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A Funny Little Experiment: Can Coffee Really Be That Bad for You? : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Friday Aug 3, 2012 | BY |
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is coffee good for you

I love coffee.

I love the taste.

I love the smell.

I love the sound of it brewing.

I love espresso.

I love single shots.

I love double shots.

I love red eyes — a shot of espresso in my coffee.

I love the buzz.

I love the laxative effect.

I even love the fact that I love coffee.

In fact, I used to drink 3-4 monster cups of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee back in college. That must have been 48 ounces or so a day.

Mmmmm. Coffee.

But times changed.

I quit coffee almost 10 years ago. I honestly can’t remember if it was easy or not, but I do know that I didn’t think of it too much or even laid my lips on a cup — until about 4 months ago.

I was at a cafe with a friend and he asked if I liked espresso. At that time, I’d only tried it once, so I told him “no, not really.”

He followed up by asking me if I wanted to try this particular one. It was one of the best.

So I thought about it.

I’m always willing to try something once. I’ve also been known to experiment with my health from time to time. Maybe you’ve read about my escapades in the past.

“Yes,” I said, “I’ll try it.”

And it was good. Really good.

And this began a 90 or so day experiment that I had been curious to start for quite some time.

My 90 day (or so) coffee / espresso experiment.

The espresso was so good, I decided that I would do an experiment I had been processing in my head for a while.

I would drink coffee or espresso every day for 90 days and see what happened. Not just any coffee, but organic and fair trade — which I had never had before when I was younger. I told myself I would stop if I saw outward signs of it not being optimal for my health and would continue drinking it if I got my blood tested in 90 days and everything was perfectly normal.

I was looking for signs of adrenal stress, mood, skin, eyes, hair or anything else that told me I was going down the wrong path.

I told Annmarie about this and she laughed, “good luck quitting once you start.”

Why do something so against my previous stance on coffee?

Look, I haven’t been nice to coffee since I quit 10 years ago.

It can create an acidic environment in the body. It can stain your teeth. It can wreck your adrenals. I know all this.

But what I really wanted to know was a theory that I hinted at above:

Is there a difference between the coffee I was drinking before (the convenience store variety) and the amazing artisan coffees and espressos available here in Berkeley.

Could drinking fair-trade, organic, super-quality coffee be any different?

My theory was that it might be.

Eating organic vegetables is better than non-organic vegetables. Local, farm raised eggs are more nutritious than mass produced egg look-alikes.

So was this coffee better — for me and for my health?

Let me share what I found out.

The biggest concern of mine when I started the experiment wasn’t about my health, it was my will…

What if I liked coffee so much that I couldn’t quit?

I’ve produced a full program on cravings, but what if I couldn’t use it myself to break my own experimental habit. Let’s be honest, I wasn’t experimenting with heroin here, but I still had some significant fear going into it. A fear that I would revert to a cigarette smoking, coffeehouse junkie (you’ve seen him.)

Why would I bother to do something like this and risk my own great health, or even the adrenal health that I had built back to near optimal?

Even after the experiment, I can’t answer this. I guess it’s because of two things.

1. I like to take risks.
2. I like to know for sure.

So I convinced myself that it would be a good idea and told myself that I would quit if I saw signs of poor health and that I would use the techniques in the program to do so. (Click here to check it out)

I also told myself that I’d trash the program and give everyone their money back if I couldn’t use at least one technique in the program to kick it. (Seriously.)

So is coffee healthy?

I was intrigued by the stories of the people living on the Nicoya peninsula in Dan Buettner’s book “The Blue Zones.”

They drink coffee — plenty of it — and they’re some of the longest lived people in the world. (Please note, the men also seem to be quite unfaithful, but that’s not an experiment you’ll see me diving into — I am somewhat sensible.)

As you may know, coffee does have antioxidants and there is an occasional study that comes out praising its health benefits, but I’m not into that sort of media/research back and forth. All I’m saying here is that there is research.

But, when I saw evidence of a long-lived culture who was doing something that was not making them so acidic that they succumbed to modern illness — as many health experts would make you think coffee would do — I made a personal note to attempt an experiment of this very nature.

Am I from Nicoya or Costa Rican?

No, of course not. I’m a very pasty, white man.

Does it matter?

It probably does, considering how my experiment turned out, but I didn’t want to consider genetic differences here. I just wanted to know if organic coffee — this time around — was something I could drink or not and still be healthy.

A week in.

Nothing spectacular.

I realized that I liked espresso more than coffee. It had more flavor, didn’t give me much of a buzz and I limited myself to one shot a day. Sometimes I’d order one shot and it would clearly be two. On those days, I definitely got more of a wake-me-up.

I was enjoying exploring the different flavors as well…

Some are sour, others creamy. Some are thick, others less.

I preferred stronger to not and more creamy than sour.

There was a place on along my walk to work I would stop at and then I was on my way.

Two weeks in.

Much of the same.

Three weeks in.

I decided I would upgrade to a double shot espresso. Why? I wanted to up the concentration a bit and see how my body responded.

I think, looking back, this was my fatal mistake.

One shot has kind of gotten pedestrian for me. It didn’t give me the buzz that I was craving when I woke up anymore. So I wanted to see if two sustained it.

It did.

I started to crave espresso every morning. Warning sign #1.

Four weeks in.

I tried drinking coffee sporadically. I would switch up between espresso or coffee and see if there was any difference.

It wasn’t as good as espresso, but I liked it.

I started to notice that if I had the coffee, my hands would get clammy and cold about 15-30 minutes after starting to drink it (an adrenal response.) Warning sign #2.

Five weeks in.

I’m still on coffee or espresso. Annmarie tells me that my eyes seem bloodshot.

I made it a point to check every day to see if they still are.

They are.

Warning sign #3.

I’m beginning to see that I need to stop. I wonder if I can. I love it.

Seven weeks in.

Around this time is when I really started to know this wasn’t going so well.

I got out of the shower one day and looked at my hair. It seemed more frizzy and brittle than usual. I passed it off as maybe just the weather, but something inside of me knew it wasn’t. The weather here doesn’t change. It’s either sunny and 70 degrees or cloudy and 60 degrees. Sometimes rain, more often not.

I asked Ann if she noticed a difference and she did.

So now the warning signs were adding up. Cravings, clammy hands, bloodshot eyes, dry and brittle hair.

What I didn’t mention was that somewhere along the lines I also was having a little trouble getting out of bed. My hands also started to ache a bit when I was typing — something that had never happened before.

All signs pointed to…

Quitting.

But I didn’t right away.

I knew my experiment had been a success. I had learned that no matter what type of coffee I drank — it still wasn’t for me.

Just like my chocolate experiment, this one proved that my adrenals are not wired well to handle stimulants — even though I tend to love them.

I drank coffee for another two or so weeks. I even decided — since I knew I was going to quit — that I would get a red-eye a few times in the morning (which is shot of espresso in my coffee.)

That really whacked me out.

But I didn’t mind. I just wanted to go out with a bang. To make my last few times the best they could be, since I knew I would be done and likely never do an experiment with coffee again — maybe never even taste it again.

There’s a lot of internal emotional turmoil when you think of things that way.

Weening doesn’t work, replacement does.

I knew I couldn’t ween my way off drinking coffee. Teasing yourself never works for quitting. Cocaine users can’t just take a little. It’s all or nothing.

So what I decided to do was replace my coffee with something else to ease my way out of it.

And that’s what happened.

One morning, after about a week of telling myself that I was going to quit, I had a cup of green tea.

The next morning, green tea again.

I did this for a week, then one morning I woke up and didn’t have any green tea.

I made a tea with nettles and holy basil.

I did this for another week and the experiment was over.

Success?

I think so.

I haven’t had or thought about coffee since I re-quit, until I started to write this article — but even now, I don’t want a cup or a shot of espresso.

In a period of about 8-9 weeks, I had experienced a decline in my own health enough to realize that coffee, organic and fair-trade or not — for me — is no health food.

(NOTE: During the experiment I tried coffees from all different companies and all different places around the globe. While some were different in flavor, they all gave me similar symptoms.)

The aftermath…

To prove that the coffee was actually causing some of those warning signs I monitored my eyes, hair and adrenals for the next few weeks.

It took about 3-4 days for my red eyes to clear up. My hair started to get it’s shine back in 1-2 weeks and my hands and fingers were no longer clammy and cold. My hands stopped aching as well.

In this short period of time, my body had adjusted back to its normal, healthy self.

This was fun to see. I normally don’t see health results when I do anything, so seeing these change quickly before my eyes, was evidence that the body is still and will always be quite remarkable.

What does this experiment mean for you?

Nothing. It’s just a story about me and how I react to coffee.

It’s a anecdote that may or may not apply to you.

Was I silly to drink coffee when I knew that these results would be likely?

Maybe, but it was fun to do it.

What was important was that I re-identified symptoms of adrenal stress that likely many of the millions of coffee drinkers experience. If you drink coffee and your hair is brittle and dull, you have cold clammy hands, you have trouble getting out of bed, or your hands ache, you might want to try to give it up for a while and see what happens.

That’s the benefit to you — or anyone you know who drinks it.

But what I think it more important for me, is that afterwards, I knew that this really wasn’t about coffee. It was about re-learning the mindset it takes to actually quit something you really like, when it starts making you less healthy.

That was my biggest fear when I went into the experiment. Could I control my urges? In this case, yes. So I felt like I accomplished something while reminding myself of what you may be going through with your diet or health.

I take my healthy diet for granted.

I’m not programmed to eat healthy foods. I don’t eat crap.

This experiment allowed me to re-feel what it’s like to be doing something unhealthy for me and learn how to get out of that muck.

Powerful stuff.

What can you learn from it? It’s up to you.

Your question of the day: Did you kick coffee, or is it still something you love to drink?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

209 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Peg says:

    Oh my–maybe I should buy your Cravings-Free for life. I do like coffee and think about not having it–until the next morning. I feel like I have no will power, and you were able to quit just like that!

    About your program–it is only digital like everything else these days. I have so much stuff on my computer and I would like to have a CD to stick in my car or at least another room in the house. (I have no laptop–just desk top). Sigh–will think about it.

  2. dana says:

    How many cups a day did you have during your experiment?

  3. Lance says:

    This was a great read! I myself really enjoy the taste of good coffee/espresso… although i need the cream and sugar with it to REALLY enjoy it. I’ve done a similar experiment w/ myself and it likewise is always apparent that coffee/espresso is a major acidic hit on my body. I can feel my health go downhill if I start to drink it consistently.

    A great book for anyone looking for motivation to get off caffeine is “Caffeine Blues” http://bit.ly/NXWC2o

    I had given this book to a friend who was pretty hooked on coffee, they knew it wasn’t good for them but this book provided an ABUNDANCE of evidence about why they should stop. And he did! Now he’s a tea drinker! :)

  4. Fontrella says:

    Wow, I am glad you realized how coffee affects you. I am one that could drink coffee off and on. I might drink a cup about once a week or every other week. I guess I am not a coffee drinker.

  5. I’ve done this once before…it was just over seven years ago when I was pregnant with my first of my three babies. I still drank tea, so I can’t claim to ever have kicked the caffeine habit altogether.

    I am intrigued at the thought of doing this though, for the reasons that you listed in particular, to see if I “can” do it, I’ve always claimed to have no interest in quitting, but without giving it a shot how do I really know that I don’t want to quit? Might have to try this out…I think I’ll do a slower transition, black tea to green and then something not caffeinated…I love experiments! So yeah, but when? Not so sure…maybe I’ll start when we move in a few weeks…I’ll ponder that for a while and blog about it when I do it!

    • Gerry says:

      After attending a Natural Hygiene conference and hearing the down-to-earth wisdom of doctors who promoted health rather than treated disease symptoms, my spouse went “Cold Turkey” on meat, fish, fould, eggs and dairy. He also gave up his Scotch-on-the-Rocks and favorite beer. Cigarettes were a bit more difficult but eventually that bad habit was discarded, as well. But giving up coffee, my spouse soon learned, was absolutely the most difficult of all and meant “climbing-the-walls” for about 3 weeks straight before the “monster was tamed.”

  6. Cathy Hamilton says:

    I give up coffee, now and then, when I’m doing a few weeks 100% raw, etc., with no headaches now, unlike when I was younger and wasn’t vegan. Oddly, I find that I’m not the least bit interested in a cup on the days I go to the gym. I’d be interested in any feedback you have on that!

    Appreciate all that you two do!

  7. Henrik says:

    Ah.. coffee. I was coffee free for two years. Started drinking it again when I started working at a raw food café (!).
    Now I find a hard time quitting knowing how difficult it was the first time.
    I don’t feel the need for coffee to wake me up or to keep me going as it seems like some people do. It’s just the freaking taste of it that I can’t find anywhere else.
    I don’t know how many coffee replacements I’ve tried. None of them give me that wonderful taste. Especially since I don’t use any milk or sweeteners in my coffee.

    What I don’t like is the feeling that I’m kinda dependent on it. I know that if I don’t drink coffee I will feel terrible. And that’s not something I desire. I want to be free to choose.

    So I’m planning to quit some day again. I’m just not motivated enough right now.

  8. raf says:

    I’ve given up coffee for over a year. I started to notice how extreme the effects of caffeine are on me. My hands would shake and even after two days of drinking coffee I would experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms for 3 days. Fatigue, headache and then brain fog. I was a coffee drinker for years and I love the flavors and the habit, but it’s not good for me. My husband drinks about 24 oz a day and can sleep at night after a cup at dinner. Is that a problem or do some experience more negative effects than others??

  9. wendy green says:

    great post kevin. i quit coffee about 5 years ago (and honduran coffee is soooo good). i switched to macha green tea…just one cup and i love it. i did not put it together until i read your post,..but my hair is very shiny now, while as a coffee drinker my hair was dull… very interesting. i still have coffee, once or twice a month… always just one shot of espresso….YUM! enjoy life!

  10. Cat says:

    Thanks for being a guinea pig and experimenting at your own risk to share your experience with us.

    David Wolfe just did a webinar about coffee and alcohol. He shared that coffee and alcohol both of them create BAD ESTROGENS in the body and that leads to man boobs, and other things like cancer – however he mentioned that a pinch of sea salt in your coffee would counter the bad estrogens – break em up or something to pull them out of your body without staying in the body.

    Also COFFEE leaches calcium OUT of your bones. My mother and grandmother are big coffee drinkers – grandmother had horrible arthritis and my mother had 2 hip replacements – my brother is a huge starbucks fan and he had cancer – I don’t drink coffee or anything with caffeine it makes me jittery and anxious – I have zero pain in my joints and body and I also have high energy without any coffee or chocolate or alcohol.

    Don’t know if this is scientific fact or fiction but I am not a coffee drinker and I have not had cancer or any joint or bone issues. Just thought to share. But bad estrogens are not good regardless if your coffee is organic or not. Arthritis and degenerative bone issues as well as cancer are things I would like to avoid.

