Lowered tolerance for caffeine

It seems as my tolerance for caffeine is lower now than what it was for a couple of years ago.
Previously i drank 5-6 cups of coffe a day. I have reduced my caffeine intake to increase sleep quality and have had it ok with 3 cups a day for some years now. Last cup at 1300 (1pm).
The last 6 months i tend to have symptoms of over caffeination if two cups are within 2 hours of eachother, and sometimes just by one cup. I get “coffe-adhd”, Jitters and loss of focus. This does not affect sleep. I do not consume any hidden caffeine in food etc.
If taking caffeine while working out or racing the same symptoms occur. My garmin hr monitor does not show anything out of the ordinary.

What could the reasons be for adjusted caffeine tolerance?
Do I just quit coffe for a while or is this a case for my doctor?


I mean…you take in less caffeine, and you became less used to it. Is that really a surprise?

I’ve also found my own caffeine tolerance has dropped with getting older.


When I started focusing on sleep quality and quantity, my caffeine tolerance and/or need for caffeine was reduced. It just seems to hit harder the more rested I am. You mentioned reducing caffeine to improve sleep quality, so if your sleep quality did in fact improve then I’d guess this is why you too feel it more than you used to.

Had the same as I aged. You could try 12 oz caffeine coffee in the morning. Then, use decaf afterwards. Decaf is not really no caffeine but just minimally.

It almost sounds like you want to solve this so you can go back to consuming more caffeine. My question is why? If you don’t feel the benefit then simply consume less. If you love the taste and ritual of more cups of coffee then there’s always decaf.

Admittedly, I’m probably biased in this in that I’m not a coffee drinker. I enjoy it in small amounts, but beyond that makes me feel overstimulated as you describe.

I’ll use caffeine in racing but what I’m really looking for is the mental reduction of RPE which I get just fine with a low dose since I don’t have a tolerance.

I don’t feel as if taking 200mg during a race for someone with a high tolerance vs 50mg for someone with a low tolerance results in any difference to relative performance.

I dont drink coffe primarily for the benefits of caffeine. I really like my coffee, and decaf does not taste as good. I want to solve this so i dont get jitters from just 3 cups a day.

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That’s fair. I have no insight into how to address whatever metabolic change is driving it, but half caffeine coffee also exists and there are much wider selections of that plus more premium decaf options you can find online or at more specialty stores.

In my experience grocery stores have a very limited selection, there are likely options that taste much better.

No idea how to solve this physiologically. Would be amazed if you could. Some people aren’t affected by caffeine while others are sensitive to it. My brother in law and mother in law can drink coffee right before bed and sleep fine. I’ve never been able to do that and have gotten more sensitive to it over past 10 years.

I now drink one caffeinated coffee in the morning then switch to decaf as I love the taste of coffee. More than one caffeinated coffee and I get the jitters.

I’m lucky that our local roaster has a decaf that tastes as good as caffeinated but I agree, it’s really hard to find good decaf beans. My suggestion is to keep trying decafs from roasters you like until you find something you enjoy.

Good luck!

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Go for complete abstinence. I used to be big into coffee with the high end espresso machine and everything. I believed I needed it to keep performing the way I was used to in exercise/training and work. I have quit for about a year now and it’s clear that it has no impact on focus or anything like that. It’s true that when you never take caffeine and then you begin it, it stimulates you, big time. But after a while, all it does it’s offset withdrawal symptoms and make you feel ‘normal’. You would need an ever increasing dosage to keep getting its original stimulating effects. Do you really want to live your life on low powered stimulants? Sounds a bit crazy when you step back and consider it that way.

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Crazy talk - blocked and reported.

In all honesty - I love coffee and the rituals around it. Not giving it up, but I am caffeine sensitive. I am fine if I drink the in the mornings, but if I have caffeine past 2pm, it effects my sleep.

So I drink my 3 cups of full rage in the morning and switch to decaf if I have an afternoon cup.


I will try to find some better decaf and take it from there. I am not prepared to give up coffe just yet

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