When I think of quitting coffee, I think of my friend Ann Marie over at Cheeseslave. Why? Because she’s written a ton of posts on the topic. In fact, she was my inspiration for creating this month’s Caffeine Free Challenge. (How are you all doing, by the way?) I asked Ann Marie to share her wisdom with us about how to end a coffee addiction, and the following is what she wrote. Thanks, Ann Marie!
I’ve been a coffee addict since I was a teenager.
And I’m not alone. Every morning, most Americans go straight for the coffee as soon as they are able to drag themselves out of bed.
Last year, I managed to stop my addiction to coffee dead in its tracks.
How I Quit Coffee in 3 days with No Symptoms
Did you know that being addicted to coffee is a sign of a nutritional deficiency? That’s what Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure, says.
I was lucky enough to go to an entire weekend seminar with Julia Ross last summer. Following her advice, I was able to quit coffee with absolutely no effort in just 3 days by supplementing with amino acids.
Even better, I’ve managed to stay off coffee for over 6 months now, and I do not crave it one bit.
Why Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the feel-good chemicals in our brains.
Julia Ross says that when are brains become depleted of these feel-good chemicals, we reach for drugs to feel better. Cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, and, yes, coffee are all psychoactive drugs (drugs that change our brain chemistry).
Why We’re Depleted of Neurotransmitters
The body absorbs amino acids from the protein we eat. Unfortunately, many of us have spent years not eating enough protein — since we eat so many fake foods like white flour and sugar. We eat a plate of pancakes and call it breakfast, or have a whole plate of pasta for dinner.
We also simply don’t eat enough food. We skip meals and diet, which wreaks havoc on our brain chemistry.
Wonder why you’re feeling so tired and cranky? Take a look at what you’ve been eating (or not eating).
Why We Crave Coffee
According to Julia Ross, people who are hooked on caffeine tend to be low in catecholamines. Catecholamines are the brain chemicals that provide energy and alertness.
When caffeine surges through our bloodstream, it stimulates the release of the catecholamines, adrenaline (also known as epinephrine) and noradrenaline.
Unfortunately, caffeine suppresses the appetite. It also inhibits our ability to produce more neurotransmitters.
So, while coffee helps you in the short term, it’s hurting you in the long run.
My Experience with Amino Acids
According to Ross, the best amino acids to take for caffeine addiction are Tyrosine or DLPA (Phenylalaline).
Some people do better on Tyrosine and others feel better on DLPA. I didn’t do well on Tyrosine — it made me jittery. So I decided to try DLPA.
The first day I quit coffee, I took 1,000 milligrams of DLPA in the morning and another 1,000 at lunchtime.
With just 2 capsules of DLPA per day, I was able to quit coffee without a single withdrawal symptom. No headaches, no fatigue — and no cravings. Pretty miraculous for a die-hard coffee addict like me.
I have experienced great results from quitting coffee. I stopped feeling sluggish and exhausted every day. My mood and energy is more stable. And I know that I am helping my adrenal glands by staying away from caffeine.
To learn more about how to take amino acids, please read Julia Ross’ book, The Mood Cure.
Also, check out my blog posts about caffeine, brain chemistry, and neurotransmitters:
Photo credit: Nikki L on Flickr