    I have to say I LOVE the smell of coffee and I LOVE the taste of coffee but I live happily without drinking coffee.

    Drink something that DE-toxifies you instead of Toxifies you like organic dandelion tea cleans out your liver or horsetail which increases the calcium in your bones nails and hair. Cleavers and plantain tea clears out your lymphatic system. A superior hot beverage that does something great for your flesh vessel. :-)

    PEACE

    • Andrew Krichak says:

      I love coffe! But I love it only if I brew it by myself in Turkish ( or Armenian) way. If a person knows how to brew it (it could be with garlick for example) I will also enjoy a cup. It should be brewed in Dzhezwa at least. Aroma and taste are intoxicating and delitious. I want to mention that only ONE CUP A DAY was (and is) good for me and I tried different varieties and experienced different negative effects. Today I may go without my morning cup (though I prefer not to) but if I brew it, I do it as a Process, and I will enjoy the Process and will enjoy my ONE CUP A DAY. Moderation is a must. And now I remember it. Good things could not be too many.

  11. Holly says:

    I used to drink about 24 cups of DECAF coffee everyday until I decided to put braces on my teeth in 2000. I stopped cold turkey, didn’t think it was going to be a big deal, wrong. I started using the elevator at work and drifting off in the corner (I was only going up/down 3 floors!!), fatigue was so bad that I ended up at the neurologist office and he ordered a brain MRI. I actually thought I had brain cancer. Still not realizing that it may have been from coffee stoppage life continued. By the end of the first year of no coffee, my symptoms were finally gone. Something happened ten years later that sparked my mind that what I had gone through had probably been coffee withdrawal.

    Now I typically drink coffee, one cup once a month, still decaf and no problems. In the summer less likely but in the winter more likely. Have been craving it lately so there must be something in it my body is craving. It’s been 12 years since the cold turkey quit and I am sure that it’s not the dependency that is returning. This too will pass…….

  12. Fred says:

    I have found that my body does not metabolize caffeine AT ALL! A cup of green tea at 9:00 a.m. means a semi-awake tossy-turny night 15 hours later. Coffee! Forget it! Learned this all the hard way, but my life sure improved when I finally figured it out.

  13. zyxomma says:

    I quit all coffee drinking about 18 years ago, when a naturopath with whom I studied told the class that, after tobacco, coffee was the most carcinogenic thing humans consume routinely. After learning that, I just couldn’t drink it. I switched (back) to jasmine tea, at first green jasmine, then white jasmine (white tea is the lowest in caffeine). All these years later, I’m still drinking organic jasmine white tea (Rishi is my favorite).

    A few weeks ago, I purchased a small bottle (I think it was nine ounces) of cold-brewed, organic, fair-trade coffee. It took me three days to finish it. (I like the fragrance and flavor of coffee, and I used to grind a few beans just to perfume the kitchen, but these days I use my spice mill only for spices, flax seeds, cacao nibs, and chia seeds — this grinder has never held coffee and never will.)

    Health and peace.

  14. christine says:

    An interesting read thanks Kevin.

    I have tried coffee once or twice in my life but I cant drink it myself – no matter whether fair trade, organic, cheap or expensive. I just hate the taste. Hate is a strong word but coffee is any form is totally yuck to my taste buds. I dont even like coffee cake or chocolates with a coffee flavoured filling. I am however always fasinated by the number of people who love the taste of coffee and wondered why I dont. I have in the past been asked if I dont drink coffee for religious reasons (i.e. caffee is considered a drug). Nope – for me it is purely a taste thing. Maybe my body is telling me something.

  15. This is a very interesting read… I lived in the Nicoya peninsula for just over 5 months this year and just got back to the states.

    The lifestyle is definitely different there and I learned a lot from living there! I think coffee smells great but i’ve never been a fan of drinking it at all.

    I think there are a lot of health factors that are completely ignored for some reason.

    Coffee may or may not be healthy, overall I believe that it is too stimulating overall to the body… But if people drink it all the time and are unaware that it’s labeled as ‘unhealthy’ then maybe this effects that.

    Thanks for the post!

    As they say in Costa Rica… Pura Vida!

    David

  16. Thanks for sharing your experiment and doing it in the first place. I’ve never been a coffee drinker but know many who are. I think I learn more from these many times then double-blind studies.

  17. I have been drinking coffee for quite a while and don’t get the part about it being hard to get out of bed. It has always been easy for me to get out of bed… you just have to know the obvious trick… which is to make sure your coffee is out of bed reach.

  18. Eileen says:

    Hi Kevin,

    This article was of interest to me because I have been wanting to give up coffee. I don’t drink espresso but I have found I have gone from one cup to two but two a day is all I have and i have them in the morning as it would keep me up if I had them later in the day. The reason I want to give up is not so much for the coffee but for the soy milk I have. I’m a cappuccino girl. I consider the soy milk more unhealthy than the coffee bean.
    So, I’m going to take your approach and substitute my coffee. I shall move to chai tea and other herbals. Besides, it is better for the wallet not to buy coffee…here in Melbourne it isn’t cheap to buy anymore.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, the health risks and your results.

    Eileen

  19. roger says:

    Kevin, how did you make coffee? We make ours using a coffee press and feel that it changes the flavor and texture of coffee.

    I used to be a coffee drinker a few years back and then quit. I drank dunkin donuts coffee out of a machine. Now I only use organic/fair trade with a press. I noticed that this coffee doesnt make jittery and keeps me even energetically – I dont get the crazy high or the nasty crash afterwards.

    I have also heard of raw coffee. Something similar to using a coffee press but using cold instead of hot water. I wonder if that would make a difference.

  20. DebbieM says:

    We are learning about the Genotype diet and for some genotypes coffee is a super food, for others it’s a toxin, still others it’s something to limit or avoid. I think this, along with many other foods and drinks, shows that many things aren’t meant for everyone and everyone has to figure out for themselves what to eat and drink….I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share what you learn….

  21. Tia says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I love reading about your journey!

  22. Kitty Wells says:

    Great article Kev! After 20 yrs in the Silicon Valley tech biz, I drank WAY TOO MUCH coffee. And was adrenal flat-line burn out for a while. This led me to a total deep-dive on wellness, and to develop Spice Elixirs! I’ve gone from tech exec to Spice Geek — please check out http://www.spicepharm.com We’re just getting launched, a step at a time. Will be in further touch! Love your newsletter!

  23. Manwel says:

    Kevin, you were doing quite well on one shot a day, things seemed to change when you doubled your dose. It seems like moderation is the key, same what happened with your chocolate experiment – you over-did it. I drink espresso or macciato about 3 or 4 times a week, and same with chocolate, without any ill effects. Maybe instead of stopping your experiment cold turkey, would have been interesting to see how you would have reacted to going back to having just one shot a day or even every couple days.

  24. Steph says:

    Awesome article! I noticed that coffee makes my insulin response poor. I would be normally ok with a high carb meal, but if I had coffee prior to the meal, I would get really bad blood sugar swings. Not to mention how coffee stains my teeth and wrecks my adrenalines.

  25. Gerry says:

    A coffee drinker since childhood, my spouse used to drink 2-3 pots of black coffee a day and sleep like a baby at night. Eventually after we switched to a Vegan diet and learned the detrimental aspects of coffee, that was dropped too. Now before the Vegan lifestyle change, steak and prime rib was a favorite. That was given up “Cold Turkey” (scuse the expression), along with a love of alcohollic beverages and eventually smoking. But giving up coffee was the hardest thing of all. It took “climbing the wall” for several weeks before finally getting the after effects out of the system…

  26. Cindy says:

    Eeek, like Mark Twain, I’ve “quit many times” …

  27. Jen says:

    Thanks so much Kevin for doing this & posting! I started up on coffee again as well because you hear its not bad if you have 1 cup and can be good for you…glad to hear your story!

  28. Art Martin says:

    I gave up coffee for about a year. Then I researched “health benefits of coffee.” Turns out they’re now finding out that coffee has benefits for the heart and brain, the darker the better. I buy “Organic, French Roast, fine grind, dark roast” from swanson foods.com. I mix it with chicory. It’s delicious and believe it or not, I’ve noticed more clarity……..Peace, Joy, and Love, forever…….

  29. faith says:

    I love this! Mainly because I have a love/hate relationship to coffee…
    Have you ever read about the benefits of people with type A blood? They tend to need more acid in their stomach. I did a test when I was coming off of being “raw”. If I ate sushi without coffee I would have a horrible time digesting. If I had a cup of black coffee before eating I would have no problems at all. My balance is using it as a tool. There are studies linked to coffee and people with ADD/ADHD. Supposedly, it is helping people focus..duh! So, when I really need to focus..even for two hours I will use coffee. If I need to digest something that is harder to handle than veggies, grains and greens, I will have a cup of coffee. It works wonders..but I am a type A bloodtype. I don’t know if this would work for everyone.
    If I have more than one cup I totally notice adrenal stress..so I am sensitive..but as a tool..it works!

  30. Lyn says:

    I drink one cup of ‘mushroom’ coffee every day. I LOVE coffee. I go on coffee holidays every once in a while just to prove to myself that I’m fine without it. But I always come back to my love.

    My mushroom coffee is madre labs’ instant coffee with reisi and cordyceps.

    Every once in awhile, I’ll do regular coffee instead. I love the flavor, but I can tell the difference.

    But since I love the flavor of coffee so much, I drink Dandy Blend for the rest of the day. It tastes like coffee, but it’s chicory and dandelion greens. SO yummy!!! And this way, I can have my ‘coffee’ into the night.

  31. Sanjula says:

    I stopped drinking coffee long time ago,
    I suffered from CFS and my Adrenals could not tolerate drinking coffee
    But than I started to do coffee enemas and I loved the Bliss and Energy Effect.
    I only did 1 enema a week for 2 years as I was worried because of the stimulating effect but it rather seemed to do me good. But it changed a couple of month ago, I started to get negative side effects sometimes !! so I stopped.
    I never read the Gerson book to know how they use the coffee enemas in their healing program

  32. Laura says:

    For me, coffee is like having a big glass of green juice or pineapple garlic juice – a huge shot of energy and it has a negative effect if I don’t DO anything with it, but if I’m going to be doing cardio/endurance stuff right afterwards, it’s fantastic.
    I get green beans from Sweet Maria’s in Oakland and roast them myself in a hot air popcorn popper and the coffee is completely amazing, especially as a latte using the same soy milk that Blue Bottle uses.
    I was just reading about a “caffeine nap” and that’s what I want to try now.

  33. Gordon M Barnes says:

    I drink coffee every morning before I take my supplements. The only thing I do is put in one quarter teaspoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of cocoa. I don’t crave it or need it, but I know coffee has stuff that will improve my health. Check out Dr. Douglas, he has a study out on it. Anyway there is no way I’m going to quit coffee just because it doesn’t agree with you . Thanks for letting me express my own opinions.

  34. Janet says:

    I avoided drinking coffee for the longest time an didn’t have a cup until I hit college. I drank way to much of it in college and I felt I had hit a burn out zone with it. I then went years in staying off of it, lost a lot of weight and looked great. Then I hit a period of great stress in my life – several family deaths, robberies, divorce, etc and I started up with coffee again and it felt good for a while – really good. I have stopped it again for a while (several years) and then restarted it as I found it nixes the pain from my periods better than anything else I have found. So I made a pact with myself – to only have it during 3 days of the month when I am in pain from my menses. I do notice one other thing with coffee….it makes me horny and so my boyfriend tells me to go ahead and have a coffee…..but I want to rev up my hormones in a more healthy way with maca, nettles, and other natural remedies versus coffee.

    I wonder if those men on that island you mentioned have a secret formulation for their coffee or if they do something else that counters some of it’s bad effects. I also know that you can get unroasted green coffee beans and that is supposed to be healthier than the drinking coffee from roasted beans. Perhaps they drink the berry juice from the fruit surrounding the bean first to counter the roasted bean? Don’t know….just thinking :)

  35. Jennifer Moran says:

    Spurred on by a 7 day detox that I turned into 21 days, I recently stopped drinking caffeine. I drank several cups of tea throughout the day (mostly as a means to keep me warm in my frigid office), but I also just love drinking tea and had grown accustomed to my Earl grey and green tea. I gave up coffee as a New Years Resolution, but I only drank that once a week or so (made me too jumpy, heart raced, etc after ~30 min)

    After 3+ months of no caffeine, I don’t miss it! I have discovered a range of herbal teas that I love – including my fave holy basil.

    I know it is so much better to not have stimulants and depressants. I love wine also, but I have reduced that to weekends.

  36. Cirsten Awaja says:

    I kicked the habit about 25 years ago, because I am sensitive to the caffeine and get shakey from drinking coffee, but only if it’s hot. I can still enjoy a little grinded coffee in a cold shake or an ice coffee without having any problems at all.
    Then, about a year ago I discovered decaf and thought I could drink it, but no. Decaf doesn’t make me shake, but it upsets my stomach and gives me adrenal stress. Therefor no hot coffee for me, only a spoonfull in my shake and an ice coffee now and then, and I feel fine.

  37. Norman Hawker says:

    I replaced coffee with yerba matte probably ten years ago. It has one-fourth the caffeine, and a lot of nutrients as well.

  38. Diane says:

    I love love love coffee and chocolate but I gave up coffee over a year ago and though I sometimes(rarely)have something with chocolate I’m very similar to you in the effect stimulants have on me……not good.

    I tap my own squiirely personality for all the stimulation I need

    My hubby is totally addicted to coffee. Sometimes his hands really ache. I read your article to him. He’s trying to cut down. We all know how well that works!

    Ah well, the path to optimal health is up and down and curvy. Gotta take a few detours to confirm things.

  39. Jo says:

    Kev- I think you could have just trusted the experts on this one. Please don’t jump off any tall buildings while hyper now, silly but
    I guess this is what we do when young still so
    this might be the last time, as being a Dad
    might make you join the ranks of older soon.

  40. Michael Morris says:

    I started drinking coffee with my grandmother when I was four years old. Until a couple weeks ago I hadn’t gone a day without coffee for more than 50 years. My wife and I have started up a raw lifestyle for our health and replaced our coffee habit with fresh juice (kale, cucumber, celery, carrots and cilantro) every morning. We drink it in our old coffee mugs and call it our morning coffee. For some reason, I had no problem stopping and have not missed it. Of course its only been a couple of weeks and I still have my coffee cup at work on my desk however I don’t believe I will be going back.

  41. Christie says:

    I love coffee, but it makes me jittery, especially with a high carb meals. I like Teecino and green tea these days. I don’t think I’ll ever give up chocolate.

    But, the only way to know is to do what you did-abstain, go back on it for a while, notice any reactions and go back off it. It’s a total pain though when you love the taste.

