Perky without Coffee?
August 28, 2011 5:39 AM   Subscribe

Will I be as perky without coffee?

I've read all about why I should quit or why I don't need to quit coffee. What I'm unclear on is whether I would be as alert without coffee? Is coffee like cigarettes, where you only think you need it because of the addiction? Or does coffee, even when you're a tad dependent on it, wake you up a bit?
posted by musofire to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Caffeine is a stimulant, but after 3-5 days off it you won't miss it in the morning. In my case, I slept so much better at night after quitting coffee that I was more alert in the mornings.
posted by COD at 6:04 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

It will take a couple of weeks, but yes. You'll be fully awake and alert without it.
posted by something something at 6:04 AM on August 28, 2011

Can't describe myself as perky but on the whole I do feel more awake during the day now that I've quit drinking coffee. I did get headaches for a while as a result of caffeine withdrawal, but I'd say it was worth it.
posted by mlle valentine at 6:20 AM on August 28, 2011

I find myself significantly perkier, especially in the mornings, since quitting coffee. Not waking up to caffeine withdrawal has made me, well, not quite a morning person but at least an able-to-function-in-the-morning person.

Also not having a caffeine dependence means not having a caffeine resistance means when I do have a cup of coffee it actually does something instead of merely satisfying the withdrawal cravings and pushing me back to baseline.
posted by DRMacIver at 6:29 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: > Is coffee like cigarettes, where you only think you need it because of the addiction? Or does coffee, even when you're a tad dependent on it, wake you up a bit?

It looks like the former. From this article:

University of Bristol researchers say the caffeine eases withdrawal symptoms which build up overnight, but does not make people more alert than normal.

The work, presented to the British Nutrition Foundation conference, showed only people who have avoided coffee for a while will get a buzz from caffeine.

posted by losvedir at 6:51 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have been drinking coffee for about a dozen years, ranging from every day to no more than once every month or so. From my own personal experience, having coffee occasionally is the only way to get it to work.
posted by lover at 7:31 AM on August 28, 2011

Another vote for feeling perkier after kicking the caffeine habit!
posted by ootandaboot at 7:35 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I quit and I'm as perky as ever (which is to say, not at all).
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:00 AM on August 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

In general, I've found that I have a much higher energy level since I quit coffee. This is probably because I sleep better and never have to deal with the crash from the caffeine high. One difference you'll notice is that your daily energy level will follow a much smoother curve, with fewer peaks and valleys.

Do I miss caffeine? Nope. Not a bit.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:38 AM on August 28, 2011

I mostly gave caffineated coffee up about ten years ago, but find I feel much perkier after the occasional caffineated one - I was away last week with only caffinated coffee, and really noticed I had more energy in the morning after a caffineated coffee. I didn't notice any added perkiness when I gave up coffee (though I did notice a decrease in agitation).
posted by paduasoy at 9:02 AM on August 28, 2011

If you love coffee, drink it. If you don't or it bothers you stop. Coffee has anti-oxidants and anti-cancer components according to a couple of studies. You must be young. When you get old coffee can be a real benefit used in moderation. Moderation is key. I sure feel more perky when I have some, but if I have too much the caffeine bites me back.
posted by nogero at 9:11 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Another data point for feeling much better (more alert/perky, better sleep, etc) without coffee. Additionally, I highly recommend drinking Yerba Mate when going off of coffee. It has helped me curb the withdrawal and morning sleepiness. It is also packed with anti-oxidants and vitamins and minerals.
posted by highfidelity at 10:07 AM on August 28, 2011

I would REALLY like to see a study on this that differentiates between morning and night people. I don't think everyone is the same.
posted by wintersweet at 1:23 PM on August 28, 2011

I'm with nogero -- if you like it, stick with it. I've been drinking coffee for so long that I suspect it no longer has any effect, but I like it.

Yerba mate, however (see highfidelity's suggestion) makes me crazy jittery for about an hour and then hugely nauseous for three. So be careful switching to other forms of caffeine.
posted by AmandaA at 7:49 AM on August 29, 2011

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