Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coffee Experiment Concluded

Experiment review:  I went 6 weeks without any coffee, decaf or otherwise.  Since that time period was over I tried to add a small amount of coffee back in intermittently to see what affect, if any, it had.  I also had not had any tea or ice tea.

At this point I have all the information I think I am going to get to determine whether coffee is something I will be doing in the future.  The results are in 2 major categories, sleep and bathroom stuff.  I am going to be as tasteful as I can, but if the scatological bothers you in any way, don't read further.

  • Sleep:  Within 4 days of stopping decaf in the morning I slept better than I had in years.  I woke up at night hardly at all and woke up feeling refreshed much more often than not.  In the recent, coffee drinking past, I awoke each night once or twice.  When I added a single cup of caffeinated coffee I sleep very poorly for 2 nights in a row.  When I added a single cup of decaf I slept worse than with no coffee, but better than if it was fully caffeinated.
  • Number 2: While not perfect, bathroom cleanliness improved also within about a week of stopping coffee.  This was not consistent, but the baseline, so to speak, was better overall.  Things were a bit drier and more well formed, requiring less clean up afterward.  I can't believe I am writing this.  Once I added the single cup of decaf back things reverted to the wetter, messier state fairly quickly and cleared up after a couple of days dropping the coffee.  Different foods I eat, nuts particularly, tend to make things even worse, but I could only tell that once I removed the baseline problem causer of the coffee.  I am not sure if it is the caffeine or other substances in the coffee, but either way the problem is worse with it.  It is a bean, after all.
My overall conclusion is that drinking coffee on a daily basis is a mistake for me.  Even decaf in small doses daily bothers my sleep and bathroom situation enough to not make it worth it.  As a result, I will be almost entirely coffee free in the coming future.  I may have a cup of espresso or dry cappuccino from time to time as a treat in small doses when I know I will have the opportunity to sleep in.  I may not even do that.

The hardest part is Sunday morning(now), when I used to have 2-3 cappuccinos while we lounge around and relax.  I enjoyed the taste and miss it. 


Doug McGuff, MD said...


If you drank coffe like I did you would have to wear Depends.

Marc said...


My compliments to you for sharing this.
I think the true "bricoleurs" are always on a quest to find what works best...even if that means giving up routines that were enjoyed previously.
My advice, for Sunday mornings, get into really nice herb teas

Anonymous said...

The Evil Bean, bro. the Evil Bean.

Hat tip for you for giving it up. I am not sure if I could. Me love my java.


Chris said...

Thanks for posting this - the info on your crap is a good metric, i know that since going almost 100% paleo I have a better consistency