  42. Sarah says:

    This is a very interesting experiment! Thanks for being a guinea pig :) I wonder if you would have had similar results if you had stuck to only drip brewed coffee versus the espresso. There was an article in the New York Times about coffee recently (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/having-your-coffee-and-enjoying-it-too/?emc=eta1) that mentioned the difference in brewing methods in relation to health: “But how coffee is brewed can make a health difference. Two prominent chemicals in coffee beans, cafestol and kahweol, are known to raise blood levels of cholesterol and especially artery-damaging LDL cholesterol. These substances are removed when coffee is prepared through a filter, but remain in espresso, French press and boiled coffee. Single-serving coffee pods, like those used in a Keurig, contain filters.”

    I myself cannot handle espresso – it tears up my stomach leaving me feeing very acidic and bleh. However, drip coffee does not have the same effect – as long as I don’t have too much. There is definitely a dose response though. Too much and I still get a sour stomach and I also get jittery and anxious and can’t sleep. I’m curious if you noticed any difference when you drank the espresso versus the drip coffee?

  43. Diane says:

    I used to drink a cup with my breakfast, until one Monday when I didn’t have it and later got a headache. My boss said it was a caffeine headache. No! I was NOT addicted. He tested it .. I drank a cup of coffee & headache went away. I vowed it would not rule my life & went cold turkey. Changed my breakfast too, so I don’t have that association craving.

  44. Sarah says:

    I appreciate your story. I LOVE the taste and smell of coffee but I gave it up some years ago because I don’t like how it makes me feel. Every once in a blue moon I will have a cup for the taste. I have read a lot of articles saying coffee is so good for you but I wonder who is putting those articles out?? Coffee makers? Personally I think there are less health benefits then the damaging effects.

  45. Mary says:

    Back in the day when I was a 10-15-cups a day coffee addict, I quit because my MD said it was boring a whole in my stomach. The withdrawls were unbelievable until I discovered chamomile tea “healed” my morning headaches. Haven’t had coffee in a buzillion years, but still love the way it smells. I became a green tea drinker long before it became the “health” drink it now is. Your journey was interesting in that it proves the lesson that if something hurts, you should stop doing it. I wonder if you went on despite the damage to your body just to prove a point. Are they handing out gold medals for martyrs these days?

  46. Caterina says:

    That was very interesting, I like your approach. I am a follower of the blood type diet, coffee is a total “avoid” for Blood type O, the most common. So I avoid it even if I love it. Just sometimes, special occasions I’ll have one. I do not feel any craving even if I am Italian and I drank coffee for at least 40 years!!!!

  47. JL says:

    I’m sure you’re aware of this, Kevin, but coffee is full of lectins/proteins which the body can easily mistake for gluten. As such, if a person is gluten-sensitive, coffee can be a cross-reactive substance. That’s unfortunately the case for me, although I do love a good cup of organic coffee with heavy cream and honey. Guess I’ll be sticking with green tea and stevia instead!

  48. Eden says:

    Ahhhh….the monkey on my back , coffee!!! I loved the beginning of this article, and could practically smell it from everyones descriptions. I am a long time coffee addict who takes occasional breaks, last one was a few months ago for 3 weeks but as usual I gave in and am back on. What I find interesting is that I keep a high quality raw usually vegan diet daily, and still the cravings for coffee are always there. In my case I believe that the aroma, taste, body and romantic ideas associated with coffee outweigh finding a good enough alternative. I believe I use it for emotional support. I would love to not desire it anymore. I definitely feel that it has detrimental physiological effects and I can see it in the bags under my eyes, and that I have a hard time sleeping and brain fog.I do believe in mind over matter and that good mental attitude will win out over coffee but as a health advocate who likes to practice what I preach I feel it compromises my higher self. It seems like it will take either a miracle or a rehab to keep me off coffee, but I do have hope and I know that one day GRACE will ssist me as it helped me give up those stupid cigarettes years ago and I never would touch one again, and so yes GRACE and MIRACLES do happen!!!

  49. Dr. Kim says:

    Not all coffee is bad, I am not talking about expresso here. Check out the antioxidant coffee sold by Life Extension.I recommend it to my die hard coffee drinking patients and those who have stomach irritation from drinking coffee, but just won’t give up the Folgers.

  50. Heidi says:

    I quit coffee about 11 years ago. I actually did it by drinking my regular cup the first day, then 3/4 cup the next then about 2/3 the next. Then I slipped and drank a full cup the next day. Started decreasing the amount again every day and this time I was able to quit after a week. I haven’t had it since although I love the smell. I still occasionally think about having one, but have never had one since I quit. Thanks for the reminder that it’s better not to have any.

  51. Ed McKearney says:

    Kevin- I stopped drinking coffee about 7 months ago, and I have wondered so often if it was worth the effort.

  52. Gen says:

    I do love a cup of REAL coffee, preferably organic, free-trade, about two times a week or so. Not interested in fast food type coffee — yuck!

    Our naturopathic doctor put my husband on a detox diet with which he not not allowed any coffee at all — and at the time he had been drinking about 3-4 cups of poor quality coffee. He was very addicted and highly acidic. The detox worked to break him of the habit, but during the process he was the grumpiest, most miserable person around. I told the naturopath is he EVER put my husband on a detox for caffeine again, I would send him to live with him for the duration of the detox. He did go back to coffee, but now generally limits himself to one large cup per day.

    Good for you for doing this experiment, Kevin.

    Best wishes to you and your little family.

  53. Ed McKearney says:

    Kevin I stopped dring coffee 7 months ago and I often wondered if it was worth the effort.
    Your scientific approach coupled with your casual appreciation of the ‘expresso effect’ was so incredibly awesome and helpful to me, that I simply can’t find words to thank you!!
    I has suspected that it was worth the effort, and now I know.Like you say, “Live awesome”!
    Ed M.

  54. Marcia says:

    Hi Kevin.
    Funny that you should do this experiment and story at this time. I needed to read about how coffee affected you.
    I quit coffee at least 17 years ago. Haven’t missed it as I switched to organic green teas and good herbal teas. Addicted to tea. Lately been thinking of having a cup of good quality organic coffee because we walked by a coffee house the other day and the aroma was tempting.
    After reading your story I have decided to not bother having a cup of coffee now or ever.
    Thanks for sharing.

  55. Rhonda says:

    Hey Kevin,
    You are such a radical! Knowing what you do and experimenting to see what would happen if you drank the caffeine java. Glad you were able to quit it.

    I started out in college drinking black tea. Then thought I needed something stronger to get me up in the morning. Coffee did it. I LOVED IT! But have several years of imbibing, I discovered I had painful breasts. Went to my doctor who said stop drinking coffee and eliminate caffeine including chocolate! I was stunned. I loved those two treats, just 2 cups of coffee and a little chocolate here or there. The doctor said it often can cause fibrocystic breast disease, and I guess that is what it was. I quit it and had a wicked time of it but did it and know not to go back to it. The pain went away quickly. So, I learned that there are more than just the jitters that can come from the ole java drink. And I also dealt with burned out adrenals for years too. So that delicious mojo is not worth the health issues for me. I enjoy decaf a couple of cups of jasmine tea and it makes me happy.
    Good luck to you Kevin.

  56. Jasmine says:

    I don’t drink coffee but I was totally addicted to chocolate. The caffeine gave me a quick boost and made me happy. (A little chocolate is good they say….) But of course, I ate more and more. Too much for me. Dry hands and hair, achey joints, trembling, malabsorption, hormonal havoc, and IBS. I did the Pathways Genomics DNA testing which revealed I am a slow metabolizer of caffieine which explained why I can sometimes tolerate a little caffeine but I don’t clear extra caffeine from my system very easily and why “a little more” never works for me.

  57. Jean says:

    Oh my goodness, no, not coffee — Fritos! They are making a lower sodium Fritos now which is the perfect amount of salt for my palate — and I’ve been eating them lately and just had to stop cold turkey cuz I’d sit and eat a half bag at a time, way too many days of the week! Thanks for the good laugh, Kev! I can picture your blood shot eyes as you roam the streets of Berkeley to get your coffee fix!

  58. Emily says:

    Geez, coffee is my nemesis. I love dark roast organic drip coffee–one cup (8 oz.) with either organic half and half or coconut milk. I have to have the slightly creamy taste. Now the bad part. It gives me a bit of heartburn and I often drink it anyway knowing this. It gets worse. I am a singer and it’s irritating to my vocal system! I am otherwise a fairly intelligent person, but coffee is my Achilles heel. I’ve quite many times and I’ve always gone back. I really want to heal my system so I can drink that one little cup! Any suggestions? I’ve tried DGL, ginger, aloe vera juice, liquid acidophilus, visualization, really just about every holistic remedy known to man. Help!

  59. Aine says:

    I’ve never really been a coffee drinker as I don’t respond well to stimulants, except on the rare occasion when I need to use it therapeutically (always seems to work as a laxative and gets me excited if I need to get my energy up for a bit). However, I discovered the Toddy Maker some time ago and started making cold water processed coffee with amazing organic beans from Cafe Mam – it’s lower in acid and I do find that I still get the buzz but my body seems to handle it a lot better. Maybe I’m in denial as I’m at this stage a little bit hooked on my morning hit – and have just been doing it for a few weeks since I came back to LA and re-connected with my toddy maker…just courious to hear if you have any experience with the cold water brew and if in the long term it will result in some adrenal issues..great topic!

  60. Dana says:

    Wow…Glad to see I’m not the only one with a on-again, off-again love affair with coffee. I went cold turkey 6 years ago after I changed my lifestyle and went through the week of withdrawal symptoms but made it through. I switched to hot teas and finally found Yerba Mate that I loved. Eventually I started using coffee as a treat to have a small cup about once a month. That went well for a long time until I met my current boyfriend. Our first date was at a coffee shop. He has a ritual of having one in the afternoon at a coffee shop. So, here I go again…I’m back to daily coffee , enjoying it and also feeling torn about the possible negative side effects. I started drinking Organic, water extracted decaf in the morning for the ritual, aroma and to get the taste. I didn’t need the energy. But in the afternoons I would do 1/2 decaf and 1/2 regular at the coffee shop because I wanted a little lift without affecting my sleep.

    I finally did a detox/ cleanse over a month ago. After I was done I had no intention of quitting the coffee but a weird thing happened. I didn’t crave it and it didn’t taste good. I’ve even tried it a few times thinking the taste would come back but it hasn’t. It tastes too acidic now. Yeah!!! I’m done for now and it feels good. I am doing Chamomile tea in the morning that I’m really enjoying. But, never say never.

  61. LynnCS says:

    I’m with you, Kevin. I have been off coffee about a year. I love the stuff and recently decided to have a cup of strong French roast each morning. I make my own and use Javatopia Certified organic beans. It packs a whollop. I am happy with one (large mug.) It seems to be just enough to keep me engaged all day without those sluggish moments. The down side is that I am not having the morning smoothie of healthy fruits and vegis and have started eating badly, so all in all it balances out negatively. Wasn’t sleeping well and the coffee helps me sleep better. Go figure? Doc says it is like the ADD problem when they give kids uppers to straighten them out. I don’t feel straightened out tho. The first few days I did, but no more. Stopped to get some vegi pizza today and now I feel awful! A little is good, but it never works in the long run.

  62. nen says:

    wow thanks. i needed that

  63. Alice says:

    did you get blood tests? if so, what did they show?

  64. Nadia says:

    I was very interested to read this blog post in particular because I’m in the midst of doing a withdrawal from one coffee a day in the morning.
    I have recognised that it isn’t really for me even though I love the taste and aroma – like you do.
    I’ve had a week off and just had one again today because it’s Saturday, but that just confirmed to me that I really need to quit it. About an hour after coffee I do get a heavy head and tiredness which is the withdrawal I think.
    I am going with black tea in the mornings as a replacement but I think I’ll switch it up to green tea next week to step it down a notch.
    Thanks for sharing your experiment! :o)

  65. RickfromNZ says:

    Many years ago, I realized that I was needing stronger and stronger coffee. Realizing that as a sign of addiction I decided to quit; cold turkey.

    The result was a continuous headache for seven days.

    Deduction: I consider that I WAS an addict.

    Now I drink green tea but have not tried quitting this to see if the results are replicated.

    Aged sixty six, no joint pain, I take no medication but I have developed Dupuytrens Contraction but I have not yet figured the cause; doubt that there is any coffee connection as there was about a three year gap between the two events.

  66. Yes, Kevin, Yes! Another great article post! The trials and tribulations you put yourself through, all for … well … all of us, I guess! If you recall a previous comment post of mine, you will not be surprised that my favorite part was what you wrote after, “What does this experiment mean for you?” In my comments here I truly want to emphasize the same thing — this is only my experience and opinion. What’s more, I shall “rock things up” a bit (as opposed to “jazz things up”) with a dramatic flourish.

    But first, I am going to get what is probably my fifth heaping teaspoon of freeze-dried instant coffee today (Yes, folks, they still make that stuff! Years ago I graduated to drip and only returned to instant for two reasons — so that my nth cup of regular (or decaf) would be as good as my first, and also because of budget considerations.). When I start drinking that cup, I am going to morph into my alter-ego, WARFULL (Actually, WARFULL prefers wine but this will have to do this time!):

    NO, KEVIN, NO! SERIOUS COFFEE/CAFFEINE ADDICTION SHOULD NOT BE WITHDRAWN FROM “COLD TURKEY!” WHY PUT ONESELF THROUGH THAT PAIN? NOW, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOUR “ONE CUP A DAY” COFFEE DRINKERS. I AM TALKING ABOUT SERIOUS COFFEE DRINKERS, LIKE GERRY’S SPOUSE ABOVE. WHEN I WANT TO GET OFF OF COFFEE I FIRST GET MYSELF DOWN TO A “REASONABLE” LEVEL, LIKE THREE STRONG CUPS A DAY. THEN I MAINTAIN FOR SEVERAL WEEKS. THEN I GRADUALLY DECREASE FROM THERE, STAYING AT A GIVEN LEVEL FOR ANOTHER SEVERAL WEEKS. AFTER I AM DRINKING ABOUT A HALF CUP FOR SEVERAL WEEKS I QUIT ALTOGETHER WITH NO HEADACHES!

    JUST MY EXPERIENCE AND OPINION! THANKS!

    WARFULL

    Warren Freedlund

  67. Josephine says:

    I have been following your comments and I would like to share the following about drinking coffee: I am 52 years young and have been wearing glasses for 30 years. I am also hypertensive and on medication. I started using the Organo Gold product line – I tried their black coffee, cafe latte, mocha, king of coffee for about six months ago. Within the past month my eyes have been hurting more with the glasses on than off. I finally said what the heck and shelved the glasses. Since then my eyes continue to improve daily even seeing things that I would not normally make out with my glasses. Also when I drink either the black coffee or king of coffee and I check my pressure I do not need to take my blood pressure medication and I feel so calm and relax. I plan on taking the products even more consistently than before and look forward to continued great results. Gregoire, P. Trinidad
    It really depends on what type of coffee you drink.

