What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

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What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Sarah on Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:31 am

Caffeine is a funny one, isn't it? Some people seem to find it a trigger, but it seems more complicated than that, in that it's the withdrawal that can be a trigger. Also some people find it helpful to have caffeine at the onset of a migraine. Plus it is often put in painkillers etc.

I have withdrawn from caffeine very gradually many times. Last time I decided that it was possibly a teeny tiny benefit to me, but I feel that there is so much in my life that I can't eat or drink, that my big love of tea is just too hard to give up if it doesn't come with huge benefits! Very Happy Decaff tea just doesn't cut the mustard.

So, up to now I've been having a very strict amount of tea a day - always the same number of cups. But I was reading a couple of days ago that you can virtually decaffeinate a cup of tea easily, without really losing the taste, this way:

1 Boil kettle
2 Pour water on tea leaves or bag and leave for 30-45 seconds
3 Throw water away
4 Make tea as usual with the tea leaves or bag

Whilst I'm not sure about the 80% decaffeinated claims (I bet it has never really been measured - how could it be?), I figure that any reduction in caffeine without altering the taste has to be a bonus, so I have started this. It will take a while till all my cups are made this way, as I am reducing down ridiculously gradually (even down to large, medium and small cups!), but I will report back if I have anything to say.
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Tee on Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:34 am

Hmmm sounds interesting. Do let us know if you can feel a difference?

I used to drink a lot of tea, but just went off it a few years ago and only now drink if I have thrown up - for some strange reason I always want tea as a first drink.

I do drink quite a bit of coffee and started when I was taking the codine - I would have a cup with meds as the caffeine would help the meds work faster Smile

It is a strange one - but I do not find it a trigger, and neither do I find it a simuli, I can still sleep 8+ hours after having a coffee before bed lol
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Sarah on Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:44 am

One thing I do remember noticing last time is that my reactions to things were a lot calmer - I didn't over-react the same. Even that would be a bonus, so I do think I'm better off without the caffeine. It's not as though I drink tea now for the caffeine, just for the taste!
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Sheena Hulston on Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:08 am

I have to have the coffee, without I get the migraine! If I go without for 4/5 hours the pain starts to kick in Odd how we all differ.
I tried decaf for health reasons and it took a couple of days for me to work out what was wrong then tried to do it by stages,,,, but it doesn't work... I need the caffeine even before bed. Plus I love coffee bounce So at least that's 1 plus. The second is chocolate doesn't affect me either!!! Yummy
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by whitzendJane on Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:14 am

I do like coffee but don't drink it every day or even every week..just the odd cup of 'real' coffee now and again.

It doesn't trigger me but I just get shaky and jittery if I have more than 3 cups.

I have about 2-3 mugs of tea a day but mainly prefer blackcurrant squash (not the low cal stuff..blllerggghhh). I do dilute it a lot but I also drink it by the pint! I try to be mindful of sulphites but I haven't notice a particular problem with them.

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by h.tomlinson on Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:39 pm

I'm not a tea or coffee person I am a diet coke addict. I have tried the caffeine free but it doesn't taste the same but I have didn't notice any effects when I switched. I am also fine with chocolate (thank goodness!) got to have some pleasures!
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by whatgoes? on Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:35 pm

Don't drink coffee or tea and not much into chocolate anymore... just don't crave it like I used to. But I do drink a can of caffeinated soda every morning to give my meds a kick start. My slow stomach makes my meds take forever to start working. I can't do diet, can't use artificial sweeteners as they are a trigger for me. Can't do caffeine after 2pm or I will not be able to get to sleep at night. But I don't find caffeine is a trigger for me either. Jerri

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Sarah on Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:05 pm

I find that having a sweet helps my slow stomach. Apparently carbohydrates cause the stomach to empty and fat causes it to slow down (a simplistic explanation, but probably the best that my brain can cope with!) I've started ending each meal with a fruit pastille and it really seems to help. Or if I am taking a triptan, I'll take it with a bit of lemonade.
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Miyah on Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:52 am

I have (thank goodness) not found caffeine to be a trigger Smile

If I need a little break from my chronic headache I have a cup of coffee - its a nice little buzz (am very sensitive to caffeine so don't have a lot of it) and pick-me-up, it also lifts my mood and gives me a little push out of the mire.... Rolling Eyes
I do find that i will crave sweets madly (especially chocolate which I am not really big on) about 1 day before an attack. I havent yet decided whether feeding this desire or resisting is the better solution...
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by pīwakawaka on Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:35 pm

Tee wrote:It is a strange one - but I do not find it a trigger, and neither do I find it a simuli, I can still sleep 8+ hours after having a coffee before bed lol
I seem to remember reading somewhere that a single cup of coffee can have a relaxing effect on some people, whereas 2 cups or more will always have a stimulant effect.

