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Fitness Skating and Training Forum Discussions about on-skate and off-skate training, hydration, sports nutrition, weight loss, injuries, sports medicine, and other topics related to training and physical fitness for skaters.

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Old October 29th, 2007, 07:16 PM   #1
Jessica
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Default Time to Kill the Caffeine Monster

After a particularly rough bout of post-too-much-coffee panic, I've decided to seriously try and cut down a bit for the sake of my sanity. I started drinking coffee about two years ago, and even though it's been fun I'm tired of getting the shakes and having the crash. My teeth aren't nearly as white as they used to be, and that sucks. I feel like I have to be amped to have a good time, which echoes every other evil addiction.

Mind you I don't want to cut it out entirely, because from what I've read it's not so bad in moderation. I used to drink a cup of green tea a day, and I was just fine with that.

Has anyone else ever try to quit/cut down on the caffeine? How did you do it? Did it work?

Also, has anyone ever tried acai? It's supposed to be natural energy, antioxidant, etc... I was thinking about using that to try and replace the caffeine.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 07:27 PM   #2
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Good luck. I've tried a few times, but have had no success. I work in a gym, and we have all kinds of stimulant drinks. It was even worse for me when the drinks had ephedra in them. That was awesome energy.
I'm addicted to Diet Coke. It's really bad too. I probably drink 8-10 a day.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 07:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
Also, has anyone ever tried acai? It's supposed to be natural energy, antioxidant, etc... I was thinking about using that to try and replace the caffeine.
Ooo, don't replace one addiction with another one, huh? I mean, coffee is natural...

I think you would just need to taper off. On a normal day, if you are drinking 6 cups of coffee (or equvalent), then for one week just stick to that, and don't binge. Then the next week, go to 4 a day, and then maybe down to 2 a day.

It could be tough because you will have to listen to your body when it says it's bedtime. And if you usually had a couple before a workout, it might be hard to feel as pumped up for the workout.

I think that if you go cold turkey you might have a headache for a week. :-)

I get a decent placebo feeling from decaf. Decaf usually still has some caffeine in it, but less than the real deal. So some days in the morning when I feel like I want another cup, I have decaf and I'm good.

Just my opinion. Good luck. It can be tough to resist when it's there, so do your best...
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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:42 AM   #4
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I hear you loud and clear on this one, Jessica, and it is a subject near and dear...

Like yourself, i was a big coffee drinker, but i've changed my ways. Now i drink a lot of tea instead which is not nearly as caffeinated, and i drink coffee only before a competetive group skate session, which is twice a week for me.

With Black Tea, i can drink about six to eight cups a day and get only 240 - 300 grams of caffeine, spread gradually over the whole day. I drink it with Very Vanilla Soy Milk, which gives me a little calorie boost at the same time. When i drank coffee, i was probably drinking about twice that easily (a strong cup of coffee has about 170 grams of caffeine).

Before i hit the trail with the speed demons, i brew up a small pot of coffee or do a double espresso (or two). I alsways make sure i have a lot of food in me becuase i hate the jittery feel if i don;t have energy to burn.

I am hardly the role model for low-caffeine intake, but perhaps you could try drinking tea instead. I know you like Very Vanilla Soy Milk, and that makes it very special, and the charge you get from it is much more subtle, but surprisingly, it is more apparent (i can feel what the tea does, but with coffee, it just knocks me right out of the ballpark). Green tea only has 15 grams of caffeine, so it probably is doing just about nothing. Black tea has three times that.

One note - with as much Very Vanilla Soy milk as i drink (24 ounces a day) with the tea, you really have to do a lot of exercise to burn off all that sugar. It is an indulgence i can only justify by not eating sugar the rest of the day, and by exercising like a madman.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #5
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Hey Jessica, as a life long coffee drinker, it seems to have little effect on me. When I did think about cutting it out...I went cold turkey and got some serious headaches. I believe that the popularity of drinking coffee, especially with the Starbucks and other outlets, that offer 30oz cups, contribute a lot to road rage. People who have low tolerance for caffeine have taken to drinking humongous cups of coffee and their systems can't handle it.

Just limit yourself to one 6oz cup in the morning for awhile. I don't think that should be too much to set your nerves a frazzle.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #6
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I'll say just quit it, cold turkey and all. You are young and in good shape so I'm sure your body can take it. Headaches will most likely not last for a week, but a day or two.