  68. Lexie says:

    Great experiment, Kevin – thanks for sharing!
    I used to drink 3 – 4 cups of coffee (with half & half and sugar) daily for about 10 years. When I became a vegan two years ago I gave it up because I didn’t like it “black” and I couldn’t find a vegan creamer I liked.
    I too found that it was easier to quit coffee when I replaced it with an alternative. I switched to un-smoked Yerba Mate with coconut nectar and lemon…mmm, delish! Occasionally if I’m craving a warm drink in the afternoon, I’ll make some Dandy Blend with warm hemp or almond milk.
    Thanks again, Kevin – love all the work you do! :)

  69. Jen says:

    I recently gave up my coffee addiction. I also began drinking a lot of coffee in college, and I never stopped. Fifteen years later I found out I am gluten intolerant. I was hopeful that avoiding gluten would clear my new adult acne and migraines, almost two years later it had not. After other dietary and product changes it donned on me, maybe the coffee was a contributing factor. It had become such a part of my daily life, like waking up that I honestly never thought about it. I also started to replace my coffee with tea, which I am still doing three months later. My migraines are fewer and more notable, the inflammation associated with, and promoting, my acne has gone away. I believe that coffee had my adrenals shot and was causing systemic inflammation. I am happy I made the change.

  70. sheri says:

    I never could handle it, never had a taste for it, as I am very sensitive to caffeine. I am glad, because I know how unhealthy it is, but I love a mild green tea, or white tea, no problem with that. We now enjoy kombucha every day, how much healthier!

  71. Kuru says:

    I totally agree with Manwel who said it was the second cup. Moderation is a great teaching. I remember that was the problem with cacao too; 4 tablespoons would put anyone over the brink

    I quit 14 years ago when it started making me sleepy. I am so glad to have my nice complexion back (coffee made it gray), and no more hemorrhoids! I have an occasional cup, but my whole system reacts to the acidity. I don’t like to be around those who drink it either. Too much buzzy energy. And I’m sure those studies that say it’s good for this and that are funded by Starbuck’s or the like. LOL.

  72. Mist says:

    Interesting post, Kev! I loved coffee, loved the taste and the buzz I got from the caffeine. I liked the super strong dark roast French drip filter style coffee (where one shot is equivalent to about three or four cups of coffee) diluted with water and mixed with cream and sugar, blackstrap molasses with a pinch of salt, or sweetened condensed milk (a la Vietnamese iced coffee, which I absolutely loved and would include in my last meal request if I were a prisoner awaiting execution.)

    I had to quit because of adrenal fatigue, stomach irritation, and acid reflux. Quitting took some work as it was so addictive. I tried decreasing the dose and adding coffee substitutes (Cafix and Teeccino,) but they made me really thirsty. I tried buffering the acidity by adding wild yam powder (worked somewhat but made me thirsty,) aloe powder (didn’t work,) bitter melon powder (too bitter,) baking soda (worked but ruined the taste), activated charcoal powder (worked but killed the caffeine, the buzz, and made me thirsty.) I then moved on to tea and yerba mate, and eventually had to give them up as I had beaten my adrenal glands and my stomach to a pulp and had to stop.

    I find that taking some baking soda and water alone or mixed with vitamin c, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar helps eliminate the craving for coffee (and sweet food.)

  73. Bill says:

    Awesome experiment Kev and well done for being so open and honest about it. Can’t see myself doing this though. I do wish that coffee was good for me as I love the smell of it.

    I used to drink coffee but gave it away about five or six years ago. I first gave up drinking milk, so then had to have my coffee black, which I did not mind at first until I gave up processed sugar as well. There was no way that I could drink the coffee without that as well so I just simply stopped buying it and went over to herbal teas instead.

    I found it pretty easy to give coffee up doing it that way, especially after I went a month without coffee and then had a cup one day. I started shaking within minutes! It was then that I was scared off coffee for life!

  74. Dana says:

    Luv my large mug o’ joe early in the morning. Three scoops decaf, one scoop regular, cream, Boston style, no sugar. Only one cup, if I drink coffee anytime after noon…I have trouble sleeping. I fall asleep okay but then awaken, WIDE awake in the middle of the night. I HATE when that happens.
    I had an upset stomach this morning and so I didn’t have my java. No headache and no craving for the coffee either. I’m sure I could live without it, but why? I really enjoy it, the taste, the warmth and quite frankly the comfort of it and don’t seem to have all these bad things others here report.
    But I also know if I drank more than just the one I’d be bouncing off the walls, so I limit myself and it works for me.

  75. Judith volpe says:

    I drink coffee every other day, 1 cup. I do not think it has habituating effects if you do it that way. I can go off it for several days, no problem. The regular type does have antioxidant health benefits. Doing it as an enema is very good and necessary for certain conditions…I don’t though because the caffeine buzz is too much for me. Coffee is not for everyone, and too much is habituating, but I do not think it is bad in moderation for most.

  76. Jacqui Davis says:

    Me too……I haven’t had a cup of coffee for thirty years…..I stopped drinking coffee when I realised my health was not good…..three weeks later my boss took me out for lunch, I had no alcohol, but I did have a Berni’s coffee with cream (lovely)…..within seconds I could feel the blood rushing up and down my arms, and my face went bright red……so that was enough to convince me to keep off it ever since…..they say it is a witch’s brew, it jangles the nerves.

  77. chusmacha says:

    Roto rooter

  78. Nikki says:

    Sorry guys, but my experiment with coffee is a good one. I use to drink regular coffee and the acid, no matter what the brand was killing me. So I gave it up reluctantly. I have never been a big coffee drinker but I did very much enjoy it. I don’t know how long it was since I had stopped drinking coffee, when I saw on line Madre Labs CafeCeps It’s organic coffee with cordyceps & Reishi mushrooms. I decided to give it a try. The only thing I do differently now is that I have a morning routine of half a fresh squeezed lemon in water half an hour before I eat or drink anything. I also heard David Wolfe talk about putting a dash of sea salt in the coffee, so I now do that. I have one cup a day with my breakfast and have not noticed a single change anywhere in my body. I also do not experience any acid or buzz at all after drinking my coffee. If I’m in a hurry and don’t get my cup of Joe it never occurs to me during the day that I missed it. I believe in moderation. Over doing anything is not good for you. I don’t know if it’s the mushrooms or not. I’m just happy to enjoy my coffee again.

  79. shila says:

    Thanks for experimenting and writing this great article, Kevin!
    I have never been a coffee drinker, and throughout the 10 yrs my husband and I have been married he would make clear that he didn’t want me to start drinking coffee. If he skips his coffee in the morning he gets a headache.
    But lately I started feeling tempted to try coffee. I love the taste and the smell and I thought, maybe it isn’t so bad. I had one a day for a while and then a second one sneaked in. Then after about 3 weeks I skipped my morning coffee, unintentionally. By the afternoon I had such a throbbing headache and I knew it was from coffee.
    I haven’t touched it since. I know it just isn’t for me either.
    It is interesting what you say about aching hands Kevin. My husband has that, I never thought to link the two.

  80. Patrice says:

    Hi Kevin,
    you mentioned in the beginning about blood testing after 90 days, did you do this? I didn’t come across it in reading and would love to know the results.

  81. Devi says:

    Well, I am really addicted and have quit a total of 3 times. Drinking coffee is more than drinking a beverage for me- it provides relaxation and a time for being social. I now know why my hair is brittle, I couldn’t figure it out before – Thanks Kevin. I become extremely lethargic, and have a horrible headache when I quit. It usually lasts about 3 days. I got started when my mother-in-law would constantly ask if I wanted a cup – I resisted for about one year, since coffee originally tastes like dirt!, but ultimately I gave in. Just as a warning for those who have not started – DON’T. Maybe I will try the book suggested above. For some reason, they seem to work for me- that is how I stopped sugar.
    Joy and Blessings.

  82. Heather says:

    One thing you might like to look into!(Not you personally, but you know what I mean). Coffee makes fibroids grow – and I mean grow rapidly!! I have personal experience of this. I was a coffee addict – no longer. Heavy coffee drinkers are increasing their levels of circulating estrogen quite significantly and this definitely fuels fibroid growth. I had a whopping 15 cm tumour. It has now gone and so has the coffee! No problems since. IF YOU HAVE FIBROIDS – AVOID THIS STUFF OR FACE THE SURGEON!

  83. Netty says:

    I think we need a (ca) coffee anonymous….. I think about coffee like some people thing about alcohol and food.

  84. Catherine says:

    I’ve given coffee up for approximately 3 months now. Prior to that I was drinking only the best organic, fair-trade beans, used in a plunger immediately after grinding myself .. drunk black and usually just a small plunger full .. nothing added. I can still think about that fondly, and in a social situation, if presented with high quality, black coffee, would probably be sociable and have some, but I find that the way to give things up is by not having them accessible. Just don’t have them in the house. I was too busy to drive to my favourite place to buy the beans, and wasn’t going to spend time sourcing a new product online to land on the doorstep either, and that was the beginning of being coffee-free .. permanently. So the coffee wasn’t there and I started drinking medicinal teas all of the time .. mixed them up, added a little stevia and haven’t looked back. The beautiful thing now is that from the moment i wake up .. and all day long and into the evening .. I do nothing but eat whole organic foods, medicinal teas and herbs and fabulous superfoods .. it’s all such an achievement from the way I used to live only 4 years ago. 4 years ago I was drinking lots of wine, restauranting, etc .. and I don’t miss any of it. Cravings and addictions get crowded out when you eat well. Simple.

  85. Kym says:

    Great experiment. Regardless of the result, kudos to people who actually test out these theories. I went from about eight or more cups a day down to a single in the morning just because I like the flavor. I noticed major improvements in stomach health and am happy with the current situation.

    I just wanted to point out that people metabolize coffee very differently – there is epigenetic research on this. This is why even a cup in the morning keeps some awake at night, while others can drink a cup right before bed. Similarly moderate coffee consumption appears to be heart-healthy for some but not for others. Fascinating stuff!

  86. Sarah says:

    I hope people who are “hooked” on coffee don’t beat themselves up about being on it. I have access to doing salivary adrenal testing on people and I did a little experiment: I took someone who drank caffeine and had them do the adrenal test twice: Once off of all caffeine (which is what you are supposed to do or the caffeine throws off the test) and the other test while drinking caffeine throughout the day. The reslts were this: The test off of caffeine showed that the person was adrenally depleted(low corticol levels). This made sense with her symptoms of fatigue etc. The test she did on caffeine put all of her cortisol levels right in the mddle of the high and low lines painting a picture of perfect adrenal function. So do you think someone with stressed adrenals might crave caffeine? I makes them feel like they have normal adrenal function!I take these test results into my classroom when I teach nutrition to practitioners. This is to show them (especially the holier than thou ones who try to bully their clients / patients into just quitting all caffeine at once) that these people feel “normal” on caffeine and depleted off of it. Great experiment, Kevin! I tihnk that doing things to see how your body reacts is a great learning idea.

  87. Sarah says:

    I guess I should mention that some researchers have found a link between gluten intolerance and coffee (meaning that coffee can be cross reactive to the immune system of people who are gluten intolerant). I am not 100% convinced about the veracity of this research yet, but gluten intolerant peole might want to try being off coffee if they are drinking it and still having health issues.

  88. Jocelyne says:

    I love coffee but drink it in moderation and early in the day to give enough time to flush it out!
    I haven’t read every comment, but no one has mentioned their Dosha – Ayurvedic body type, in relationship to drinking coffee?
    For Pitta and Vata body types it is not recommended at all. Some Kapha types may be able to tolerate it and could be of benefit in small quantities.
    I’m a Kapha and find I function better with my one or two cups a day.
    Thoughts anyone…?

  89. manorama says:

    I too am an ex coffee addict. I quit but it is so hard when your partner doesn’t… Anyway, I decided to go without any for a month at least. Then I went to having a single shot once in a while to make sure I would not get hooked again and enjoy it without the cumulative effects. This has worked for me so far.

  90. manorama says:

    Manuel’s point is good… if you don’t have an addict personality :)
    It takes so much effort for addicts to not overdose!

  91. tamarque says:

    Wow, did this take me back–41 yrs to be precise and I can still feel the withdrawal. Like others, I was an addict. At leat (3) 10 oz mugs of black coffee to start the day. Often had several more cups at work and no solid food till early afternoon when my nerves were totally shot and I was talking like an overwired madwoman. Did this for years.

    One day an acquaintance who was into holistic health casually said to me that I should consider not drinking coffee as my symptoms indicated adrenal stress. I went home and for some unknown reason to myself decided to try her advice. Maybe it was because she was so casual about it, non-judgemental and detached. Need to remember that more when I talk with others.

    So I began my self-test to not drink. I have got to say that it was harder than quitting a 4 pack a day cigarette habit years before. I could not ground myself. I could not wake up in the morning; my body felt like it was dragging. The head felt foggy. I tried to drink herb teas in the a.m. I began to make myself eat sosme breakfast. No relief. I still recall that it was about 6 mos before I began to feel normal, present, conscious.

    I still craved coffee. The smell of it sent waves of titilation through my nose. But I resisted. Strong woman, hear me roar (LOL).

    After about 1 year I took my housemate to work in a restaurant where she immediately set up the pot of coffee. The aroma called. Okay I thought, it was a year and I deserved to have 1 little cup of this call of the sirens fresh coffee.

    So I poured me a cup, sniffed it all in and began to sip it. what a shocker! I couldn’t stand the stuff. It was so bitter and acrid. What was I ever thinking to want this stuff. Since that day I have never had even a little craving for this bean. Even coffee ice cream is a real turnoff.

    All I can say is Never Again. How could I let such an addiction take me over like that. What was hard was finding an acceptable substiture for the mid day. Where I could always go into a coffee shop, grab a cup and take a break, now there was nothing to replace it. The social aspects of coffee drinking had to be dealt with and that became the challenge. And that is another story.

  92. lisa says:

    but what ever happened to the blood tests?? all seems rather subjective here.

  93. William says:

    Hello Kev, really great experiment. I’ve studied the Blue Zones/Longevity Hot Spots for years and have been to Nicoya and interviewed centenarians many times. They do drink quite a bit of coffee there and it’s one of the things that has always perplexed me. Thinks for the real world information. Keep up the great work.

  94. John says:

    I’m looking for the missing answer for “coffee vs. caffeine”

    Do other sources of caffeine have fewer effects than what Kevin experienced with his coffee experiment? Maybe coffee is the bigger villain. After all, he used green tea while stopping coffee…

  95. Rocio says:

    Kevin, have not read the other posts yet…the same for me, but even the coffee enemas if they are too strong make me very, very sick.
    Does anyone has the same reaction?
    love and blessings,

  96. Yvonne says:

    Rocio, in response to your question about coffee enemas, I had the same reaction. I’m not a coffee drinker and didn’t even consider that an enema would affect me the way it did. I was so wired I couldn’t sleep the whole night even though I had done the enema in the morning. It also made me feel nauseated.

