Quitting Coffee

After learning about the fast and slow metaboliser genotypes this week I’m considering quitting coffee as it’s my only real source of caffeine. For my genotype A/C, it seems it doesn’t even help time trial performance. For people (like my partner) who are C/C, a study showed it hurts TT performance. I’m wondering about all the masses of caffeine ‘health’ studies now - the results are possibly invalid overall. Maybe those all need to be redone by dividing participants into the 3 genotypes too.

I’m mostly interested in what it’s like to feel daily without using a stimulant every morning. Will energy levels return naturally. Steadier mood? Happier? What exactly would a life without coffee be like.

Anyone quit coffee completely and got any insight? Is the withdrawal period that bad?

sips coffee before ride

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This is a bad idea. Let’s be honest, drinking coffee for the caffeine is missing the point.

Coffee. Tastes. Delicious. Oh, and it’s a food group. :wink::coffee:


I don’t know where you’re getting your information but there is no simple genotype for fast/slow metaboliser and clear cut performance. There is a matrix of multiple genotypes, some major, some minor. There’s also a genotype that seems to confer sensitivity to caffeine and it’s effects. All of this has to be assessed in combination. If this one genotype is your justification for what you’re trying to do then it’s not a really good reason. It might still be a good idea to quit caffeine but then again, coffee tastes goooood.

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Ban the OP from forum (And possibly Earth) for suggesting this! :joy::joy::joy: I drink 7-10 cups a day and sleep like a baby!


I quit coffee in January 2018. I did it slowly, weening down to a half cup per day, then switched to tea, and weened it down to herbal teas and zero caffeine. Took about 3 weeks, but I never had withdrawal symptoms. Before quitting, I drank at least a cup a day, everyday, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for about 2 decades. Literally, zero missed days.

My motivation for quitting was to improve general health, especially sleeping. It was easy for me to fall into long cycles of coffee in the morning, beer or wine in the evening. I figured I would be better off letting my body have a natural circadian rhythm, not daily uppers and downers. It was part of a broader effort to live better—worth mentioning that I’d just turned 40 in 2017, so it was kinda like a midlife crisis (but really more of a midlife course correction, which cycling and TR are now part of, too).

What did I achieve? My sleep improved qualitatively—but I still wake at 3am many nights (ahem, like right now). I’ve drastically reduced alcohol consumption. One benefit that I under appreciated beforehand was the reduced cognitive load of thinking about needing coffee every morning to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. It’s nice (especially on weekends, when traveling, etc.) not to worry or even think about when and how I’m going to feed the addiction beast. Yes, it’s a very small thing, but I have a million things to think about and remember on a daily basis—I’ll take one less anyway possible.

I stayed at zero caffeine for most of 2017, but have added it back in selectively, prompted by other caffeine discussions here. I’ve found it helps reduce my RPE, so I have a strong cup from my moka pot before tough sessions. Usually that means Saturdays, which is perfect.

I love coffee, but I would not go back to the daily dose days. I agree with others that your stated motivation for quitting seems suspect/weak/insufficient. But I encourage you to go for it anyway. Only when you’re “clean” will you be able to do some self-testing to see whether coffee improves performance. And you might discover unexpected benefits. Plus, it’s so easy and tasty to go back to old habits. So, go for it and tell us all what you discover!


I did quit coffee for about a month although it was unintentional. The only side effects I had were frequent headaches, every 2nd or 3rd day but I put that down to less water being consumed and just overall my body being stressed, went through some changes that were huge shocks to my system.


Life’s too short to give up something you enjoy.



I quit cold turkey about ~2 months ago (but not for the first time). Withdrawal wasn’t that terrible apart from the first couple days of headaches and general sleepiness. Your mental and physical states will definitely adapt to their previously normal/natural state. Life goes on, you aren’t going to die!

I’ve since gone back on the coffee train but after the break my desire for it has been greatly reduced. Most days I’ll have <2 cups/day but it’s no longer a necessity.

I believe the studies are looking at the health benefits of the coffee bean, not caffeine. A person can be adverse to caffeine but still accept the benefits of antioxidants etc. As well, there is a difference between health and performance.

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Not sure I understand the concept. Quitting coffee? Why not water, eating, or breathing?

All kidding aside, I take a home-brewed latte in the morning, and maybe an espresso after lunch - I’m seriously puzzled by that thread about cafeine half-life.


Couldn’t, won’t, perish the thought.

