Any help for coffee addiction?

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bonnieUK
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Any help for coffee addiction?

Post by bonnieUK » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:02 pm

I currently drink about 3-4 cups of strong coffee a day, which to some may not seem like much, but I think I have a problem. The good thing is I generally avoid coffee first thing in the morning as I don’t really need it (I’m a morning person, it’s the afternoons and evenings that get me!) but by about 11am I usually need a pick me up. I also don’t have it with food as I find it isn't good for digestion. So my coffee drinking is primarily in the afternoons, and I’ll avoid it after 8pm so it doesn’t disturb my sleep.

Should I quit completely? Or should I just try to limit myself? (e.g. somekind of coffee cup "ceiling†:D)

Reasons to quit (or at least significantly cut down)

• It often makes me feel flustered, confused, forgetful and easily overwhelmed by having more than a few things to do.

• It often makes me unable to prioritise effectively - I spend far too long doing un-important tasks or just procrastinating because I can’t decide what to do next.

• It stains my teeth.

• Too much makes me irritable and moody.

• It’s addictive and addictions are unhealthy!

Reasons I find it difficult to quit

• I love the taste of good, freshly brewed (from freshly ground if possible) coffee – decaf just isn’t the same, and neither are those cereal/grain coffee substitutes.

• I enjoy the caffeine hit and there’s no denying it!

• It gets me through those energy slumps in the afternoon.

• It makes me more productive on occasions where I have one major task ahead and don’t have to think much or mult-task (e.g. some house cleaning jobs, the odd afternoon of routine typing, data entry or filing).

• Its my only treat – I don’t generally eat sweets (both because of No S diet and the fact that sweets don’t agree with me), don’t drink alcohol, and eat a simple vegan diet, so good coffee is really the only luxurious thing I have.

• I work in an office where there is always a fresh pot of coffee on the go and everyone around me is drinking it like water (I wasn't even a coffee drinker until I started working in an Office!).

• Tea and green tea are healthier alternatives which I enjoy sometimes too, but they often make me feel a nauseous (especially on an empty stomach).

Anyone else in the same boat? Any suggestions would be most welcome! I’d also love to hear how others have dealt with this problem.

Thanks for listening :)

ThomsonsPier
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Post by ThomsonsPier » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:46 pm

It doesn't sound like much of a problem to me; unless your caffeine intake is affecting your sleep or contributing to high blood pressure, or you're pregnant (or thinking of becoming so), your level isn't harmful (as far as I'm aware).

If you do want to cut down, do so slowly by reducing your intake over time unless you enjoy headaches. These, however, will quickly yield to an analgesic and/or a small dose of caffeine.

Instant coffee contains about half the caffeine of brewed coffee (but tastes awful), black tea contains roughly half that and green tea half(ish) again. Tea also contains tannins which can cause a lack of energy, especially if used to replace coffee, because you'll suddenly be playing havoc with iron and calcium transmission in the blood. The lack of either of these can lead to increased muscle fatigue, which you'll feel all the more because coffee tends to reduce it.

Reading back over this post, it seems that I need some form of system to cut down on the use of parentheses.
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reinhard
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Post by reinhard » Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:47 pm

I drink at least 3 cups a day and don't view it as a problem....

If you're worried, just do a "glass ceiling" of say 2 a day. Giving up completely seems like a crime against the soul. I can't believe that the balance of giving up a great pleasure vs. gaining some small and dubious health benefit is remotely worth it.

And from what I've read, coffee is actually very healthy. It's full of antioxidants (one of the leading sources of antioxidants for Americans, apparently) and FIBER, believe it or not (hell it's a bean, I guess that's not so strange).

Coffee has historically kept some disreputable company (like cigarettes) so I think it's got this bad boy reputation that isn't quite deserved. I actually like the bad boy feeling (especially since there's no actual harm), so for me that's a plus.

Reinhard

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bonnieUK
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Post by bonnieUK » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:25 pm

Giving up completely seems like a crime against the soul. I can't believe that the balance of giving up a great pleasure vs. gaining some small and dubious health benefit is remotely worth it.
Thanks Reinhard

I've never thought of it that way, but that seems like a great way to think about it. I guess with all the other restrictions in my life I think I should allow myself to indulge in some nice coffee!

I think I'll give the glass ceiling idea a go and try and stick to 2 per day. I've also set myself a rule that I'll only drink nice, real coffee - no point using my "allowance" just to drink some nasty instant rubbish or that stale old sludge that get's left at the bottom of the pot :D

I've also been reminding myself how it's sensible to choose quality over quantity / convenience anyway. My Grandma had a rule to only drink tea that was made "properly" in a pot from loose tea (and it was the best tea I've ever had!). She was quite good at the whole moderation thing acutally, she ate chocolate every day, but only 1 or 2 squares, drank gin with every day but stuck to just one etc. The indulgences she had were all about quality over quantity (perhaps she developed her moderation habits from war time rationing).

And thanks ThomsonsPier for the info about tea, perhaps that's why black tea often makes me feel nauseous and groggy, I'll think I'll just stick to my favourite green tea when I want something lighter than coffee - memory of my Grandma's tea make it difficult for me to enjoy it anyway unless it's good quality, pot brewed and preferably served with cake :D

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reinhard
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Post by reinhard » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:51 pm

Some (cautiously) pro-coffee links:

From:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articl ... 4AAAB7965E

A traditional eight-ounce (237-milliliter) cup of coffee could contain as much as 1.5 grams of fiber and 3.2 cups nearly five grams of fiber. But, of course, a "cup" is relative these days. A "grande" (medium size) cup at Starbucks, for instance, is 473 milliliters (or 16 ounces) and could pack as much as three grams of fiber, about the same as a raw apple and 20 percent or more of the average American's daily intake.