    I haven’t had a coffee in a very long time, just don’t like the way it makes me feel, same thing goes for chocolate, I enjoy a little piece of very dark chocolate once in awhile but that’s it.

  97. Carol - South Africa says:

    Coffee ….. something comforting to those who enjoy the taste. In my youth I never touched coffee as it always upset my stomach for some reason.

    In later life I was eating as per the Blood Group and coffee (black) was on the list of ‘refreshments’, which at the time was a delight to me as the company where I worked provided the best coffee …. just the smell was good enough ….. to satisfy…

    Needless to say I probably had 4 cups a day and did not realise that this addiction was making my breasts extremely senstive.

    My doctor advised some surgery as it was common for woman my age to experience changes in the breasts due do hormone (LOL) fluctuations.

    I never took his advice (probably because back then I had this belief that I knew my body better than any doctor ever will) and started reading articles about the effects certain foods have on the body. No surprise, coffee was the culprit for my breast sensitivity.

    My youngest daughter has also just discovered that she has the same sensitivity, since being married to her Italian Man who loves espresso …….

    Too much coffee (like everything else in life) does affect me, but I still indulge from time to time. Moderation is the key!

    Coff Coff

  98. Taylor says:

    Cool experiment. I am a coffee addict. I gave up coffee one summer and I remember feeling foggy and very tired. Just not with it. I have been drinking coffee since I was in high school. I absolutely love it. I am a medical student now so that is what is hindering me from trying to quit as an experiment. I usually drink 1 cup (sometimes only 1/2 cup) in the morning and then after lunch I have another cup to keep me focused while studying. Don’t know if I have the willpower right now to quit but maybe I will try!

  99. Franc Atlas says:

    Im was doing a a pot a day for nearly a decade. Went down to 2 cups a day a couple of weeks ago but still need it strong and cant get a buzz no matter was. I used to make my coffee pure espresso and drink a pot of that.

  100. Karen Beattie says:

    CELESTIAL SEASONINGS CALLED ROLLING THUNDER WITH THE BUFFALO ON THE PACKAGE IS REALLY GOOD AND ORGANIC COFFEE IS THE BEST; IT IS GROWN IN THE SHADE SO TREES ARN’T CUT DOWN. LOOK INTO THIS TO SEE IF IAM RIGHT!THANKS AND YES I DO STILL LOVE COFFEE!

  101. Deb says:

    I had something VERY interesting happen as I quit coffee about three weeks ago.

    I was a 1 or 2 cup morning only drinker. I liked the kick start it gave me but not the irritated feelings later on in the day. I am a raw, vegan and have wanted to get off sugar too for a while now.

    Fresh local maple syrup was the only sweetener I use in my coffee or carob cookies when I wanted something sweet. (Which was daily and sometimes even more.)

    I have been eating a bit more fruit lately too.

    But the amazing thing was when I quit the coffee, I TOTALLY LOST ANY CRAVING FOR SWEETS. It was like a MIRACLE.

    I’m not even missing the energy from the caffein. I have a shake with tahini in it or fruit for breakfast and that gives me the energy I need and satisfies my sweet tooth.

    THEY SAY OUR BODIES CRAVE WHAT WE GIVE IT. IT’S TRUE! I thought I’d lost my mind the other day, I was craving a salad so badly, I stopped my car and had some of what I had packed to take to the beach. It tasted SO GOOD I couldn’t believe it.

    See, there is hope and methods of eating healthy.
    You will notice how much better you feel too.
    Blessings!

  102. heather says:

    Thank you so much for this coffee post! I always wonder about coffee. one minute I love it, the next I wonder if I’m being mean to my own self.

  103. Derek says:

    It’s always a pleasure to see your willingness to experiment and test things for yourself.

    It’s important to realize, like you point out, that everyone can respond differently. That’s why it’s important to not just blindly accept any stance for or against something.

  104. RadiantTara says:

    Coffee is CRAMP! Linked to enlarged prostates and it is not good for reproducing women, link to fibroid tumors and other issues in the uterus. Linked to poor egg health and implantation. Why bother? I get so tired of those antioxidant reports that tell people what they want to hear?

  105. Stacey says:

    Coffee was hard to kick. I’d kicked sodas/black tea well before the coffee, but coffee stuck – I guess the fun coffee drinks back then when I was in America were just too enticing, they even had Starbucks in my university!
    I kicked coffee for pregnancy. Kept off it due to long term breast feeding. Then was pleased with not craving it anymore, and stuck with nice herbal teas at Starbucks instead. Then I moved to Eastern Europe where there was no Starbucks back then (several now), but plenty of coffee, definitely a coffee culture. I still didn’t pick it back up. I got onto a health-nut path and have been trying to heal issues and eat more and more raw, and those two things just don’t mix in my mind.
    Although I do appreciate your experiment – on every level! You’ve gleaned so much from it and are so at peace with it. Thanks for sharing it.
    My husband, on the other hand, is slowly cutting back and it was a nice read for us together.
    He says he “doesn’t actually love it”, that “he’s quit before and he can quit again”, “he doesn’t get caffeine headaches, he just uses it to wake up”.
    He’s stopped with out replacements he says, its more of a habit than a craving.
    Yet he thinks it doesn’t affect him in a negative way…and he wonders how bad is it really?
    Not just how bad is it for you, Kevin, but how bad IS it? (remembering your comments about the Blue Zones/caffeine, he wonders if maybe its not so bad for him).
    But back to my thoughts: I think the sugar and caffeine are good enough reasons to quit – for me they wipe out any benefit of antioxidants! LOL

  106. Stefani says:

    Thank you for this!! I tend to experiment the same way with raw versus crappy food. I always know what the outcome will be but I tend to indulge too much on the crappy side to see if my “experiment” works…telling myself its for the “experiment”. Just nice to know other health aware people do this:) I am perhaps addicted to the experiments.

  107. Jokuh says:

    Coffee adiction is poisonous. I drank for a very long time 1 cup a day. When I stopped drinkeing coffee you know how long I had to cope with withdrawal headaches? one full week before it went away. Just 1 cup a day!…….. had that effect.

  108. Great post Kev!

    I was a heavy coffee drinker back in University but now I’m more into tea (esp. green) with an occasional coffee indulgence. I can relate to your love for this hot beverage!

    It was very interesting reading through your experiment. Thank you!

    In health,
    Jesse

  109. Lynne M. Harrington-Crick says:

    I absolutely cannot drink coffee. I know because everytime I tried it, I get the shakes like really bad. I feel weak and sickly. No thanks!

    But I did find out one thing that coffee is good for you and that is you shouldn’t drink it but take it as an enema. It works really good, so fantastically, I feel so clean and energized afterwards. I like to do it every two weeks or so.

    I realized after a health guide recommended this to try that Gerson Institute also recommends the Coffee enema.

  110. SUZI says:

    Interesting. I am not much of a coffee drinker and use it selectively only like a drug to keep me up when working on a project or having to keep going. Any coffee in America gives me the jitters, organic or otherwise. I think it must be some chemical in the processing.

    However, I have gone to many countries in Europe and have no trouble drinking whatever coffee I feel like as much as I want with no undesirable side effects ( I.e. jitters, nervousness, inability to go to sleep). Just something to consider.

    I really do love the smell of the freshly ground beans though!

  111. My husband recently gave up coffee, he’s about a week in. After we went mostly raw about 8 weeks ago, he’d decided that when he ran out of coffee he’d stop. So far, so good.

  112. Patti says:

    Only you would do this, Kevin. I am VERY addicted to coffee. When I quit, I find myself drinking 6 cups of green tea. When people say they have heard that coffee is good for you and not, I say it probably depends on whether the person doing the research is a coffee drinker or not. Because of your article, I am going to try again. I know how right you are. I have been drinking coffee for 35 years, so it isn’t easy. Wish me luck!!!

  113. Rob says:

    In your last email you said “This time I promise less grammatical errors.” The irony here is amazing. It should be “…fewer grammatical errors.”

  114. Dawn says:

    I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE coffee…but noticed after my 12 day juice fast (inspired by Michael and Tracy!) that it didn’t really agree with my stomach anymore…. :( So, I have switched to drinking Rooibos or Chai tea (made with decaf black tea)…and after reading your blog on Coffee and Gluten…it all makes sense! I have been gluten free for almost 8 years and that could be why I still had issues! I feel SO much better after the cleanse and I have continued to juice/smoothies 2x a day and eat one meal…75% raw each day! Feeling MUCH better!!!! Thanks for all your tips!

  115. Paul says:

    Interesting… sounds like caffeine is the culprit here. I wonder, did you ever try the experiment with Swiss water washed decaffeinated coffee?

    Green tea has caffeine too so I can understand how that helped you ween yourself off coffee but once again, I suspect the culprit here is not coffee itself but the caffeine.

  116. suz says:

    I quit coffee and cigarettes 40 years ago, until recently, I started drinking cobalamine tonic (coffee, raw cacao, and maple syrup) so delicious and it also balances hormones.

  117. hyesun says:

    i started drinking coffee because every other day i was getting emails and articles from natural health websites/blogs that i subscribe to praising the health benefits of coffee. i may in denial, but i don’t feel guilty, and i haven’t noticed any adverse health effects. :-)
    of course i drink organic fair trade high antioxidant blah blah blah…..

  118. Catherine says:

    I started on a high-raw diet about 3 weeks ago and have been going along really well. I have tried being raw before, several times, and really couldn’t do it. But then I decided to try some of the advice on this site and it’s really working for me.

    That advice included giving up my coffee. Oh my.

    So I did it, totally cold-turkey. It was hard for about 3 days because I had all of the withdrawl symptoms. Yuck. And then I went through a 2-day detox period. Double yuck. And then I emerged. So in about a week I was able to start jumping out of bed without the groggy feeling, my hair texture started to change, my skin changed, my eyes changed. No jitters. My energy is more consistent.

    I am sure it’s not just giving up the coffee–it’s the whole package of juicing greens daily, lots of fruits and veggies, no more bread and meat, etc. But I do believe the coffee has been a part of it. I am tempted to drink it at some point every day, but I have gotten out of the routine of drinking it in the morning, so that is a big part of getting over it, once the physical symptoms subside.

    Thanks for this article! It was very timely for me, because I can see that at some point soon I would probably have given into the urge to drink coffee, justifying that it’s “good” for me. It would have started the cravings back, and I hate that feeling of being driven to eat or drink something. I like being freed of that in my life.

    :-)

  119. Josephine says:

    Kevin – I am willing to send organic coffee samples to you and those persons who have been having a bad reaction to coffee but do not want to quit. I have tried this coffee and I and other persons using this coffee have not experienced all the side effects people spoke about. joseylifeline@gmail.com

  120. Monica says:

    Love to read about your experiments. Thanks for sharing them!
    As for coffee, I love the way it tastes and smells, but I never drink it — the few times I’ve tried it have made it clear that it’s not for me. When I’ve had some, first it makes me all nervous and crazy, unable to focus on anything at all, sometimes I even tremble and feel kind of panicky.
    Afterwards, when those effects are gone, then I start to feel really tired and depressed for a while.
    And not to speak about the way it keeps me wide awake at night for hours and hours.
    Feels weird to be so sensitive, when everyone else feels so good after a cup of coffee, but that’s the way it is!

  121. Kathy Patterson says:

    I don’t drink coffee because as a young teenager we had Canadian friends who were into black iced tea and I loved it. Lots of sugar and lemon of course, but then when I tried coffee, it was absolutely awful. I now love a good Earl Gray with no sugar or sweetener. However, no one has mentioned the liver clearance test that I have forgotten the name of where you take a capsule of caffeine and then pee in a bottle every few hours to see how long it takes your liver to clear the caffeine. Then you also do the same with a preservative, I can’t remember the name of. My results were my liver was not clearing either in a timely manner, so thus the reason I cannot drink any caffeine after 10:00 am or I do not sleep well that night. I only have half my liver due to a liver resection from polycystic liver disease. But many people have liver problems that can make caffeine problematic.

  122. LynnCS says:

    Normally I wouldn’t post twice, but a day later, you all have given me so much food for thought. I normally have very low blood pressure, pulse rate, low respirations, etc. All the typical traits of an adrenal problem. I got off coffee a yr ago because of all the nay sayers stating that it is not good. Thank you Art #28 for mentioning that there are some benefits for some peoples heart and brain function, more clarity. To Heather 3 82. I never had coffee till after my hysterectomy required due to fibroids. To Kym #85..Yes, I do think we metabolize it (and a lot of things) differently. I never believed that till this last experiment. A lot has happened in a day to make me grateful for coffee. Sarah #86 You are so smart and I am grateful to you for you post. Thank you. #94 John. Yes, I too would like to see a study of caffeine vs coffee. I think coffee is medicine for me and gives me what I need when I give myself the respect to know how much is right for me. I can stay at one cup a day. More would be too much. I don’t know what moderation means, but I do know what one cup means.

    Last night I took an all night oxygen test and it was fine. I have been testing low in the office since I quit coffee. I do believe that I know how not to go too far and that I don’t have to fall off the food wagon too, just to make it wrong to have a cup of coffee in the morning.

    Thank you, Kevin and I hope you can enjoy “one cup a day” or even one every now and then. I am sure it is helping me deal with the adrenal, and the minor ADD tendencies I have.

    Going to make my evening salad and enjoy all those great greens I picked up at the Farmers’ Market today.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you all! This has been a really timely post. You all have helped me. Lynn

  123. David Gardner says:

    I replaced coffee with green tea in the morning a year or so ago. I have noticed overall better health. I wake up more cheerful and do not crave anything in the morning. The day starts with green tea, then my second cup is usually Nettle leaf or St Johns Wort. I may have a cup of coffee at some point in the day, maybe not. I do love the taste of it. But I can take it or leave it; usually I leave it.

  124. Catherine says:

    I used to wonder why I felt no positive effects from all the supplements I was taking and a naturopath friend asked me if I drank a lot of coffee .. at the time I did. She said that coffee inhibits the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients, and if I had to have it, to drink it at least an hour away from any supplements or high quality foods that I wanted my body to benefit from. At the time my eating habits weren’t as pristine as they are now, and of course I know that coffee was only one aspect to my problems. You can acclimatise to anything new (giving up coffee for example) with a good reason to do so, togehter wiht the opportunity to develop a replacement habit. That usually means being prepared for withdrawal symptoms and to keep the offending product out of arm’s reach for a couple of months.

  125. roni says:

    i have an organic farm and healing retreat in the mountains of southern Costa Rica. It came with some older, but still productive Arabica coffee bushes. (Have planted hardwoods for reforestation among the coffee, but they haven’t grown big enough to shade it out yet). I follow the production process carefully (slow sun drying, not over-roasting)and do the whole fair trade thing by paying everyone involved much more than the going rates. ours is truly a “boutique” coffee – we produce a little over 200 lbs per year.

    it is mild, (the Arabica bean is one of the milder, but still richly flavored ones) doesn’t give you the jolts, and doesn’t have any of the burn associated with the over roasted coffees commonly found in starbux, etc. I drink one cup some days (black with fresh cane syrup), alternated with herb teas or yerba mate. I like the taste, and the smell. Sometimes, just taking the bag out of the fridge and sniffing is enough for me. Don’t think I am addicted, and don’t get withdrawal headaches, or any symptoms.

    usually try to keep all things in moderation, find that works most of the time. peace.

