- (Bleep) you coffee.
- It's not you, it's me.
- Coffee, we've had some great times.
But I just think we need to see other people
for a little while.
- So I drink a lot of coffee.
- Every day, I drink about two to three cups of coffee
depending on my mood and my grogginess.
- I think I just like having a cup of coffee in my hand.
I like having something to do.
I don't like sitting at my desk for too long,
because it makes me go crazy.
- For me to feel awake throughout a work day,
it used to be three or four cups of coffee,
and then it was five or six cups of coffee,
now it's six to eight cups of coffee.
And with that increase of caffeine,
I think I'm starting to develop anxiety.
- I'm interested in cutting out coffee
because I have anxiety and coffee
definitely doesn't help that.
- Taking a step back, I'm thinking, you know,
if you're really anxious, maybe the cups of stimulants
your pouring into your mouth throughout the day
is a thing to check in on.
- Can caffeine cause anxiety?
So, caffeine can exacerbate anxiety that already exists,
but caffeine can also independently cause anxiety.
- That's kind of why I'm doing this.
I'm trying to just quit cold turkey,
and I'm not going to have a drink of caffeine
or anything else that has caffeine in it,
for seven days, to see if I can get this out of my system.
- So, it's gonna be a brutal first couple days.
- Tomorrow is gonna be a nightmare.
- What symptoms can we expect by cutting out caffeine?
- 50% of the time people will experience a headache
when they quit using caffeine cold turkey.
Fatigue or sleepiness, you know, just being more tired
than usual, being very sleepy, yawning.
Being depressed, irritable.
And also, in certain cases people experience
a flu like syndrome.
- So as a replacement of coffee today,
I figure I'm just gonna do water.
Stay hydrated, I assume being hydrated gives you energy.
- I just woke up, it's day one,
and I have so much to do today.
I think today is gonna be a struggle.
- So, day one without coffee, and I'm already
craving it real hard.
So, I think I'm going to get a giant bottle of water
to hydrate, and hopefully that will get rid of my craving.
Day one was surprisingly not too intense.
It felt like the calm before the storm almost,
because I've had caffeine headaches and withdrawal before,
but my first day not drinking coffee,
I didn't have any headaches or anything,
but I felt like something was a little off.
I don't know if it's psychosomatic or what,
but it's 3:30 and I feel like,
I feel like I can just fall asleep standing up right now.
- My train was super delayed and I'm already kinda grumpy,
so I'm gonna try to find something to hold me over,
uncaffeinated, I don't know how this is going to turn out.
Day one I didn't do anything to replace coffee,
and I think that was my biggest problem.
I just had a seltzer and that do anything for me.
The whole day was a haze,
I felt like a zombie going through.
- I would describe the first day,
really as just tired.
It's not quite coffee.
I was just sleepy.
I didn't feel any sort of withdrawal from the coffee,
I didn't feel sick, I don't think I was irritable.
This stuff does jack shit.
That entire day at work,
I really got very little accomplished
because I couldn't stay focused and I didn't feel like
I was bringing anything or any energy to my work.
- So, the first day is over, I'm walking out of work now.
I did end up getting a little bit of a headache,
and I was like falling asleep standing up.
- It's not even 8:30 and it feels like it's midnight.
The headache is, it's spread to my whole forehead,
it feels like somebody's just pushing in
on the sides of my head constantly.
- Caffeine is a drug that directly antagonizes
a certain receptor in the brain called adenosine.
And adenosine is a substance in the brain
that sort of makes us sleepy.
You're body is accustomed, let's say, with seven or eight
cups of coffee a day, to having so much antagonism
Then what happens is when you abruptly remove it,
now you have all this extra adenosine,
because the body always compensates.
So when you remove the caffeine,
now you have more adenosine binding
than you would be accustomed to,
which makes you sleepy and tired,
and it can also cause that throbbing,
sensitive to movement headache.
- [Man In Blue Shirt] There's a video
that my girlfriend shot of me.
I just passed out on the couch
while we were watching television.
And, in the video you see like,
I am in the most uncomfortable position.
And the next morning, I still woke up and I was tired.
- Usually caffeine withdrawal peaks between about
20 hours after your last dose and about 60 hours
after your last dose.