Caffeine doesn't appear to be a trigger for me. The exception is during the first week of withdrawal when migraines are more frequent. The thing I do notice is that meds are less effective when there is no caffeine in my system.

I do enjoy my coffee and I also drink green tea and white tea. I'm not particularly fond of other teas, although I will drink them if no other hot drinks available. I don't drink other types of caffeinated drinks.
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Tee on Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:57 pm

I only drink water and coffee now - (oh and the odd Southern Comfort drunken )

There some research on here which should that caffeine in the system helps the meds work faster.

I have bought some Green Tea - but not made any yet lol

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by pīwakawaka on Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:17 am

A tip for green tea: Do not use boiling water. Hot water 80 - 85 degrees Centigrade is best. Don't brew it too long. In Japan it is often brewed for no more than 15 seconds and is a very pale green colour when poured into the cup. There are many grades and types of green teas, so you may need to experiment a bit to get it to your liking.

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Tee on Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:17 am

Oh that is helpful - thanks............... I may pluck up the courage now Smile

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by sisterphonetica on Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:54 pm

Caffeine doesn't seem to be a trigger for me, but then I'm not a big fan. I have an instant mocha in the mornings (Clipper coffee and Green and Black's hot chocolate with a little bit of soya milk), and i occasionally drink ordinary tea. I usually want tea when I'm getting over a migraine, like I am right now. One sugar, thanks.
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Tee on Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:57 pm

pīwakawaka wrote:A tip for green tea: Do not use boiling water. Hot water 80 - 85 degrees Centigrade is best. Don't brew it too long. In Japan it is often brewed for no more than 15 seconds and is a very pale green colour when poured into the cup. There are many grades and types of green teas, so you may need to experiment a bit to get it to your liking.

I did it Smile - I had my first cup of green tea - made as you suggested and it was fab - much better than letting it sit and stew Smile Thank you

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by sisterphonetica on Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:00 pm

I don't like green tea, maybe I'm doing it wrong too!

I do like Oolong in the Japanese restaurant though. It's not the same at home.
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by pīwakawaka on Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:20 pm

For many westerners green tea is an acquired taste. I am not fond of Chinese green teas, preferring Japanese varieties.

Another alternative is white tea. This is processed much like ordinary black tea, but only the youngest tea leaves and buds are used. It's mild (some say bland) compared to black tea. Young tea leaves contain much less aluminium and fluoride than mature leaves.

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Nekoha on Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:51 am

I love green tea! Actually, it's black tea that really had to be acquired, for me. I used to despise Earl Grey, etc, but now I love the bergamot flavor, and even enjoy this croissant that a local bakery makes that uses bergamot. YUM! But I don't actually drink very much caffeine - I drink maybe 1 coffee/week and tea maybe twice a month. But Fioricet has quite a bit of caffeine, so I do get my dose there!
Caffeine is definitely not a trigger for me, and since I drink so little, I have never experienced a withdrawal headache!
Japanese green tea is awesome, and since I live in Japan, it is so nice to have a cup when I am out at restaurants. But I think my favorite tea is Jasmine! Such a delicate flavor.

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Tee on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:28 am

I like oolong too when I have had it out - which is why I was surprised when I did not like my first few greens teas - its still not the same - are they different?

I do not drink a lot of tea - only ever want one after I have been sick.... but coffee I need........... we ran out yesterday and I did not have one before bed (I am odd it does not keep me awake at all) and today I woke with a banging head... Sad Bless my hubby he went out and drove round to find a shop which was open (its Easter sunday here today) ... he really is a sweetie x

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Tee on Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:03 am

How funny - I had just finished reading this thread and was looking at my daily migraine news feeds and the first one was this....

Sugar-free coffee or green tea: which is healthier?
Mansi Kohli, Health Me Up | Apr 8, 2012, 12.10PM IST

Sugar-free coffee gives you taste and benefits of coffee with fewer calories. Green tea, on the other hand, is a healthy drink because it is a decent source of antioxidant polyphenols.

