Bryan Kam

I'd never heard a convincing case for giving up caffeine, but this could be an interesting one. Has any habitual coffee drinker experimented with stopping? What were the effects?

@bkam what turns medicine into poison is dosage.

For a moderate daily drinker it's probably a good idea to not take it one any caffeine an undemanding day.

@ykgoon Yes worth a try definitely! I'm curious about its impact on creativity.

@bkam I only managed to stop for two days. By the second day I was completely useless, between the headaches and the inability to keep mental continuity.

@machado Haha that's what I'm worried about. I do love the taste as well. But I have gone days without it, maybe not as productive, but not memorably awful either.

@bkam The headaches supposedly go away after a few days/weeks, but now that you made me think about it I'm a bit worried about long term effects. Mainly that it enables bad mental hygiene habits.

@machado How do you mean? Just that it's addictive full stop?

@bkam We already know it enables staying awake longer than you should. It's possible that developing a habit of focusing on things for long periods too often could have adverse long term effects.

@bkam @machado I quit for six months. The first week is brutal. Step down consumption slowly and take something for the headaches. Afterward though I have to say I did not notice a huge difference. I eventually went back to drinking coffee. Though I did drastically lower my overall consumption, 5+ cups per day to 1-2.

@bkam @machado caffeine and other stimulants do put your brain on rails a bit. Maybe the creativity effect is worse if you are sensitive to caffeine.

@bkam stopped drinking coffee before Christmas. Went cold turkey. A couple days of withdrawal but then fine. Now I’m back to drinking it, but only on days when I write and only between 0800 and 1000 (to sync with circadian rhythm). It’s much better. Also of note:

@msweet In what way is it better would you say? I drink 1-3 cups per day probably.

Also, thanks, enjoyed that piece. How's the breathing going?

@bkam I notice the effect more, and I enjoy it more. Instead of being something which I consume mindlessly, I’ve become more deliberate about it. Also discovered I’m less reliant on it than I thought I was.

@bkam When I was younger and not a daily coffee drinker, I would get much more powerful and interesting effects from coffee--borderline psychedelic.

I think limiting to maybe 2 days per week is a good threshold for not developing too much tolerance.

@rustyswarf Yeah I may taper off and do an experiment. I've drunk it since uni really.

@bkam I quit coffee & soda for about 4 months, switched to tea, drank a lot of tea, recently inched back up to about a cup of coffee per day. I have found it extremely hard to quit caffeine entirely. I find it fights fatigue and helps me focus, and I have found it only impacts creativity to the extent that excessive quantities bring on jitters and anxiety.

@richard I agree. It seems to mostly have positive benefits. The past week and a half I've been aiming to write 2000 words per day. I do not find that if I have my first cup of coffee at the 0, 1000, or 2000 word mark makes much difference to how good the writing is, but it does affect how quickly I can do it.

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