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I never used any form of caffeine until my mid 50’s Plenty of energy and early morning trainer sessions. These days I have one cup of coffee, maybe several cups of tea all decaf. I’m very sensitive to coffee. I have quit the coffee on one occasion for about a month, and didn’t really miss it after 2 days of headaches. I restarted as part of a intermittent fasting program–one cup in the morning (black) and no food until after noon. I suggest trying it and giving yourself enough time to see what it’s like without the coffee. Then you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

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I basically quit drinking coffee at the beginning of this year. Being a computer nerd I used to convert coffee to source code (computer program).

My motivation was totally different than yours. I read the book “Why we sleep” by Matthew Walker and stopped optimizing my body to handle less and less sleep. I accepted that sleep is a good thing and that I am more productive when I have slept good. As suggested in the book I first started to drink coffee only before lunch, then after a while I stopped completely.

Turns out I am falling to bed earlier than before the change. My body now has a chance to tell my brain that it wants to sleep. I am also waking up in the morning without an alarm clock at the right time and I feel great. For me it was a good decision and I will stick to it. People around you are the biggest problem, they often can not accept that one does not want to drink a coffee. I am not really really strict about the no coffee rule, when I had a bad night (yes that happens with three kids < 5) I something drink coffee in the morning. But never after lunch.


The effects of quitting coffee depend a lot on your tolerance/sensitivity to caffeine, and the amount you take. 3 espresso shots are approx equivalent to one large cup of filtered coffee in terms of caffeine (approx 120mg). If you take that amount, you probably will have no reaction to stopping, unless you are particularly sensitive. If on the other hand you take 4 large coffees per day, well, that’s another story altogether.

My suggestion for someone who wants to reduce/eliminate coffee: switch from filter to espresso. If you took 4 cups of filtered coffee, replace them by 4 short espressos, at the same time as you had your coffees. Then cut one.

The other method (which my wife did, she likes filtered and wanted to reduce) - do a half-half mix of decaf and regular coffee. Brew with that.


Enjoy my coffee too much. I have a Jura coffee machine I purchased some 7 years ago, it’s been serviced regularly and had a recently complete overall at Jura UK. One of my best investments.

I like my morning cuppa, some one hour after waking, I fill my flask cup for my arrival at work. Saves me a fortune on Costa coffees and I think its superior :wink: Enjoy my frequent cuppa before bed too, find it doesn’t affect my sleep unlike my partner, she won’t touch the stuff after midday. During the day I sometimes have Nescafe, Holland& Barrett various green teas, enjoy all but not as much as my proper coffee.

Couldn’t give it up, coffee ground correctly and prepared right so it’s not too bitter or weak can’t be beaten in my book… Believe it’s all about the grind and not the caffeine :wink: freshness of the roasted (one week I like) Get mine from http://www.coffeebeanshop.co.uk and of course adding no pollutants! e.g, sugar, milk, cream, syrup… but each to their own.


You mean you keep soiling yourself and waking up crying?



My blood type is coffee


Don’t get too caught up in a zero tolerance approach to anything health or diet related. I’ve been there and done that and too often its either unsustainable or doesn’t seem to present any benefits for the cost.

It’s easy to dismiss, but the more I experiment with things, the more I’ve become a fan of the “anything in moderation” approach.

I recently cut back on coffee. I’ve been drinking it for the last few years just because I like it, not for any stimulation and not because “I need my morning coffee”. But in an attempt to improve my sleep I thought I would try cutting back. It hasn’t really made a difference to my sleep but I’ve noticed that my stomach is a lot more settled than it used to be, something I’d previously attributed to excess sugar rather than coffee. I used to have 5 or 6 cups throughout the day, from 9am to 10pm. Now I just have 2 in the morning between 9 and 11.


Gave up coffee five years ago and will never go back. Have had a bit of Afib and the coffee helped trigger it. After I gave up the migraines I’d had for years went away. So I have good reason to stay off it.

Other thing that happened were better sleep patterns, no three o’clock slump and no jitters

The downside was two weeks of headaches and two months of low energy.


Two. Months.

Seriously? Low energy for that long? That’s rough, not sure I’m up for feeling lethargic for a prolonged period. Was hoping to get more energy and flatter over the whole day.

Today I had just one weak coffee in the morning. Wasn’t enough, mood is low and had crappy tension behind my eyes.

Tomorrow will try having one stronger coffee and see if that’s enough to get me feeling good and won’t have another unless maybe it’s in my water bottle for a long endurance ride with little food.