Saturday, March 14, 2009

How To Stop Drinking Coffee

Coffee breeds aggression, impatience, sloppy thinking, heart disease, weight gain, and bad planning, in the form of overconfident (and therefore inaccurate) estimates of time to complete tasks. It increases the probability of insomnia, which means it increases the probability of insomnia's consequences, including aggression, hostility, insecurity, paranoia, poor job satisfaction, heart disease, bad driving, and erectile dysfunction. It also makes your bodily fluids taste bad, which means it reduces your chances of receiving oral sex. Coffee's out to kill you and destroy your penis. It's evil and you should shun it.

I found quitting coffee incredibly difficult at first. I stopped cold turkey. After about a week, the withdrawal symptoms hit me. I thought I was dying. My bones ached, I shivered uncontrollably, and I had a splitting headache. It was like Trainspotting.

I went back to coffee the minute I figured out what was going on. I am a man of iron will, impervious to any form of pain, unless it means my pain, in which case I am a man of jelly will. Or maybe I'm not. I don't know. It's up to you! Just make the pain stop.

From reading Wikipedia, though, I knew the amount necessary to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms was much less than the amount I normally drank. I never went back to my previous levels of intake; I just maintained minimal withdrawal-avoidance dosages. This was easy. It meant buying small lattes and not finishing them.

Soon after, I went into hospital for angina and had heart surgery, maybe a month before my 35th birthday. From the moment I went into the hospital, I haven't touched coffee once, except one time several weeks later when I ordered decaf at a breakfast place. (It made me wired and twitchy for hours.) I haven't had any headaches, bone aches, or other withdrawal pain. It's been easy.

To summarize, this is my method for quitting coffee:

1. Quit cold turkey
2. Experience terrible pain
3. Whimper
4. Slink back to coffee with your tail between your legs
5. Drink much lower levels, just enough to avoid withdrawal symptoms
6. Experience life-threatening heart disease
7. Have heart surgery in your mid-30s
8. Never touch coffee again

I will admit my method is extreme. However: it works. I haven't touched coffee in a good while now, and I don't expect to go anywhere near it again ever in my life. Feel free to emulate me, and to use my method. You can leave out specific steps if they seem like too much trouble, but I wouldn't recommend skipping step 8.


  1. i think i'm gonna pass on the angina/heart surgery step :D

  2. Amen, brother. Ever since I quit coffee I've slept better, and been much more lucid and aware at work. I think some people have become afraid of being tired. Being tired is good. It tells you when your brain is full and needs to have some time to process things.

    I think a lot of people see sleep as a waste of time. I know I used to. Now I realize that I get all sorts of work done while I sleep. All the "learning" I do during the day is really just a curriculum I write for my brain. At night, my brain takes the classes, and I wake up smarter every day. When I drank coffee I didn't sleep well. It was like cutting class every night.

  3. Wow, I didn't realize you were in your 30s! :)

    It also makes your bodily fluids taste bad, which means it reduces your chances of receiving oral sex.

    I'm married, so that reason to quit's already bolted :P

  4. I wish you could get decaf as good as high quality regular. Other than when I'm about to fall asleep at work, I don't drink coffee for the caffeine, but I love the way it tastes.

    Hopefully the detrimental effects are lessened by only having a few cups a week instead of every day...

  5. I was never really into coffee. I keep it only for emergency situations, like driving very very tired.

    When I studied chinese medicine for my own health, I read an very interesting book from Bob Flaws (The Tao of Healthy Eating) and the major advice he gives is "don't drink coffee", because it is classified as having a "toxic flavour" and it stresses your body, wasting your "vital" energy that should keep for long living.

    anyway, nice post.

  6. I quit coffee every once in a while, but end up going back to it because it's just so god damn fun. (Normally this happens when visiting my mom in Italy.)

    I've found that the first 5 days are pretty bad. A dull, never ending headache, irritability, sleepy all the goddamn time, the world is full of pestering assholes, nothing is really satisfying. Basically its what I imagine PMS to be, only without the cramps. But then it fades away. I just try to sleep 10 hours a day and take naps. Which is something that I would try to do anyway and this is a good excuse.

    So much more rested.

  7. all the negative effects you listed aren't true, except for insomnia - which is true if you drink it in the evening.


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