In periods I drink drink coffee every day, but only 1 large iced coffee (from DD in summertime) or a venti latte in wintertime. So I can't say I drink a lot of coffee, and I don't know how much caffeine that is, going cold turkey from that amount will get me a minor headache/dull feeling in my head for the next day and then I'm fine.

When off caffeine a side effect for me is also that I do not crave sugar (I know that you find that hard to believe) so for me its a double-win.

Then slowly I'll get back to drink my one cup a day - I honestly like the taste of coffee, I do not drink it for the buzz - and then some weeks later I'll totally stop any caffeine and sugar will follow.

So just make the decision to stop and you will stop, and keep sticking to what you decided, it is not harder than that.

Water and lots of it and herbal teas - I like anykind from Celestial Seasonings and they are natural 100% free of caffeine - hydrate you better anyways.

Good luck!
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Old October 30th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #7
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Jessica,

You are on the right track. What works best for you to kill the caffeine monster is something you most likely will find for yourself. You can probably guess my take on it so I won't go there. You are very correct on killing the monster and definitely now while you are young. I happen to agree with your saying of you feel having to be amped to have a good time is not a good thing or to put it more strongly, evil. If you can substitute tea that is an excellent idea, also if you can do coffee in moderation that is fine also but keep your feeling of that evilness, it is a quality many do not have or choose to ignore. I ignored it, I knew better, but I did all the wrong things and just by luck and advancement in medical science it did not take me out. Of course it did weaken me and now I have to work consistently to stay healthy and strong. Can't say fast skater yet, but I'm working on it. The great thing about you doing this now and recognizing it, (ok, you are also a genius besides being an extremely great skater) is that when you stop it now you won't have the kidney and colon and heart damage when you are older. I know some will say coffee does not give you heart damage but any stimulant that is excessive works your heart improperly which over time causes heart valve problems and many other issues. Ephedra is a classic example.

You are awesome in coming to this realization and you will kick it.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 01:44 PM   #8
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I love to drink coffee so I am going to recommend that the best course of action is to drink more coffee...not less.

(Clinical Reference Systems. May 31, 2007)

How does caffeine affect the body?

Caffeine affects many parts of the body:

* It stimulates the brain and makes you feel wide awake, energetic, and better able to concentrate.

* It makes your heart beat faster.

* It helps muscles to work better.

* It aids digestion by increasing the amount of acid made by the stomach.

* It stimulates the kidneys to make more urine.

What happens if I have too much caffeine?
(nevermind about this part)
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Old October 30th, 2007, 02:41 PM   #9
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Try mixing your regular brew with decaf.. about 75/25 or even a 50/50 mix. Slowly add more decaf to the mix to reduce the caffiene withdrawl sytoms. Be prepaired for a horrible 3 day long headache if you quit cold turkey.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 02:54 PM   #10
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I'm one of those people that has to get up at least two hours before work and have an entire pot! Since I've done this routine for 16-17 years the only way I was able to cut back is to find something else to do in the morning. Since I'm doing the P90X now in the morning I only have time for one cup! By the end of my workout I'm more awake than I ever have been with coffee.

The rest of day I drink green tea. I've always liked green tea and fortunately the coffee at my work is terrible.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 03:04 PM   #11
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Birgit is right Jessica - you've got to take the plunge. You are a paltry caffeine user compared to what I was in "my day" (about 4+ months ago LOL). My day would consist of 4-6 Pepsi's and 1-3 shots at chocolate. I was taking in a ton of the stuff.

There's no better way than to just completely stop. And let me tell you, you'll feel like total crap for a couple days - you may get nasty headaches and body aches. But it will pass, and you will feel better. It's really bad stuff to have in your system.

Nowadays I don't drink pop except on the rare weekend occasion, and when I do it's caffeine free pop. I still indulge a bit in chocolate, but it is such a small amount that the small shot of caffeine does not affect me.

I say you go for it, you know you will feel better - you already are sick of its' effect on you. You can still do caffeine-free coffee if you want.

You're a fit person, an athlete - you don't need the stuff. I don't miss it, I don't need it to wake me up. Like Phwaap, I do my P90X in the morning and that gets me revved for the whole day - but even on off days, I don't need it.

Good luck!
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Old October 30th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #12
Birgit
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Default A Man in the Coffee Beans

After all this coffee talk, what do I get in my email just now? A bunch of coffee beans or at least a picture

Try it - or not

A man is hiding in the coffee beans. The amount of time it takes for
you to spot him depends on how the right half of your brain is working.
Check your time before you start looking...

