Yesterday I listed 50 reasons why you should quit caffeine. Hopefully today you are feeling really motivated and ready to give it up.
The first time I quit was horrible! I was in bed for 3 days with an awful headache and I was so tired I was sleeping 15 hours a day. I also had almost a constant craving for a cup of coffee. I felt really deprived and miserable and frustrated. So when I decided to quit for good, I did some research first. I did not want to go through that again! I started by researching amino acid therapy. Here’s what I found out in a nutshell.
Amino acids are the building blocks of neurotransmitters in the brain. The best amino acids for caffeine withrawal are Tyrosine and DLPA (phenylalanine). Caffeine gives us a temporary lift by sending norepinephrine into the blood stream. Over time, healthy levels of norepinephrine are depleted by caffeine and other factors… if not replaced. Phenylalanine does a great job replacing this major neurotransmitter, reducing or eliminating the desire for caffeine.
I tried Tyrosine first, and it made me sort of jittery and weird, so I switched to DLPA and the results were amazing! I took two 500 mg capsules first thing when I woke up. I felt full of energy and my brain fog cleared. I made a pot of coffee like ususal, and poured a cup. I started getting ready for work like I do every day, and I completely forgot about the coffee. It sat on the bathroom counter until I got home from work that night and poured it down the sink.
The next day the same thing happened. I made coffee, and just had no interest in it. It smelled great, and I poured a cup, but only drank a few sips before I just didn’t want it anymore.
At work about 2-3 o’clock I usually have another cup or two of coffee. So I started taking two more 500 mg capsules of DLPA at around 1pm. My office is right next to the coffee pot, and it smells delicious. So I poured a cup and took a few sips. But I didn’t really enjoy it, it didn’t taste particularly good, and I ended up letting it get cold and not finishing the cup.
That was 2 months ago. I never got a headache. I never felt fatigued or exhausted. I am sleeping so much better. I can think more clearly, and that “mental fog” I used to get are gone. I ended up using the DLPA for a week, and anytime after that when I felt a craving for coffee. And the best part? No PMS ladies! Let me repeat that because it is so totally cool. No PMS!
At home I purchased a large bag of herbal coffee. The brands I like are Dandy Blend (who knew roasted dandelions could taste so good) and Teecino. If you do buy Teecino, beware that the flavored varieties (vanilla, ameretto etc) are very strong! I also have a whole lot of herbal tea. It is winter here in Michigan and sometimes you just need a hot mug of something to hold onto 🙂
If for some reason you don’t want to try amino acids, or if they don’t work as well for you, there is another option that works very well.
Replace just one Tbsp of your coffee grounds with an herbal coffee substitute. Drink this for 3 days.
Replace 2 Tbsp of your coffee grounds with an herbal coffee substiture. Drink this for 3 days.
Gradually increase the amount of herbal coffee, until you are drinking zero caffeine. This will slowly get you “off the bean” and also allow you to get used to the slightly different taste of herbal coffee. I actually like the taste of Dandy Blend a lot (it contains roasted barley, rye, chicory, dandelion and beetroot) and you make it in the coffee pot just like you normally would. It has no bitterness or acidity and is delicious.
I know you’re thinking that you could just drink decaf right? I thought that too. I did the geeky research for you:
The decaffeination process uses either Methyl Chloride or Ethyl Acetate to remove 97% of the caffeine, while leaving the other chemicals at their original concentrations. Lets not forget about the herbicides, pesticides, fungicides that are sprayed liberally on these plants. The only coffee that is generally safe to consume is by companies that use the Swiss Water Bath method. This method uses long water soaking and carbon filters to remove 97% of the caffeine. I would also buy Certified Organic and Fair Trade coffee beans. Beware of the price! I have a 12 oz can of this coffee at home and it was $13.56! Ouch!
For more information on amino acids check out Julia Ross online. Her books The Mood Cure, and The Diet Cure are really helpful for anyone with any kind of addiction, including sugar and alcohol. Amino acids are also very cheap. My bottle of DLPA was $11.00 for 100 capsules. Good luck! You CAN do this!
P.S My friend at work just quit her 4 a day Diet Coke habit with DLPA. She has replaced it with 4 bottles of homemade Kombucha a day! Much better choice 🙂