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Thread: Tea/Caffeine issues- cycling caffeine. Help needed. page

  1. #1
    mikekola's Avatar
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    Tea/Caffeine issues- cycling caffeine. Help needed.

    Primal Fuel
    Hi All,

    I already briefly introduced myself in the "Meet and Greet" section, but let me again say Hi to everbody. I've been reading this forum for quite a while, and finally deciced to join it.

    Hopefully I might sometimes be helpful to others, but now it's time to ask for your help...

    I've been sort-of primal for the last 10 months or so and have been very strict about it- at least the diet part. Around 60lbs came off, making my weight "normal" and BF around 18%. So nothing really special for now, but I'm very happy about it, comparing to how I was before. I originally started with Davis' "Wheat Belly" and over the first month or two, read a lot more about Paleo in general- it made me look at the primal blueprint closer and adopt the rules. My carbs are usually around 100g/day, occasionally higher, never lower.

    Overall, I'm very happy with my results and lifestyle, if it wasn't for one "small thing"... I can't seem to make up my mind about tea/caffeine consumption. And it's not just my mind playing tricks on me, but my body- I'm absolutely sure. The point is:

    Over the last 2 years, I've been constantly switching from drinking 3-5 mugs of green/white tea to drinking nothing. The average "cycle" time takes a couple of days, up to 2 weeks. The first couple of days of tea drinking I feel "great", "wired" and all the caffeine buzz. After a few days, as I get used to it, I become more sleepy, lethargic, unmotivated and finally feel... not really well. Also, at lower level, every cup/mug of tea makes me wired but...too calm/sleepy at the same time. So this is when I decide I want to quit. And then- 3 days of mild withdrawal, but with headaches and overall fatigue, and after that I'm "fine"... not for long. Another couple of days and I want to feel the "buzz" again and be more energetic, so I brew my tea again...
    I know that sounds insane. But it's not just my mind, I swear I can feel my body either wanting caffeine or qutting it.
    Let me stress again- that happens every week or so, for the last 2 years. So... it's high time to say enough to it.
    I'm pretty sure that's "primal-independent" and also happened on the "standard" diet. It began when I indulged in real, high quality tea more. I used to drink a couple of tea bags infusions and never paid a lot of attention to it.

    Of course- there's a lot of thinking going on whenever I tend to switch. I read into varous research showing:
    - Bad influence of caffeine on insulin sensitivity
    - Green tea health benefits
    - Rooibos benefits (that's what I drink when not drinking green/white teas)

    As mentioned before, I only use high-quality organic green and white teas (comparably easy to obtain in Poland, as "real" tea is popular here).

    Being very sensitive to all the signals my body sends, I also tend to notice the following when doing switches:
    - Caffeine makes me really "wired"... tea is OK or more than OK, but with Espresso, it's just too much. I'm never going to handle coffee, so switching to it is not an option
    - Sleep: it's not bad, but- ironically- it's better when drinking tea. I definitely can feel L-Theanine action.
    - When getting OFF caffeine, 1-2 first days mean unusually huge appetite for me... any cellular-level changes related to energy going on? I swear, that happens every time...
    - With no caffeine, my mood is stable, I would say "too stable" so I crave more "happiness".
    - When drinking tea, I get very mild, but noticeable, GERD symptoms (diagnosed a couple of years back), without tea- they're non- existent.


    This issue has been probably the last serious lifestyle issue I need to take care of, before considering myself "primal", so any help is appreciated
    So now, long-story short: what's going on here? Should I play heads or tails and finally decide? Or maybe get a psychiatrist appointment? Now seriously: anyone have similar experience? Maybe 1-2 weeks off caffeine is not enough and I'm constantly addicted and that's why I always get back?

    Thanks!
    Michal

  2. #2
    Owen's Avatar
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    Trying to get off tea and coffee myself as well. I notice that its much more easy to do this if I am excersising regularly - so my body has the stimulant of excersise instead of the caffeine. Not easy though, I agree!