Doctors have concluded that if you find the man in the coffee beans in 3
seconds, your right half of your brain is better developed than most
people. If you find the man between 3 seconds and 1 minute, your right
half of the brain is developed normally. If you find the man between 1
minute and 3 minutes, then the right half of your brain is functioning
slowly and you need to eat more protein. If you have not found the man
after 3 minutes, the advice is to look for more of this type of
exercise to make that part of the brain stronger.


And, yes, the man is really there!!! keep looking, wait about a day and try again !

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Last edited by Birgit; December 20th, 2007 at 09:38 PM.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #13
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Jessica

We clearly all think differently about this matter. I feel really lucky just to be around so far with good health to drink anything. I've known 80 year olds who have lived on coffee. Their doctors told them to cut back on coffee but the docs died first so what did they know. No skate trail is complete unless there is a coffe stop at the end.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 04:04 PM   #14
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OK...I finally found the guy in the coffee beans. That little bast@rd. Took me about 15 minutes. I need another cup of coffee.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
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OK...I finally found the guy in the coffee beans. That little bast@rd. Took me about 15 minutes. I need another cup of coffee.
Sorry it took so long, he is cute though, esp his nose Took me 15 sec. but then again I'm female, just proves the point about the superior gender, ey!
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Old October 30th, 2007, 04:23 PM   #16
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Thanks for all of the responses! I should have mentioned that I don't really even drink that much coffee - only one cup per day. I know, I know - you're all thinking whaaaa??!! But it really affects me that much - especially on days like yesterday when I got plenty of sleep the night before, and had a really excellent workout. Those factors combined with coffee always send me reeling, and not in a good way. I feel like as long as I get a good workout, I'll have enough energy for the day. Cutting out coffee then should be a great motivator right?

Like I said before, I don't want to cut out caffeine entirely because of the reasons skaterdog listed. If I didn't have such adverse effects to the stuff (like feeling panicky), I probably wouldn't give it up. However, it happens enough to make me say "I don't want to do this anymore".

What's ironic is that I worked in three different coffee shops as a barista when I was younger and barely touched the stuff Usually went for the tea instead.

I started out today with some green tea, and I feel pretty good. A friend that just quit caffeine cold turkey recently said the second day was the worst.

Birgit, what does it mean if you don't find him at all??!! j/k, it took me less than a minute
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Old October 30th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #17
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Birgit, what does it mean if you don't find him at all??!! j/k, it took me less than a minute
See this just proves my point about superior gender and all (ups I can feel it coming my way and all the he-men out there is just waiting to get back at me... )

Lets make a statistic - and ladies - of course only post if you find him in less than 1 minute I don't want the excellent statistic to crash
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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
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See this just proves my point about superior gender and all
Nah, it just proves that you and Jessica are more attracted to bald men than skaterdog is. :-)
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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
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And, yes, the man is really there!!!
About 4-5 seconds once I really looked. No kidding.

I used to drink a LOT of Diet Mountain Dew. Close to 2L a day at max. A 24oz cup in the moring and 1-2 of them through out the day.

Gradually tapered back, now I'm drinking 1 12 oz glass in the morning.

My theory was I was avoiding the 'sugar' by drinking Diet soda.

Water's better. I don't seem to need electrolytes as much.

I'm a programmer, and the increased mental functioning is one of the huge benefits, of course.

I think the craving is genetic too, my parents drink 1-2 pots a day, although it's weak.

You get headaches from either stopping OR starting Caffeine; it has to do with the change in capilary pressure in the brain.

I have this great book "Licit and Illicit drugs" by Consumer Reports I use for my writing - the chapters on Caffeine and Alchohol are great.

Edit: Jessica, I can't really relate to your issues with caffeine, about the only ill effect I get is the headaches if I change my 'dose' or sometimes at night I'll get a 'leg twitch' that makes going to sleep hard. Cutting out Mt Dew after 8:00pm fixed that. When I'm on all nighter binges I'll consume up to a 12 pack a day, and sleep like a baby the next day. Then again, I'm a hard core user But some of those symptoms are scary!
== John ==
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Old October 30th, 2007, 06:03 PM   #20
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Took me less than a second to find the guy and would have been quicker but had to scroll to see the entire picture. So I guess we need to rethink the superior gender question. Of course it was easy for me because I only have a right brain.

Jessica, that is actually very good news that you respond so negatively towards caffeine. First is that it shows you're heart and brain are in excellent shape. Second, is you won't get hooked on the stuff.
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