So, sometime in the first two to three days
is when people will experience the worst symptoms.
- The second day is when I noticed the withdrawal.
- Day two, walking to work, and it is raining,
and I have headaches now.
Day two I started to actually feel the physical symptoms,
and that was probably the hardest day.
- I had every intention to go to the gym today,
because I felt like that would help me wake up.
I still feel so tired.
- I got my ass out of bed at six A.M. somehow,
and I'm headed in for a short workout.
My energy got completely kick started when I went to the gym
and I felt really, really good, better than if I had
a cup of coffee in the morning.
I'm hoping today goes a lot better than yesterday.
I'm feeling a little bit more confident about the challenge,
I think it's gonna get better.
So think that was definitely the key and I tried to
stick with that throughout the whole seven days,
and I've noticed the days that I do go to the gym
I feel a lot better in the morning.
- I also noticed how many people on the subways
or on the streets are holding coffee
and how many coffee shops there are in New York City.
You can't walk a block with passing three or four of them.
- The weekend became difficult.
I went upstate to Tarrytown with my girlfriend.
We just wanted a nice day outside the city,
and so every corner there are coffee shops.
And the smell of coffee, just like, wafting through the air.
I knew that that was going to become the worst day.
I think this is a sign.
And I felt bad for my girlfriend
who was really enjoying that day,
that I really wasn't present because I was just so tired.
So on day three, I cracked.
On day three, I realized, this is not something
I'm able to do cold turkey.
This is just one, this is just one.
It's the weekend, I'm very tired, just one.
As soon as I tasted the coffee on my tongue,
my body started like, getting ready for it.
Like I already, the colors started getting
a little bit more vibrant.
The world started getting a little clearer.
I would drink coffee for the rest of the experiment,
but I would do it just one cup of coffee in the morning.
And at no point throughout the rest of the day
would I allow myself to have more caffeine.
I could have one drink, and that was gonna be it.
Go from eight to one.
- Weekend was tough.
I was at brunch, and everyone I was with started taunting
me with their coffees.
Just like looking at me in the eyes and drinking it,
or just like shoving it my face.
So I need to get new friends for sure.
- Hello, hello, it's the end of day four,
and I made it through wonderfully.
I actually didn't have any headaches at all today.
I think working out has been the key
to keeping my energy elevated without caffeine.
- So I cheated a little bit and I went to
a vitamin store around the block from work,
and the only thing they suggested was ginseng.
And apparently that will help give me energy
without giving me caffeine.
I feel like I'm in the future right now.
I feel like everyone else is in 2017, I'm in 3017,
taking energy pills with ginseng.
As I was taking it I saw it says nut free on the side.
And that actually did make me feel pretty level headed
and energized, I got a lot of work done.
So I don't know, it could have just been a placebo,
but who knows.
It definitely feels miles away from where I was
last week, for sure.
- I did notice a really big difference.
I noticed the anxiety was gone.
- I don't think cutting out caffeine
benefited my mental health a ton.
- I've also been very productive at work.
- Working out helped it,
that definitely like soothed the anxiety.
- I do remember the day that we did the first interview
I was way more, I was just thinking about
how anxious I was.
Right now, there's no part of my brain that I'm thinking,
man, my anxiety is out of control today.
- One thing that many people don't realize,
is that when you become tolerant to a drug,
you don't become tolerant to all the effects
in the same way at the same time.
So what often happens, is people become tolerant
to the stimulating effects of the drug, let's say,
or the euphoric effects of the drug,
but they don't become tolerant to some of the
side effects of a drug.
- And so, going forward, I'm gonna drink
one cup of coffee every day.
- Yay! Really?
It's up to me if I want to drink it.
Whoa, this is a test.
- I'm not gonna drink this coffee.
I'm not ready to like, I'm not ready to give in yet.
And I'm considering trying to cut out coffee for longer.
- I think I'm not ready to get back into coffee.
I think I'm gonna get back into it,
but I think I might wait til uh, til maybe tomorrow.
- So I will not be drinking this cup of coffee,
because I already drank my coffee today.
And this would be completely unnecessary.
- [Producer] Based on your experience of this like,
can you drink this coffee.
- One second. Yeah. What?