A refreshing and calorie-safe beverage, green tea works as a good substitute for unhealthy beverages regularly consumed in today's lifestyles. So, now that both sugar-free coffee and green tea are healthy, we wonder which is healthier. Let's take a look...

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/Sugar-free-coffee-or-green-tea-which-is-healthier/articleshow/12579224.cms

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Kala on Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:34 am

I have read recently that caffeine can affect the ability of preventative medications to work, so maybe this is something to be considered. A withdrawal from caffeine can be a painful one, as there can be a deterioration in pain scores for 2 -3 weeks but after the withdrawal phase you may see an improvement in your pain scores and the preventatives may then also become more effective.

I must admit Pepsi is my hang-up, I've just not had the courage to give it up, although I've tried but failed miserably. However, now I have lost my job maybe this is something I should consider as any further deterioration (if it can honestly get any worse) will have no impact on my working life but the benefits could be worth it in the end.

Also, I've had intravenous caffeine infusions in the past, as my consultants were trying to determine whether I was suffering from a condition called low CSF pressure headache, meaning my central nervous system was leaking cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). My headaches had a very specific pattern of being say 2/10 in the morning but then by the evening it could be as high as 9/10 (0 being no pain and 10 being the most severe pain you have ever experienced). The first three I had were beneficial but the fourth sent my pain through the roof and resulted in me being admitted. Several months later I was then admitted for further investigations, which included having an indium scan. This involves having a lumbar puncture and fluid being drawn out and then an indium dye (radioactive dye) being injected in. A couple of hours later I then had a series of scans, which took a couple of hours in total. The following day and the third day I had further scans to trace the indium dye. It was found that I was not leaking CSF but unfortunately the lumbar puncture caused a low pressure headache, which then was treated by two more caffeine infusions over two days. I was then given diagnosis of chronic hemiplegic migraine.

I must say intravenous caffeine infusions are not given as a migraine treatment, in my case they were being used as a diagnostic tool.

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Sarah on Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:30 am

I'd forgotten about those caffeine infusions, Michala. Yikes.

I honestly think the only way to reduce or cut out caffeine is systematically and incredibly gradually. ie. start working out your base level, then have slightly less then next day, and so on. I'd never cut down by as much as a cup or glass a day - even as much as a quarter of a glass or cup a day could be a problem in sensitive people.
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by pīwakawaka on Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:21 pm

I understood caffeine increased the effectiveness of some medications, but perhaps that doesn't apply to preventatives.

For example I take Caffergot (ergot + caffeine) at an abortive. Apparently it is more effective than ergot alone.

When I was trying to identify possible food triggers, I went caffeine free for 3 months. During that time I noticed pain at higher levels than usual, and both preventatives and abortives less effective. They returned to normal after I resumed consuming caffeine.

I do avoid caffeinated drinks apart from tea and coffee.

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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by h.tomlinson on Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:00 pm

I had to switch from normal diet coke to caffeine free due to the amount I was drinking - don't like normal tea and coffee. I don't notice any increase in pain but I do think the caffeine helps me when the pain gets too much so I have switched to caffeine coke at work just to get me thr the day!
I have started to drink green tea too but I only like the twinnings flavoured ones. You can get packs with 5 flavours and a little honey makes them go down well. Very Happy
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Re: What are people's thoughts/experiences of caffeine?

Post by Sarah on Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:51 am

Sarah wrote:
So, up to now I've been having a very strict amount of tea a day - always the same number of cups. But I was reading a couple of days ago that you can virtually decaffeinate a cup of tea easily, without really losing the taste, this way:

1 Boil kettle
2 Pour water on tea leaves or bag and leave for 30-45 seconds
3 Throw water away
4 Make tea as usual with the tea leaves or bag

Whilst I'm not sure about the 80% decaffeinated claims (I bet it has never really been measured - how could it be?), I figure that any reduction in caffeine without altering the taste has to be a bonus, so I have started this. It will take a while till all my cups are made this way, as I am reducing down ridiculously gradually (even down to large, medium and small cups!), but I will report back if I have anything to say.

Just to update on this, I've been reading some more online reading, and it appears that the 30 seconds to remove 80% of caffeine is a myth. In fact, leaving it for 30 seconds then throwing away only removes 9% of caffeine.

Apparently you have to leave it for about 15 minutes to remove 100% of the caffeine. I'm just going to gradually increase the time, to see if I can reduce the caffeine down whilst still having drinkable tea!
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