, which has been studied for its anti-anxiety effects. The natural doses in tea (ranging from 30 mg to just a few mg) are considerably less than the L-theanine doses used in clinical trials though (100 - 200 mg), and it's difficult to hypothesise the cut-off ratio of L-theanine to caffeine that would still have an anxiolytic effect. Milk may further reduce the absorbed L-theanine content, nullifying any anxiolytic effects.

        It could be worth skipping tea for 2 weeks to see if there's a noticeable difference towards the end.

    • +2

      As a former teenager who extolled the virtues of my sleep-deprived life, it's enjoyable for a few years but from 22+, I've discovered I really need either 7-8 hours or a mid-day nap to function. If someone told me at 19 that I really should be getting more sleep, I'd have shrugged them off because I really did feel okay, but age catches up to all of us eventually.

  • -1

    Coffee is just too much effort unless someone else is making or buying it for me. I'd rather just drink water with lemon.

  • Yes, I do it at least twice a year and then get back to it moderately. First day after is usually when the fatigue kicks in. Massive headaches are either later in T+1 or T+2. Digestion issues start on T+3, along with hydration perception (the feeling of being always thirsty). That's the worst of it, at T+4 I'm usually much better and feeling great by T+5. I stay like that for a few days/weeks and then very moderately bring the coffee back in diet.

  • +3

    There is tons of research that shows caffeine can have positive effects and coffee actually has health benefits, but obviously there are limitations and must be responsible.

    • +6

      I've heard that this type of research is actually sponsored by big corps. Dunno if it's true though.