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 Post subject: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:21 am 
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As I get older(I'm only 26!) I have been noticing the way my body reacts to certain things changing. The biggest thing I have noticed is that I can no longer handle caffeine. Not even in tea. I spent my teen years working in a local coffee shop, drinking it like there was no tomorrow while popping diet pills that contained things that would stop my heart today(ephedra, guarana, ginseng, caffeine, etc etc.) VERY unhealthy, I know. Then I switched to tea in my 20s, but would put 2 tea bags in a small. I also would drink vodka with redbull on any given weekend. The past year and a half or so I have really not been able to handle it at all. I can't drink anything with caffeine without a horrible experience. My heart beats wildly, I feel like I can't breath even though I know I am and I feel faint and/or dizzy. It's like a panic attack brought on by caffeine. Luckily for me, there are decaf lattes and decaf tea but sometimes I feel like I need a "pick me up" but am too scared to risk having anything with caffeine at all.

Sometimes I feel like I need an extra boost of energy but don't know what to try because I am so scared of the side effects I've already experienced.

Do you think the excessive amounts of caffeine I consumed when I was younger play into what I go through now?

What do you use for a "pick me up" that might work for me?

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:25 am 
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VeganFoodRocks wrote:
As I get older(I'm only 26!) I have been noticing the way my body reacts to certain things changing. The biggest thing I have noticed is that I can no longer handle caffeine. Not even in tea. I spent my teen years working in a local coffee shop, drinking it like there was no tomorrow while popping diet pills that contained things that would stop my heart today(ephedra, guarana, ginseng, caffeine, etc etc.) VERY unhealthy, I know. Then I switched to tea in my 20s, but would put 2 tea bags in a small. I also would drink vodka with redbull on any given weekend. The past year and a half or so I have really not been able to handle it at all. I can't drink anything with caffeine without a horrible experience. My heart beats wildly, I feel like I can't breath even though I know I am and I feel faint and/or dizzy. It's like a panic attack brought on by caffeine. Luckily for me, there are decaf lattes and decaf tea but sometimes I feel like I need a "pick me up" but am too scared to risk having anything with caffeine at all.

Sometimes I feel like I need an extra boost of energy but don't know what to try because I am so scared of the side effects I've already experienced.

Do you think the excessive amounts of caffeine I consumed when I was younger play into what I go through now?

What do you use for a "pick me up" that might work for me?


I also used to work in a coffee shop and I drank coffee like it was water back then. At 24, I now drink a cup of coffee in the morning, and if I'm really struggling from a lack of sleep, another cup in the afternoon. When I need a boost without the heart palpitations, I like to drink water with an Emergen-C packet. Eating an apple is also a good natural boost. Do you exercise? Going for a quick jog will boost your endorphins and give you a lift.

eta: Also, just be sure that you're eating well and sleeping enough- that will make a big difference in your level of energy!

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:35 am 
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i had pretty much the same thing- used to coffeehouse for years, pound tea and coffee 24/7 (with no pickup effects or jitters at all) and then at about age 30 or so any caffeine made my heart issues get scary; it was also triggering my rosacea attacks, which were not only ugly but super painful. After a bunch of frustrating inconclusive cardiac tests all I really found out was that I have a few heart murmurs and ridiculous rhythm issues if i drink caffeine.
One of the reasons i went vegan was my health (between the heart and the melanoma, i figured i'd better get my act together), and now it's been what, almost 6 years? i cut way down on the caffeine and found out that some are easier for me to tolerate than others- coffee is the worst, i can have about the equivalent of half a shotglass of coffee (made the brazilian way, let's clarify) without immediate repercussions, but no more. i found that drinking decaf gives me no real break, so i don't bother. on the other hand, i can drink half a liter of strong green tea with no issues whatsoever. go figure. yerba mate is sort of in the middle- i cold brew it so it's less caffeinated but still can't have too much of it.

when i really want coffee i usually go and have a good snort out of the coffee container (the AIR, not the coffee! i'd forking die i'm sure), usually it's the smell i want, not really the coffee.

if i want a boost i drink some fresh orange juice, or eat some fruit.

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:53 pm 
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Caffeine doesn't work for me. If I have a little, I can't feel anything. If I have more, I just get jittery instead of more alert. I only drink decaf when I can be bothered to make it (that's 99.9% caffeine free in the EU, as opposed to 97%).


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:53 pm 
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This sounds like me! I used to drink a TON of tea (like an entire pitcher of iced tea by myself every day), and I got myself so hooked on caffeine that I'd get terrible headaches if I didn't have some every couple hours. I was at the point where I wasn't drinking it for energy at all; I was just trying to make the headaches stop. I got really tired of that, so I quit one day, and after a horrible withdrawal period, I got over it and felt better.

But now I can't handle even a tiny bit of caffeine. A cup of tea makes my heart beat wildly, and it scares me, so I just don't consume caffeine at all anymore. The exception to this is an occasional bit of chocolate or cocoa powder, but that doesn't seem to impact me negatively. I feel like drinking caffeinated coffee would make my chest explode (it wouldn't, but I'm super paranoid about caffeine now).

I usually just have a snack if I'm feeling low energy. Something fresh like fruit usually makes me feel better.


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Coffee really effects me. I get jittery and my heart races. I am trying not to drink it but so far I haven't been successful. It tastes too good!