  126. Margie says:

    Coffee makes me stupid and scattered! I also think it drops my blood sugar because a few hours after drinking a cup, I am starving for something sweet. I also notice that when I quit coffee, my eyes were much brighter and my body aches (hips) went away. When I am drinking coffee daily for a long period of time, I start to get extremely tired afterward and I just want to lie down and go to sleep. The last thing I want to do is try to read anything that requires concentration.

  127. Karen Beattie says:

    GETTING BACK TO COFFEE AND CAFFEINE, CHOCOLATE AND GREEN TEA ALSO HAVE CAFFINE. LATELY WE HEAR ABOUT THE COFFEE BEANS NOT ROASTED AND RED; WHAT ABOUT THAT?

  128. Hev says:

    COFFEE AND GLUTEN SENSITIVITY / COELIAC DISEASE IS A NO NO! The protein fragments in coffee fools the body into think they are gluten and this produces symptoms in the same way dietary gluten does. I have personal experience of this. I am incredibly careful with my gluten free diet but coffee definitely triggers symptoms. I would never have believed it until I found an article on GLUTEN CROSS-REACTIVE FOODS. For anyone interested see
    http://drclark.typepad.com/dr_david_clark/2011/09/coffee-and-gluten-sensitivity-surprising-news.html
    I feel so much better off the coffee.

  129. Tara says:

    Interesting experiment. I gave up tea and coffee about a year ago. I have given it up before and tended to be more of tea drinker than a coffee drinker.

    I had to wean myself off so I could avoid those wretched withdrawal headaches. Drink fewer and fewer cups each day or so then have just half a cup for three days. The headaches is then just a slight one near the end.

    I LOVE coffee. Black or capucchino. But now I occasionally indulge – and never more than one a week. More like one every 3 or 4 weeks and then I truly, truly enjoy them.

    I can’t do that with chocolate tho. One chocolate usually leads to another and another so best not to eat any at all because otherwise I’ll go on a two week binge.

  130. Seppo says:

    Good experiment Kevin. I’ve given up coffee few times for a month. Didn’t notice big changes, but maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places. I do strugle with getting up in the morning, so perhaps it’s time to kick the coffee habit again and see what happens. And this time longer than 30 days. Thanks for the inspitation!

    Also, there are plenty of studies on positive health effects of coffee. But it’s possible that they aren’t measuring the things that matter, like signs of adrenalin fatigue.

  131. Henrik says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention. If you drink coffee but would like to make it a lot healthier, try adding some reishi when brewing it. The taste of reishi blends well with coffee and you’ll get lots of medicinal benefits!

  132. BarbaraL says:

    I drink 15 oz a day of whatever gourmet or health food coffee I can find on sale, organic or not. 2/3 decaf and 1/3 caff. I have my own way of meditating with it!!! I was a coffee addict for most of my life, also diet soda. That’s all gone now except for the 15 oz, which is part of my morning ritual, despite the chemicals used in decaf, and macadamia nut flavor, I am a pretty purist mostly raw organic vegan!!! Green tea unfort. makes my stomach hurt, so that’s out. I get v little caffeine effect but in theory would still love to oust it but in reality … not so much!! Maybe someday.

  133. Nora says:

    Thank you for your experiment!! The article gives me a real kick as I am/was a huge coffee fan since my teenages. In the last couple of years I was able to quit drinking it for a couple of months each year, but than again… I returned for my ceremonial drink for different reasons. This year I feel like I am able to stay away from coffee for good -though in the last couple of weeks I had plenty of it, but now I feel I have the power to get rid of this habit.
    So thank you again! I wish to all of You good health and love :) -from Hungary

  134. Kim - Sacramento says:

    IS IT THE CAFFEINE OR THE COFFEE?

    A prior post also mentioned this Life Extension coffee. I drink primarily their decaf (with a touch of stevia). If you are up for another experiment it would be interesting how you found this decaf version. Are there really heath benefits as they claim?

    I do get caffeine withdrawal headaches, but get the same from “green tea all day at work.”

    I’m learning a lot from all the feedback comments on this post – thanks Kevin!

    (I have no affiliation)

    http://www.no-rad-zone.com/Rich_Rewards_Coffee.php

    Not all coffee provides the same health-protective effects. When it comes to obtaining the full range of benefits from coffee, most people aren’t getting their money’s worth. The reason? Most of the coffee bean’s polyphenol content is destroyed during the roasting process required to create a dark, rich blend.

    Among the most beneficial polyphenols is chlorogenic acid, a potent antioxidant polyphenol clinically proven to favorably modulate dangerous after-meal glucose surges and support blood sugar levels already within healthy range. Life Extension®’s new Rich Rewards Decaffeinated Roast is made using a patented, 100% natural process called HealthyRoast™.* It delivers a more complete nutritional profile of the coffee bean, yielding chlorogenic acid levels far greater than other premium brands.

  135. Stacy says:

    This article was such a fantastic read with my big mug of coffee with cream! I’ve been drinking coffee on and off since I was TWELVE I can’t believe my parents actually let me start at that age, even if it was weak (yet super acidic) Yuban coffee.

    I’m basically 100% raw vegan these days — apart from my current coffee habit and the odd bee products. I think for me while, yes, it does affect me somewhat negatively, it serves a few purposes: One, I feel like a “normal” person instead of some raw food freak. Two, I try to get up before my two early-rising kids so that I can relish my yummy coffee. It’s my me-time and I don’t want to give that up. Three, there’s something in me that reviles the thought of doing everything “perfectly”. I have a need to rebel in something.

    True, maybe I could have another warm drink, but nothing tastes the same. Nothing. I’ve heard people talk about gynostemma tea as one replacement option, so I went and bought a ton of this stuff in San Francisco Chinatown (it goes under the name of Jiaogulan tea there) and, I’m sorry, but there’s no way that stuff tastes good. It’s pretty vile, actually. If I had to drink that stuff first thing in the morning I’d rather stay in bed. Green tea? Blah.

    So I dunno … But my thoughts are that if I’m doing everything else right and feeling good and am mindful about what I’m doing, I’m alright. I’ll probably get off it AGAIN sometime soon, but will do it in my own time, when I feel like I otherwise have reached a plateau.

    Good “food” for thought. Thanks, Kevin!

  136. Thomas says:

    I see all these “ads” for Organo Gold coffee being posted here.

    There are a lot of blogs and web sites calling it a multi-level-marketing scam making false claims of its miraculous health benefits for just over-priced ordinary coffee.

    The claims on their web site range from restoring your eyesight to curing cancer. Yeah, right!

    There are also many YouTube videos both critical of the program and promoting it.
    Right now the salespeople are flooding the web (comments on blogs & videos) with promotions to increase their profits.

    Buyer beware! :-)

    Personally, I enjoy real coffee. Remember to drink it in moderation and get plenty of water. It’s great before physical exercise.
    I think people have a problem with it because they sit after drinking it. It is ‘energy’, so you have to ‘move’. :-)

  137. Lori says:

    I learned the hard way about coffee and any other substance that contains caffeine. I can’t even do chocolate without experiencing negative symptoms,: headache, insomnia, nervousness, lack of concentration, feelings of anger, frustration once the feel good high has ended, etc. Its a trap that I’m grateful I no longer step into, not even my toe. I’m much better for it. Herbal teas and carob is far superior to the drugs coffee and chocolate.

  138. Brenda says:

    Oh man, I wish I would have known you were going to try this, I would have suggested you only do this if you use the energy boost that caffeine was designed to give you. That extra for a workout, or walk goes along way to help process it all properly, naturally then you want water and soon, to eat. Coffee is not as strong and allows more to drink than expresso, not as hard on the stomach and perhaps adrenals. Many new parents enjoy the help, I feel a cup or two has benefits with out the harm in an otherwise healthy person. If my eyes turned red and my hair dried out and my hands got clammy,it could only be every now and then, but you will know when a nice cup of fresh hot coffee would enhance the moment, then, drink with pleasure.

  139. Louise says:

    I’ve been off coffee for a year and a half. Before quitting I’d only have one cup a day but I didn’t like the fact that I’d get a banger of headache if I didn’t have it. I gave it up mostly because I knew it didn’t help my cause which was to create a less acidic environment in my body so I knew it had to go and I don’t miss it one bit…. now.

  140. Mark says:

    Everything has a side effect, or an affect on the side – everything! As a natural health practitioner of 14 years, I use coffee enemas for cancer patients successfully.
    So one man’s food, can be another man’s poison. I drink 1 cup of coffee at breakfast and 1 cup of coffee to make me sleep at night – it works well. Only 2 cups of coffee per day…

  141. Dee says:

    Never been a coffee drinker, parents were British, so I was raised on tea. I remember when I stopped drinking tea, I was on a retreat and woke up the first morning and discovered no tea. So being away at a retreat was actually a great place to stop. I had tried previously and it was tough especially at work. I would find myself sleepy at 10:00 and give in and get some tea.

  142. Dan says:

    Hey Kevin, Perhaps further down the rabit hole to optimal health, you might try a similar experiment with the coffee enema as made popular by Dr Gerson’s Cancer Therapy. This way you would have anecdotal evidence if a daily coffee enema causes similar adrenal stress and subsequient decline in health. Or result in no effects on adrenals or health.
    Dr Gonzalez does a “double” coffee enema every morning and has done so for decades as does Dr Shima. Being a health renegade, how about giving it a good college try. I’d be interested in your results. Thanks, Dan

  143. zimi says:

    Kevin, as a health info provider, you need to know that caffiene withdrawal could kill a person. I am serious. No, not from one cup a day or perhaps even 2 cups a day.

    I used to drink 10 to 12 cups of coffee per 24 hour day. I did this for years. If I didn’t get a cup of coffee with 2 to 3 hours when I usually was in the habit of getting my first cup of the day, I would begin to get a headache that lasted until bedtime and then slept it off.

    So after 2-3 hours I would have a coffee but the headache stayed.

    Sometimes I had to go without my first coffee for about 8 hours or so. The headache was awful, got worse and worse and I began to feel nauseous.

    I am convinced that if I had never had another cup of coffee, I would have been very very sick. Years later, I read of cases where people had died of caffiene withdrawal. It was rare but it didn’t happen.

    Going cold turkey is ok for cigarettes but not for coffee especially for those who are heavy coffee drinkers. I found I could cut down from 12 cups to 3 or 4 cups right away without withdrawal symptoms and in a couple of weeks was down to one cup/day so it can be done quickly.

    I now drink one 12 oz cup a day and I still get headaches if I don’t have it but they are not nearly as bad as those I had when I was drinking the 12 cups a day. I could be off of this one cup/day cold turkey and I would not be sick except for the headache which would last 2 days or so.

  144. zimi says:

    In my previous post I wrote, ” It was rare but it didn’t happen.”

    It was supposed to read, “It was rare but did happen.”

  145. Christopher says:

    In the book Yes No Maybe they have a recipe for the coffee. Raw cacao, grade B maple syrup, and organic coffee drank before 9am. The cacoa and maple syrup combine in a very special way that dosent give you jitters and also helps with b-12. Well worth checking out. I didnt drink coffee for many years until I learned when is the best time to drink it.

  146. Jacky Manchester says:

    Wow, you sure got a lot of good responses on this one. I appreciate your experiment and am glad you decided against coffee for yourself. My husband ( would have been 84 yesterday) and I drank 20-30 cups of coffee a day – perked_ when we were young. A little older and I am learning about nutrition, and read that coffee was hard on your heart. I showed it to my husband, and no response. So I started substituting Sanka for part of the coffee when I brewed it, gradually adding more as he hadn’t commented on it. In the process, I got weaned off of coffee, still love the smell and a good cup once in a while. He responded well when I confessed and said to continue, but still drank pots of coffee at work, in his office and the break room. He was a very intense man, and heart trouble ran in his family and he had had angina since he was 32. At 48 a massive heart attack took him. Lots of factors here, but I think coffee was one of them. My opinion of course.

  147. Brianna says:

    Cool experiment, Kev. :) I dunno what else to say. I just admire your will to find the truth, and your ability to execute experiments that will get you answers. It’s very scientist in nature. Ya know, there are programs that will pay you to do stuff like this, and give you fancy letters after your name when you succeed :) haha. Thanks for sharing.

  148. vicki says:

    Kevin
    You went to extremes with espresso. I wonder how many cups of organic coffee equals one espresso. I usually drink one cup of organic
    coffee in the morning, not extreme.
    Vicki

  149. Lexxie says:

    Very interesting article Kevin.As I was reading it,I could just taste and smell the coffee.I was a coffee addict a few years ago.Just like you,I loved everything about it.Grinding the beans fresh,the aroma,the sound of it percolating,the very fist cup of freshly brewed coffee.It was magical.I also liked the social aspects of it when everyone at work had their own coffee mug and we collected the money and the boss bought it for us.We had our little coffee breaks. I even loved cleaning the coffee maker at work and at home.I loved the temporary alert feeling coffee gave me but I knew it was not really good for me.I felt jittery a lot and had to urinate constantly.My doctor advised me to stop drinking it because I had high blood pressure and other health problems.I quit cold turkey.I cannot do a gradual decrease or substitute with tea or anything else.I’m an all or nothing kind of gal.Same with smoking.That had to be done the same way.Sure,I had withdrawals,some terrible ones with both,coffee and cigarettes.But this is just how I work.It’s not the best way to be but you cannot change your core nature.Not in this lifetime.Maybe the next one will be different.
    Thank you for letting us know about your experiment.It was fun to read and very educational.

  150. France says:

    hi everybody this is a great subject(148 comments wow!)

    an experiment that was done shows that the smell of coffee is anti depressant
    so no need to drink it,just smell it!

    i love coffee but I cannot drink it more than 3 days on a row or when i stop I have strong withdrawal headaches
    and also it gives funny sensations in my arms (like if my nerves and blood are running down) and as much as I get a high I get a down few hours later…
    but the nicest treat for addict is a grain of coffee in dark bio chocolate just 2-3 and a delightful smile comes

  151. JL says:

    My complimentary health studies brought me the information that it takes the liver 48 hours to process one cup of coffee. That’s a fully functioning liver (which many people are not, as they consume the common diet of fast foods and don’t drink any water…etc).

    Something to think about….so how far behind in your liver detox are you?

    I quit coffee/earl grey tea cold turkey over 30 years ago after being told my chest pains were caffeine related. It was an awful experience. I am now healthy and my adrenals aren’t exhausted any more, and I wouldn’t touch the stuff with a ten foot pole. I like being/feeling healthy much better than how I feel when I practice self-medicating with caffeine.