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    I have the same experience, plus in addition, I notice sleep disturbances after a week or two of coffee/tea drinking. In the end, I am trying to avoid it all together now, with maybe a cup a week on a particular hard morning.

    But, what I noticed, green juice or broth give me the same energy boost (if not the 'pump') without the negatives. Ideally, I wish I could start my days with a glass of green juice and have a cup of broth in the 2-4 pm window.
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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    Hi Leida,

    Good to know I'm not totally alone with "cycling" caffeine use, LOL
    For the energy- I don't think it's really about the need to add *energy*, but rather- extra happyiness/optimism, well, maybe some energy.
    Not that I'm grupy and lazy when I don't consume tea, it's just- when I re-start tea, I feel extra-great and I miss this feeling when I stop. I mean literally- my body is missing that feeling, it's deeper than just psychological reaction.

    For any non-caffeine food/beverage, I can't really observe any significant energy improvement or decline. I wish a juice or broth worked for me the similar way without the adaptation effect.

    So getting back to my point: what's your opinion on that? Is it worth pushing forward caffeine-free for longer period to see what happens?

  5. #5
    Leida's Avatar
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    Oh, I am very much in favor of dropping caffeine & trying to get there eventually.

    Did you try freshly squeezed green juice or just boxed juice? Fruit juice from the box does nothing for me either, so I don't drink it. Even freshly squeezed lemon or lime is good.
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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    mikekola's Avatar
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    I hardly ever drink boxes fruit juice anyway.
    Vegetable boxed juice, with no sugar added, is my treat from time to time.
    Squeezed are good, but again- they're not going to give me any kind of buzz, and that's good.

    What would Ray Peat followers say to my issues? Can I be considered "caffeine-sensitive"?

    As the matter of fact, I envy the people- majority of the ones I know and spoke about it- who can say "I can't feel any green tea effect on me"... Coffee is a no-no for me, but I'd really like to green tea for health benefits, but with the beverage clearly getting me exhausted, I have this trouble...

    Michal

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    Have yourself the 1 cup of Tea after your "Breakfast"
    Then, try to avoid Tea, until your next short break.
    Keep your mind occupied and it shouldn't be a problem.

    After a good Breakfast, focus on the day ahead with some Green Tea.
    Give yourself a afternoon break with some Black Tea, Milk and Honey.
    Turn it into a ritual, one that helps start, and carry on the rest of your day.

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    Leida's Avatar
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    As the matter of fact, I envy the people- majority of the ones I know and spoke about it- who can say "I can't feel any green tea effect on me"... Coffee is a no-no for me, but I'd really like to green tea for health benefits, but with the beverage clearly getting me exhausted, I have this trouble...
    Same here. I was actually surprised that I do better without, because of all the health benefits. But it does impact adrenals, so the delicate hormonal balance is probably upset. So individual....
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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    Since I discovered my histamine intolerance and cut coffee completely, I also discovered just what a profound effect the caffeine was having on me. Before I cut it, I had been a 3-4-cups-per-day drinker for like ten straight years. The first few days coming off of it were hard, but now that I'm off, I have SO MUCH more energy, I never get slumps, and I'm sure my sleep is about a billion times better. So, I'm a big believer in caffeine taking a heavy toll on your body. I think some people can have it every day without problems, but not me. I'm like an alcoholic; I can't just have a cup of coffee, I have to have five cups. Now I do one decaf Americano a week as a treat and leave it at that.

    I was never a big fan of tea, but I've gotten pretty into the concept of herbal tea because I needed hot beverage at my desk at work. I like energizing spice and herb blends, like ginger, licorice, clove, mint, etc. And I drink a lot of nettle tea, again because of the histamine thing, but it also seems to energize me quite a bit.

  10. #10
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    You could try yerba mate as well. It has more caffeine than tea does, but less than coffee. I'm not too sure why, but I definitely feel less jittery and wired on the mate than I do on either coffee OR tea. It's a smoother hit that doesn't leave me feeling uncomfortable or on edge for sure.

    Also, if you like the effect of the l-theanine, you could try a suntheanine supplement without the caffeine in it.

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