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Feb 24, 2009 07:45 PM

Resetting your caffeine (coffee) tolerance

Having been a longtime coffee drinker, I've come to the conclusion that the same exact brew of Joe simply doesn't have the same caffeine kick it used to have for me.

I'm thinking about going cold turkey from all (or nearly all) caffeinated products (coffee included) to reset my body's internal caffeine reservoir and tolerance.

My thinking is 7 days.

My understanding is that caffeine has a half-life of 5 hours. So I figure 7 days should be plenty.

Anyone else try this?

If so, does it work?

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  1. Ipsy whipsy,

    I went cold turkey on 20 cups a day, and I swear it was worse than giving up cigarettes. The headaches, the mood swings, the jones.


    I gradually cut down over a year to 1 morning java, the only caffeinated bevvie I drink. But on the rare occasion I don't have it, I feel think-headed and stupid by mid-afternoon.

    1. Purple goddes is right. Only do this gradually.

      I was your proverbial caffeine addict until I had the wreck and broke by back. I was in the hospital for a looooong time and they didn't allow me as much coffee as I was used to. I thought I was going to have a nervous break down. The withdrawal was terrible.

      1. It should take you a week. That week is not going to be a fun time. Once the withdrawl is over you should, in theory, be as alert off caffine as you were on. Don't know how long it will take to build the tolerance back up once you start drinking it again. My guess is not very long.

        1. I once quit cold turkey and had no ill-effects - I had previously begun my daily coffee drinking ritual before leaving the house for work in the a.m. and continued throughout the day until 5 p.m. quitting time. But! I think I'm an extreme rarity in that regard. All others that I've known have experienced headaches, slugginess, etc.

          After about 3 years, I began to drink coffee again, and depending on the coffee blend, grind, and other nuances, I generally have to limit myself to 2, maybe 3 cups or suffer shakiness and sometimes an upset stomach. So Yes, I think you can "reset" your tolerance. Don't know if 7 day's would do it.

          1. cafeine withdrawl headaches are the worst. Don't do it cold turkey. A couple times over the last 20 years I've forgotten to have my coffee for one reason or another. About 12 hours after waking up, I have the worst headache.It often takes me a little while to figure out why. A couple TB of instant coffee in cold water (need to get it QUICK) and 20 minutes later I'm all better.