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:24 pm 
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I get the same way and I'm only 23. I really only started drinking espresso recently and I never drank a ton of highly caffeinated tea before, but now whenever I have a latte (I don't like coffee, even with tons of milk) I get soooo shakey and my heart jumps all around and I feel like complete shiitake. One thing that didn't give me that feeling was this http://www.guayaki.com/ it says on the label that it has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, and I definitely felt more alert and awake but without all the nasty side effects of espresso. Maybe try one of these? They're super tasty, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:39 pm 
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I get suuuuuuuper sleepy if I drink regular drip coffee or caffeinated tea. If I drink espresso-based coffee, I get super jittery, sweaty, my heart starts pounding... If I have ANY beverage that was made with coffee beans, I get bubble guts.

I think I do have a caffeine sensitivity, but I don't know... It could be a coffee sensitivity.

But for non-caffeine energy boosts, I say go for a banana. Those things are chock full of B vitamins. :) Also, I like the apple and Emergen-C suggestions given by dakini.


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:59 pm 
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Ohh, I feel ya!
I've been feeling the same way for a couple months and I'm 21. Pff.

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:17 am 
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torque wrote:
between the heart and the melanoma

whoa, how serious was your melanoma?

and semi-related, I can no longer do caffeine. I was pretty hooked (coffee and coke, yesyes) but was able to drop it overnight.

I'm usually not able to push too hard when I get tired though. I've had a headache for 7.5 years or so now, and it gets way worse when I'm up late (and subsequently in the morning when I wake up).. however, I find just nibbling on 'empty' snacks (corn/rice thins) work to keep me awake. something about digestion in general perks me up. if I'm feeling racy, I might lick some ginger or garlic or something. ding! or swallow a sachet or two of sugar. ding ding!

other than that, I try to stand up/stretch, get fresh air, or just have a powernap. I can powernap like a champ.

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:03 am 
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I always snack on fruits and veggies, I think I sleep enough, and I unfortunately don't have time to go for a jog while I'm at work, which is usually when I need the extra kick. Wayy back when I could handle caffeine I would just run to starbucks for a latte and be good to go. Now when mid afternoon hits, I am a zombie. Are there any natural supplements/vitamins I could take other than B(i already take that, and ingest plenty in my diet)?

Sigh. Getting older sucks.

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:16 pm 
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joshua wrote:
torque wrote:
between the heart and the melanoma

whoa, how serious was your melanoma?

enough to scare me real bad, cut them out rather prolifically, and keep going to get my internal organs palpated every six months to make sure they didn't leave their spawn inside!!

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:16 pm 
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Not much help, but I've cut out coffee almost entirely because it makes me feel sick now. So sad about that. It's been about 6 months and I maybe have one a week. I used to feel very dependant on it and as though I needed it every few hours, but that wore off really quickly, and now I don't feel like I need anything. Just thought I'd let you know that maybe your body will get used to a lack of caffeine eventually?


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:05 pm 
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bigpinkjellybean wrote:
Not much help, but I've cut out coffee almost entirely because it makes me feel sick now. So sad about that. It's been about 6 months and I maybe have one a week. I used to feel very dependant on it and as though I needed it every few hours, but that wore off really quickly, and now I don't feel like I need anything. Just thought I'd let you know that maybe your body will get used to a lack of caffeine eventually?


I don't think that it's my body needing caffeine, just needing a kick in the asparagus. I haven't had caffeine in so long do my body is def used to not having it. I never felt dependent on it because I never noticed any difference on the days I would skip coffee in the morning. The only thing that had noticeable effects was red bull type drinks, after one of those I could go all night. But I never drank those regularly. It's just weird how my body accepted caffeine for so long, and sometimes in huge quantities and now I can't have even a cup of caffeinated tea, never mind coffee or energy drinks, without feeling like I'm going to drop dead of a heart attack.

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:35 pm 
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torque wrote:
joshua wrote:
torque wrote:
between the heart and the melanoma

whoa, how serious was your melanoma?

enough to scare me real bad, cut them out rather prolifically, and keep going to get my internal organs palpated every six months to make sure they didn't leave their spawn inside!!

oh nuts, that's (all things considered) pretty good news. melanoma is a croissant. good to hear :)

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:54 pm 
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Yes, I feel the same way. In high school we'd go to the shops on our way to school, but a latte and a 600ml coke for the day, at the vet clinic I'd had a coffee or two every morning and ever since I was a teen I'd drink lots of tea each day. A few years ago I realised it was making my heart rate rise, making me nauseous, dizzy so I stopped drinking it. If I drink it now my bf can tell because I'm like a kid who's had red cordial, totally hyper.

I am weaning myself off tea now :( 3-4 cups in the morning was giving me a similar reaction only milder.

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:08 pm 
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I can't really do caffeine at all. I don't always react the same way to it...sometimes I'll have it and I'll get high, not just buzzed but LOOK AT THE PRETTY COLORRRRRRRRRS!! high, and other times I'll have it and have panic attacks. I used to be able to have as much as I wanted, but some medications I was on as a teenager screwed things up. Even decaf coffee still has too much caffeine for me now.

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:25 pm 
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i get a really strong come down from caffeine, massive headache and stuff, from just a little bit of coke.
i drink really strong orange juice to wake me up in the morning?

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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine sensitivity?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm 
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Similar sort of story for me. I was a barista for three years, and at one point I was drinking nine coffees per shift. It didn't affect me at all. I very rarely drink coffee anymore, mainly because I can't justify the price, but when I do it just makes me feel sick. I don't get jittery or more alert, just sick. It's not a lot of fun. Now I just drink green tea if I'm not quite as awake as I should be at work.

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