  152. Tammy says:

    I never really drank coffee too much but liked it for a while in college. It makes me hands shake and tremble if I drink a few cups, so I avoid it. Plus, I have read studies that it can disrupt clear vision too, and make people see blurry.
    My friend just showed me how to do coffee enemas though so now when I smell coffee a whole different part of me is thinking how good coffee can be once in a while~

  153. Sue Rushford says:

    I used to drink a cup a day – college age till early 40′s – quit cold turkey for the first 4 years after going ‘high raw’ – just picked up about half a cup (demitasse) a day part cause I just love the flavor & part for the slight pick-me-up. I also enjoy many of the coffee substitutes – favorite is Macafe – haven’t noticed any differences since I added coffee back in – not planning to quit again other than for the next 2 months while I do a cleanse & some homeopathic adrenal work – I’m going on 47 yrs old – both my grannies lived to 93, & both drank a cup a day. There are worse sins in life.

  154. jackie says:

    I wish you’d stayed with just the one cup/day; that’s about what I drink, or less. I don’t have to have it, and have quit in the past with no difference noted. Sometimes I don’t have any, but I feel that moderation is the key. Some research shows that coffee has some benefits, so if you had stuck with organic (and I prefer Fair Trade as well) you may have been OK and may not have experienced the symptoms that popped up later. ? Just a thought…

  155. Deborah says:

    This is always a good experiment _experiment. Caffeine seems to have less affect on ones nervous system when used after consuming high quality protein.

  156. IH says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Great post!! and kudos for doing this kind of experiment. I used to drink coffee every day but reduced about a year ago to an occasional treat when I go out with a friend and then it is a single espresso machiato only. At home I created my own brew with a mixture of teecino and a decaf (water processed) espresso (I’m sure you have familiarized yourself with Lavazza). Even then I feel dehydrated after drinking it and I feel sooo much better when I drink green juice and a shot of E3 live instead. For me coffee is dehydrating but I know the feeling. Like most people I have a relationship with good food and coffee is on that list but I just keep the consumption to a minimum. I’m thankful that I don’t need it anymore to wake me up. I consider it a recreational food and I can handle it easily once in a while.

  157. romulo patricio says:

    Hi, Kevin !

    How about drinking an alkaline coffee sold by Allianceinmotion.com ? They claim that this coffee is healthy because it only has 0.0001 % caffeine and is mixed with alkaline powder, so on.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Romulo @romulopatricio64@gmail.com

  158. Deborah says:

    I liked this article a lot. When I lived in Rome I had a student (40something) who told me that every time he left smoggy Rome for the fresh air of the country he got sick. Ok maybe he was Herxing or whatever but the point is I see a similarity between his story and the long-lived healthy people who drink a lot of coffee. The human organism adapts. I have been drinking coffee for about 25 years, never had any issues but recently noticed that one of the big name brands makes me unbearably thirsty. This doesn’t happen with the stovetop moka espresso. I’m not even madly in love with coffee, it’s just a way to start the day. In Italy coffee is the punctuation of life and I am fond of punctuation. I guess I would go back to the old Chinese proverb: Everything in moderation, including moderation. I don’t think coffee is bad, after all, God made it, but it should be something we enjoy rather than something we need. But in my opinion there is some weird stuff that goes into the big coffee brands since my body hates it so much.

  159. Marilyn Chin says:

    Learning so much from the postings. I didn’t know caffeine enlarged fibroids which I had. I didn’t know type O positive blood was averse to caffeine. I didn’t know about its acidity and impact on my adrenals until I self-diagnosed myself as adrenal fatigued. I drank regularly 1-2 large cups, often without eating breakfast which I is not good. In fact, now I would say, as one would with alcohol, drink coffee with a healthy meal. I cold turkey quit coffee by drinking hot lemon water every morning. I realized I did not want to drink my vitamins down with coffee so I switched to hot lemon water, thinking I would drink a cup later. Well, later never came. I think the dual action of taking supplements and not drinking coffee really i proved my health. I subsequently learned about adrenal stress and realized I quit in time. My adrenals are still shot and am undergoing therapy for it. I don’t have cravings for coffee but have had a cup here or there but can’t finish it. I feel I’ve kicked a bad habit and saved some money too.

  160. lori b says:

    I drink coffee once in a while. Not every month. Sometimes once a month for three months or so and then not all for a year. I guess it depends on the person and how their body is made up. The only pigment in my skin that is noticeable is a freckle. Even when much younger I was not addicted to the coffee even though i might have had it a little more often. Sugar is my addiction and that leads me to believe that we have different brain connections that lead to our addictive behavior. One day at a time……

  161. The biggest mistake people make when drinking coffee is drinking it on a empty stomach.

  162. Kimberly says:

    Wow, great article. Thanks!

    I wish I could know if the same things apply in the use of Organic Swiss Water Decaf with the use of a Toddy, which counteracts the acidity in coffee. I love the taste of coffee but cannot have caffeine. That’s why I use the Decaf. We love the taste of the cold brewed coffee and the convenience of having the pre-pared concentrate.

    Now you have me considering giving up my chocolate and coffee, but those are my two most favorite foods. :-(

    I do struggle with tons of energy problems that I believe may be related to adrenal issues.

    Hmmm….

  163. Donna Korth says:

    I had the same experience that Kevin had – and I learned that drinking coffee actually stimulated the production of glucose (sugar) by the liver and fatigue (when it wore off).

    Why did I drink it? Because with higher blood sugar I felt like I was functioning better, was more optimistic about life, more willing to fulfill my responsibilities (than without the coffee).

    BUT I was also erratic with my emotions, very acidic (black around the rings or anything metallic after awhile) and I remembered a former boss who we always enjoyed right after he drank his coffee but avoided when his blood sugar bombed later.

    I also experienced early signs of arthritis after awhile on coffee.

    When a bunch of us were standing around the coffee pot at the beginning of our shift (I am a nurse) we would all be talking like magpies, eager to be heard but not so good at hearing others….

    Yes, coffee taught me a lot about myself and I learned that I was much more even tempered, stable and healthy without it!

    Incidentally, most of the coffee that the world drinks is loaded with herbicides and pesticides and nitrates as it is grown over and over again in soil that is lacking and requires a lot of help. So if you do drink it, make sure it is always organic.

  164. John Hewer says:

    This is ridiculous. “In a period of about 8-9 weeks, I had experienced a decline in my own health enough” Please. Drinking one 2 oz shot of espresso a day is not going to cause your hair to go frizzy and brittle. Bloodshot eyes, clammy hands…Did you major in drama in school. I thought I was reading the diary of a heroin addict.

  165. Jennifer says:

    Well, I haven’t kicked coffee but I did have to switch to naturally decafeinated coffee. I developped anxiety disorder after September 11th (though it’s much better now) & regular coffee was sending me into a panic (even after years & years of drinking it). Then I went to see a dietician who is also an endocrinologist to help me lose a little weight. I’m not really fat but I had gained some weight & didn’t want it to get worse. So one thing she wanted me to do was eliminate sugar from my coffee. I fought her tooth & nail on that topic but in the end she said I had to do it so I did. The first taste was really bitter but then after that it was fine.

    I gave up alcohol & cigarettes years ago so I know how difficult it can be to break a habit. And when I gave up alcohol I replaced it with herbal tea & honey to subdue my oral fixation. That helped a lot.

  166. MaryJ says:

    Half way through reading this I thought ‘silly boy’ and giggled
    It could have ended badly :)

  167. Linda Murphy says:

    I to was a coffee addict for about 20 years. I loved all the different flavours. It wasn’t until I went back to school in 2007, to complete a holistic nutrition course that I learned of all the negative affects of coffee. I was very upset,as I was addicted and did not want to give it up. But I switched over to organic decaf…and eventually not craving coffee at all. I no longer am tired in the morning. No longer have the shakes,or heart pounding that I experienced before . I have just turned 50,and feel better now than I have in my entire life. Of course I had also changed my diet to no red meat,or dairy as well. I have also switched to drinking green tea,and sometimes herbal coffees, that contain no caffeine . I recommend giving up coffee to my clients,and always recommend they try organic decaf, which seems to be a good substitute for most. I am glad you have tried the experiment, because I have thought of trying, but to was worried about becoming addicted. Good for you !
    Linda Murphy
    Registered Holistic Nutritionist

  168. Sean says:

    I’m wondering..about quality of water used at these shops..do you only do natural spring/distilled, then were subjected to municipal water from these coffee experiements? Granted, espresso doesn’t have much water..but I was curious just the same. I did quit for a year once..(wasn’t bothered after a week of headaches passed)..not really sure why I started it again! Oh well…

    I’m ‘loving it’, but I’ve trimmed back to my morning mug..nothing later..brought a full thermos to work once..WAYYY TOO MUCH! Had trouble staying on task..so I obviously don’t do stimulants too well..and I can’t do chocolate anywhere near bedtime..prevents sleep pretty severely..

    Maybe it’s time..to re-quit!

  169. Rustaholic says:

    Drop the coffee and then start making and drinking Kombucha.
    Great stuff for you.
    What I can buy for $4.00 I can make for $0.25.
    http://www.kombuchakamp.com/kombucha-recipe

  170. Patricia Jensen says:

    After weeks of following RenegadeHealth, the issue of coffee cries out for comment.
    Like you, I went without coffee for years but going back was no problem. I have cluster
    headaches, my doctor said that good coffee was the best thing for me, it is an antioxident
    but also eases inflammory problems. “Good” coffee for me is fair trade, organic, dark
    roast and locally roasted. Both my husband and I are seniors plus, take no prescription
    drugs, not totally vegetarian but eat wisely and well.

  171. I liked your article Kevin….and here is my experience of drinking coffee. I had developed a liking for having a small cup of black coffee every morning, sweetened with honey and palm sugar, to avoid the refined sugar bit….which sometimes extended to soy cappuchinos with a friend who is addicted to them, about twice a week. I felt no ill effects at all! I was following a healthy diet, but with too much ‘sweetness’ in retrospect, and not enough of the green stuff!
    Then two years ago, I suddenly went downhill, lost weight, developed a nasty cough, and out came some skin cancer spots, which i treated with black salve. I toddled along to a good Naturopath, who told me to cut out coffee altogether, and also sugar, gave me a concoction of herbs and recommended supplements (I’m in my seventies). I stuck to her suggestions rigidly, and a couple of months later, a live blood test showed that everything had improved a great deal! I felt fine! I had not experienced any ‘withdrawel’ symptoms from coffee at all (I usually had organic and fairtrade coffee from the Aldi shop). Slowly but surely, I started drinking coffee again, but only small amounts as before. No symptoms at all like you mentioned in your article!
    Then recently, I went through another problematic time by developing a whole bunch of cancer spots on my one leg, plus a nasty rash on both arms. Back to the naturopath, gave up coffee again, and treated the offending rash and spots appropriately with natural products. I realized that I had not been viligant enough with my everyday diet, and had ‘strayed’ somewhat from the greenery and alkaline/acid balance we need to keep fit! So another round of herbs and supplements, which has had it’s effect – no more rash on the arms, and the cancer spots have faded considerably. I still have my small cup of coffee, but keep a much stricter eye on the alkaline/acid balance – that to me is the answer! Moderation in all things! I still like my black coffee in the mornings, and the occasional cappuchino, and have none of the effects you mentioned. But plenty of greens is a MUST! Please delete this comment if it is inappropriate for your article.

  172. brigitte tornatora says:

    i have been a coffee addict most of my adult life as my husband and i owned an espresso bar and worked long hours so coffee was the ideal get up and go.
    i am in my 70th now and limit myself to 2 shots a day no more after lunch as it won’t let me sleep well.
    i get jittery when i have to give it up for short reasons but just get back to it.
    having a machine at home does not help the giving up.
    brigitte

  173. Heather says:

    How a person processes coffee or any other chemical is so individual it makes broad claims ridiculous. If a person likes it and doesn’t have a specific health problem, then drink up. It isn’t going to shorten your life.

  174. Sara Fellows says:

    What about decaff? Does that make any difference?

  175. Rustaholic says:

    WOW, I just read most of the other comments here.
    When I was last drinking coffee it was very dark fresh ground beans pot after pot at work.
    It took me drinking at least four 24 ounce mugs one right after the other for me to even feel it.
    We were working overtime at a rate of six 10 hour days per week.
    I would have those four mugs in the morning and at least two more through the day.
    I did that for at least ten months then just quit and it never bothered me either way.
    I have always been a tough to medicate type of guy though.
    Now it is just one 16 ounce bottle of home brewed Kombucha.
    I did two yesterday and I felt plain stuffed afterwards.
    Besides after all the good benefits you get from Kombucha is does suppress the appetite.

  176. Ines Maria says:

    Dear Kevin
    I have not had any great problems drinking coffee. It is so nice to have a good espresso. But…some how rather my body tells me that it does not like it as much as I do. It is a feeling, a gut feeling and after reading your article I will opt for green tea. I get pain in my hands. Pain that I cannot explain, in a thumb or my wrist or a finger, for no reason. It is not severe but it bothers me not to know what is causing it. Well it might be coffee. Recently I have
    been drinking more than usual, up to 3 cups a day. I am stopping it altogether and expect to see the results.
    Thank you for your article it is most interesting
    Ines Maria

  177. Erik says:

    I love coffee, but alas I too have had adrenal issues from too much. And that I think is the key; too much. Making coffee a daily habit and turning it into an addiction probably is not the way to go. I have a cup of organic fair trade coffee once a week before I go to the gym for a heavy lifting day. I feel fine, no adrenal issues, or blood sugar issues like I had in the past from too much. Coffee is medicinal if treated as such. Respect the bean.

  178. Stevo says:

    Interesting & humerous article – a wee bit long-winded. I drink a cup of coffee daily and like most things in life I find moderation is key. Adding some blood test results during and after this experiment would’ve had me a little more interested. Healthy diet, exercise and a healthy mindset account for a huge part of our health. Drink a bit of coffee if you enjoy it but like everything else in life don’t be consumed by it. Anything that controls us/or our behaviour is bad. Even fixating on health/exercise too much can become all consuming. Balance in life is really important

  179. Barry Hinde says:

    I quit drinking coffee in 1984. After drinking it as a staple fluid for about forty years I found it was keeping me awake so I cut back to coffee in the morning only. This led to an experiment with coffee first thing in the morning only. On this routine I found that I felt sick by about ten am and on consideration I realized that I always felt sick after drinking coffee. It had been my normal condition for so long that I didn’t notice it. That led me to quit completely. I just quit. I did drink more tea but after a while tea bothered me so now I drink assorted green teas or just water. At seventy-four I am in generally good health, slightly elevated blood pressure and I drink one cup of coffee a month. I still like the stuff.