From:

http://www.physorg.com/news6067.html
Coffee provides more than just a morning jolt; that steaming cup of java is also the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Scranton (Pa.). Their study was described today at the 230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

"Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close," says study leader Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at the university. Although fruits and vegetables are generally promoted as good sources of antioxidants, the new finding is surprising because it represents the first time that coffee has been shown to be the primary source from which most Americans get their antioxidants, Vinson says.

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bonnieUK
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Post by bonnieUK » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:06 pm

Hi, Just an update to the coffee thread, found another article that supports the coffee is good for you argument! (this claims it can be good for teeth)

http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/ng ... -teeth-for

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Post by gratefuldeb67 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:35 pm

I am gonna drink coffee till the end of my days :)
LOL
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Post by MerryKat » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:02 pm

I have a thyriod condition which does not allow me to drink too much coffee, but I still enjoy a cup with at least lunch and dinner. I have given up drinking cheap instant and rather enjoy quality coffee, but moderation has to be the key for me.

I gave up coffee for Lent this year and it has been interesting, I really miss my 2 / 3 cups a day.

Enjoy your coffee - if it helps you maintain your No S habits it has to be a benefit.
Hugs from Sunny South Africa
Vanilla No S with no Sugar due to Health issues - 11 yrs No S - September 2016 (some good, some bad (my own doing) but always the right thing for me!)

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reinhard
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Post by reinhard » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:47 pm

Thanks for the link, BonnieUK!

Between my coffee habit and no sweets (and no snacking!) it's no wonder my dentist is so impressed.

I wonder if I can get the american dental association to endorse No-s :-)

Reinhard

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bonnieUK
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Post by bonnieUK » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:32 pm

MerryKat wrote:I have a thyriod condition which does not allow me to drink too much coffee, but I still enjoy a cup with at least lunch and dinner. I have given up drinking cheap instant and rather enjoy quality coffee, but moderation has to be the key for me.

I gave up coffee for Lent this year and it has been interesting, I really miss my 2 / 3 cups a day.

Enjoy your coffee - if it helps you maintain your No S habits it has to be a benefit.
Well done to you for giving up coffee for lent, only a few more days to go!

I'm also quite sensetive to caffeine so have to watch my intake - I'm trying to stick to 2 cups a day, sometimes 3, if I have more than that I feel jittery. Until now I've been having proper ground coffee, but have just come accross an instant one which actually tastes very good, so I'm having that at the moment (Clipper organic brand http://www.clipper-teas.com/cgi-bin/ct. ... P=0&f=2297) I sometimes have Clipper decaff instant at work too, which is also surprisingly good.

I've also given up tea completely, even green tea - which may seem weird as so many people say green tea is amazingly healthy, but I find that it doesn't agree with me so much (can make me feel sick) so cutting that out reduces my caffeine intake and allows me to enjoy coffee more :) (which my stomach seems much happier with).

I've also discovered Dandelion root coffee which I got from the health food shop, I like that in the morning and after dinner. It tastes somewhat similar to coffee (and is ground up and brewed in the same way) but I think it's a nice enough drink in it's own right too (it has a slightly sweet, malty taste along with coffee like bitterness).

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bonnieUK
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Post by bonnieUK » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:36 pm

reinhard wrote: I wonder if I can get the american dental association to endorse No-s :-)
Thanks Reinhard! Dental health is definately another advantage of No S, especially if you brush your teeth after meals to alleviate the temptation of snacks and seconds :D

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Post by roseha » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:17 am

Giving up coffee for Lent!!! I'd rather give up meat forever (seriously).

I remember having acid stomach in my early 20s and having to give up coffee temporarily. I did have quite a withdrawal :) But it seems to generally be considered okay now. though not for pregnant women.

And at least you can have it with a little milk only and keep to Nos.

KTina
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I quit coffee last year

Post by KTina » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:00 pm

I was a coffee addict for 18 years (age 13-31). I started the Shangrila Diet, which totally made my lose my taste for coffee. I am no longer doing the Shangrila, but I am SO THANKFUL that I lost my taste for coffee, I had been trying to quit for 2 years.

. It did take 3 days to detox, then about a month to get used to the even flowing equilibrium moods, getting used to life wihtout the super high I got from it and becoming a more relaxed person in general.

I no longer wait in lines at Starbucks.
I no longer judge a city by how many Starbucks stores there are.
I am no longer tempted by all the fattening treats at Starbucks.
I no longer spend money at Starbucks that should go into my 401k.
I don't think about buying $190 espresso machines.
I sleep better.
I don't have horribly fluctuating moods where my well being depends on the next caffeine hit.
I no longer turn to a cup of coffee when I feel anxiety or depression, I face the problem.
If I am tired, I take a nap. Often for 15 minutes in my car on my lunch hour.
I no longer stay at someones house or vacation and have to make a special trip anywhere to get coffee at any time of the day.
I am not jittery.
I do not have to pee 28 times a day.
My teeth are whiter.
My organs are not being burned from the inside out by the acid of the coffee.

I say, Go for it, get off coffee; it takes a month or two to totally adjust, but the feeling is overall MUCH better.

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