  180. shelly says:

    Coffee. Mm…. I like coffee until I got this high urine acid result. I gave up but not completely. I still take it once a while. I always looked back at some of the old record. At old time in many of the old town, people liked to take coffee in the coffee shop for breakfast, they lived until the age of 80 to 90+, and they were in good health. My uncle was one of them.Now a day, things changed and many people got health problem, one of them is due to coffee. I talked to a lot of old and young people. Old people said that it is due to individual body absorption and in the old time they believed the only one method of dealing with coffee, but now a day is a different way of produce the coffee which the manufacture add a lot of stuff inside. I should say QUIT if it is not for your body, of course it is not what you think, it is more important what your body said to you.

    You will receive some email from me about herb, food to heal cancer. may be I can email you some other things which I am thinking whether you like it and when you see things that I email you, you can always let me know or stop me, ok. I will do it later. Good day.

  181. Mike Bacon says:

    I’m allergic to regular store brand coffee. Also the caffeine in a small MacDonald’s coffee keeps me awake for two nights, so I only drink decaf if I do drink coffee instead of my normal herb and green teas. The interesting thing is, I went back to the country of my birth, Kenya, for a month and I drank 3 or 4 cups of regular Kenya coffee with my breakfast every morning and felt no consequences at all!

  182. Evangeline Williams says:

    Interesting, I have been on and off the coffe treadmill for years. On more than off. I did not drink coffee at all until about 30 years ago. How or why I started I don’t remember. When I realized that it really wasn’t that good a health food I couldn’t stop. But I would try, not drink it for about two days then a stress factor would hit and without even thinking I was drinking coffee. I have to make it for my husband so it is always at hand. No fancy stuff just cheap dollar store brand. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try again.

  183. Gerry says:

    Hi, Kev:

    A few things:
    1. Did you experience the post caffiene “lows” mid afternoon or whatever when the spike wore off?
    2. Did Ann notice any personality changes re: irritability with i without your a.m. “high?”
    3. What about those who suffer “Cravings, clammy hands, bloodshot eyes, dry and brittle hair” with or without the coffee habit?;-).
    4. Speaking of coffee, hve you had personal experience or done research on the Gerson Cancer Therapy in which coffee enemas are a large part of their protocol, and if so or if not, why not?

    Gerry

  184. Lara Francipane says:

    Coffee, being roasted, is very high in AGEs;-advanced glycolic end products-components found in browned foods which are very aging and hard for the body to eliminate as we get older. Knowing this, I still ‘live on the edge’ by having my one latte a day, but maybe I will attempt to eliminate it too. I notice that people who don’t drink coffee have shinier, clearer eyes than those who ‘do it’.

  185. Sid Ban says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Thought your article was a bit too wordy but on the other side of your article I admit I found it folksy, at times amusing, and a model for writers who cannot reflect about themselves, their habits, their lessons in life, etc.

    In other words, you have a gift for expressing yourself in a delightful way and I would enjoy further developments in other areas of your healthful experiences. And good fortune in your career as a writer.

  186. Lorcan mulhern says:

    Very similar experience myself, I must say I’d have the odd coffee before a workout- gives me a mental focus. But we both know its a really a warning sign as you discussed. Enjoyed the read many thanks it cleared a lot up for me.

  187. Lee says:

    Caffine is a very strong drug for me. I started drinking it in high school because I was hooked on Coke back then and coffee was hot and made a nice replacement. Then I went to a workshop where no stimulants were allowed for the week. The first day without coffee I had a banging headache and then the heaves. I was sick for the entire day. This is when I got that I was addicted. The whole process happened one more time and then I realized I needed to stay away from it. I had Fibrosistic breast condition which went away after stopping the coffee. I occasionally have a cup of coffee but never two days in a row. That’s how easily I can get back on it. Thanks for doing your coffe experiment. Our bodies can take more punishment when we are younger. L

  188. suzanne says:

    I went of coffee about a year ago for the better and went on to tea. now I can’t drink tea. I make my own tea from 6 different mints. mint,apple mint,basil mint , spearmint, peppermint,cocolate mint. I find this very refreshing .Loved your book kevin and keep up the good work. you have helped me so much. I was 132kg and now I am 111. Ihaven’t been this wieght since I was in my 20′s am on in my early 60′s. love and light

  189. Yes, Kevin is correct…. the high acid, the high caffeine and chemical processing are some of the causes of negative symptoms from coffee. But did Kevin try the coffee that is healthy for you? There is a free trade organic coffee that is infused with several varieties of Ganoderma (Red reishi) mushrooms. It is delicious, low acid and low caffeine. And the health benefits are tremendous.
    I have tried many products from many companies and nothing compares or even comes close!
    Everyone you know and love should be benefitting from this coffee!
    There is more information on the following sites:
    http://www.whyGanoExcel.com
    http://www.myGanoExcel.ca/ezflow4u
    http://www.LeadingEdgeHealth.org
    and request more info from me at:
    LeadingEdgeHealth@shaw.ca

  190. Nadine says:

    Hi Kevin
    Very good article. Often we argue against the obvious. I don’t like coffee or the smell of coffee and gave it up a very long time ago and have never had the graving to exploit myself to such an unhealthy habit again. Not a tea drinker either only good wholesome water.

  191. Mel says:

    Thank you for cheer your experience, helped me a lot. God bless you.

  192. Teacher says:

    Of course, if there is a drug involved, there will be side-effects, positive and negative, so caffeine will mess with your nervous system even though there are benefits to coffee, one should not drink it every day just as one should not take aspirin every day, which, by the way, has all sorts of side effects such as hearing loss and ulcers. Anyway, that was a nice try, or just an excuse to binge on a great drink. When I switched to substituting an orange to a cup of coffee, I got just as much energy without the nerves.

  193. Susan says:

    Aloha Kev,

    Nice job. I secretly wished it was me that did the experiment. I secretly wished it turned out good so I could start drinking coffee again. I love coffee. I love the smell, the taste and how it makes me feel……..until I drink it for 5 days or more. My stomach gets acidic. I don’t sleep as well. I get nervous. My guilt starts to out weigh the delicious taste. Dang. Now and then, when I am very tired and need it, it can be great medicine. Sometimes I will just brew a shot and smell it, take just a couple sips and leave it at that. But, it is seldom. When I do decide to go for it, the excitement is thrilling. What is it about coffee? And, why can some people get away with drinking it every morning and afternoon without nasty side effects? Ahhhhh, to be one of those. But, I am clearly not. OK, I will never try it again.
    Thanks for your experiment and article. I could so relate! Chef Teton

  194. Toby says:

    Thanks Kevin for putting your body to test for the rest of us to coffee-sensitives to better understand the correlations. I have been thinking seriously about quitting the java but love it for all the reasons you mention in your intro. However, having had anxiety disorders for a better part of my life I realise it is not a good thing for me and that quite rightly not everyone reacts similarly to caffeine. I certainly realise that a cup of coffee has a direct effect on my nervousness anxiety and restlessness. If I am we’ll rested and in good shape one espresso or latte (never drink regular filter coffee) will probably have no minor impact. It is the days when the mind and body’s tired (which is often with small kids and busy work), one or two espresso coffees will send the mind and consequently the body into the anxiety spiral which is unproductive, exhausting and sometimes debilitating….the worst combo being a late night out with plenty of booze, little sleep (never sleep good after a party night) and then caffeine in the morning…only medication an really bring me back to feeling in control and human.
    Anyhow, I know I should quit but it is like I miss the buzz but just need to get used to a milder and more enjoyable pace!
    Happy New Year!
    Toby Ernberg

  195. Rory Bullen says:

    Hi,
    What are your thoughts on drinking Cocoa power (organic ) with honey ?

  196. Leonid says:

    Thanks for sharing your personal story…
    I‘d like to tell the following: Listen to your body! Do not enforce to drink if you feel you can avoid it or don’t need. Drinking coffee is this a bad habit? May be… However, individuals who have not symptoms like craving, cold hands (vessels constriction’s effect from peripheral N.S.), High BP, high pulse, agitation, pain in your bones and so on… enjoy drinking and feel good. To avoid addiction to the coffee is very important to substitute it from time to time with good cup of tea (green/black). The tea caffeine is eliminated from your body in 2-3 hrs, without any side effects. If you drink 1-2 cups of coffee during the day (1-2 teaspoon of coffee for 2 cups), you probably avoid side effects. Coffee has positive and negative effect on your body (there are allot of scientific controversial research articles). .. To avoid negative effect be vise not abuse it and you feel grate

  197. Gail says:

    Kevin–I am a coffee lover too. I recently started juicing and eating only raw, but every morning
    I still have coffee. The question of quitting kept creeping into my mind.
    Your experiment is actually inspiring and enlightening.
    Thanks for being adventurous and sharing.
    This morning I had tea.
    Cheers.

  198. Velda says:

    Great article, Kevin. I used to drink coffee all day long – dark roast. The cafeine never seemed to affect me. I could drink coffee just before going to bed and not have a problem. When I quit drinking coffee, (I quit because I was pregnant) I had a head ache for about 2 weeks. I figured if it had that affect on me when quitting I would not go back to it. I have not. I have not missed it, but I have a cup every now and then. The thing that many people don’t realize (I didn’t either) is that the darker the roast, the less cafeine the coffee has in it. So if you do want a cup of coffee, and don’t really want the cafeine, then drink a dark roast or an espresso.

    Thank you, Kevin, for this great insight. Some people can handle coffee better than others. Some people it doesn’t seem to affect until they quit. For me, after I had a my baby and would have a cup of coffee on occasion, it would keep me up at night (which had never happened before). During my pregnancy, for some reason, I didn’t even like the taste of it. After I had my baby, it tasted good to me, but I could not drink it any time in the afternoon or evening, because I could not go to sleep. Had something to do with the changes my body went through during the pregnancy. Anyway, everybody is different – but one thing is that coffee produces an acidic environment in your body.

    Thanks again, Kevin. Hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas.

  199. melanie says:

    When I drink caffeine, my vision gets worse, and my body swells (fingers, toes, abdomen). I also have a hard time getting up the next morning. I purchased your Cravings Free for Life Program to help me be free of my craving for caffeine but I have not been e-mailed directions or a link to download the Program Please explain how I can access the Cravings Free Program, which I purchased

  200. Melissa says:

    thanks for being so frank about your symptoms; i have all those and more (insomnia) even when i drink caffeinated tea or do too much chocolate/hot chocolate. the combo of sugar and caffeine is sure to create a migraine and sure to result in candida, eventually. i don’t think its just genetics, but if you are not doing alot of heavy beans/lentils or eating flesh i think there is little to combat this intense acidity. Eating any other preservatives with this or dairy/vinegar seems to worsen the effects – so does polluted air, black mold, noise, stress, or lack of sleep. i think you’re right – a holy basil or stinging nettle tea is great, something completely w/out caffeine is best – either that or some essential oils – frankinsence, or idaho balsam fir works best for kicking addiction issues – i understand, … just about all of them. again, thanks for being honest about your journey. Happy New Year to you and your small family!!

  201. Susan says:

    Hi. I’m new to all of this and would love to know what you had to say about chocolate.Thanks for caring enough to give us this wonderful, free advice
    Sue

  202. Jean D says:

    I just quit coffee again 2 days ago. Wasn’t too bad starting the day off with green tea and fresh veggie juice.
    Last time I quit was 2 years ago. I went 6 months with brain fog. My brother said the same, “Just can’t think as clearly”. I hope this doesn’t happen to me again.

    Like another reader, my system doesn’t clear the chemicals very quickly and then I don’t sleep. I gained 30# and am at my top weight now since starting the coffee 2 years ago. That’ s why I’m doing this experiment again. I want to see if it is causing carb cravings and the weight gain.

    However, I’ve read quite a bit about this….

    Dr. Gonzales uses coffee only for enemas. He does them daily. I have done them several times a week and it feels great. The stimulation of the autonomic nervous system causes the bile to be released along with all the toxins. You can read about this elsewhere and 2nd phase detox.

    Secondly, I did notice a difference in switching to cold home brew. I ground the organic beans and put in filtered water jug overnight. Poured through coffee filter in the a.m. and the taste was smooth and did not cause jittery feelings. Also, slept better. There might be something there as the commercial brewers say 65% less acid.

    Thirdly, I just had urine analysis done and my urine was too ALKALINE. How could that be when I was drinking 2 cups per day? Just wondering if anyone knows.

    Lastly, the person who mentioned putting salt in the coffee is right on—using distilled or RO water to make your coffee tastes great but doesn’t add any minerals back. Drinking the coffee after consuming some sort of mineral source would be interesting to note.

    Ok, now lastly…… Is it possible people are reacting to the chemical sprays?? Friends overseas drink blacker than black coffee as say they feel so different…all good.

    Thanks for listening,
    j

  203. Sema says:

    Hi Kevin
    I really enjoyed your story. Especially the way you started your experiment. It could have been anything, not coffee. The way you consciously prepared yourself brought back memories. I once wanted to try drugs, especially after I had lost someone so dear after using drugs, and it was only dope, so I have been told. He was only sixteen – the river didn’t give him back to us, simply swallowed him. I so wanted to find out what made people want it so much so that they would even lie and steel from others to get to money to buy it. I was under the shower and said to myself ‘the moment I realise that I am hooked I’ll let go of it (I must have been joking – you think). After a few weeks into it the signs where clearly there. I had a day job at a hospital, I was fifteen then. Sometimes I was still stoned the next morning taking the train to work; all day I was thinking of the evening, for another dose (I could not smoke dope, so I mixed it into yoghurt). Then it got worse. How to get out of this? It felt as if my life was on a string. And then the promise I made to myself: to give it up if it takes control over me. I left everything, the circle of friends, my boyfriend, and started afresh. I don’t think I would have been able to do it any other way.
    I am a bit like you, Kevin, and try everything out myself. Diets, etc., have, ever since that experiment. And coffee, yes, I agree with you. Turkish coffee (my dad is Turkish, but he was more of a Tea-drinker) is the one that did it to me after I stopped once again for over six months. And yet it is the only coffee I can drink before bedtime without any noticable ‘side effect’. Coffee brings my iron down. So I watch that. I will stop again. Whatever I feel takes control over my being or behaviour I eventually let go of. That is a way of how I experiance freedom.
    Happy New Year to you all.
    Sema

  204. Cynthia says:

    I love coffee, I have been drinking it for a long time, most of my adult life (I am 59yrs old). I drink it with a little honey and milk, sometimes I use flavored coffee milk (I know its not really milk) but I love it. My hair is naturally shiny, I don’t have clammy hands and I don’t get agitated. What does happen though is if I don’t drink coffee, I get terrrible headaches. They last most of the day and could last a couple of days until I have my “fix” and I feel better. I know coffee is “acidic” and is not good for my skin. I know I should stop drinking it and I will but I am enjoying it too much for now.

  205. Christopher says:

    Check out The book “Yes, No, Maybe”. Its all about timing.

  206. connie bennett says:

    i have a cblt expresso machine. when i drink the expresso from this machine i get a lot of pain in the base of my head. i drink coffees with an expresso shots here and there from starbucks and don’t get the same reaction. any thoughts? maybe the plastic cup when heated becomes toxic?

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