How to cure a caffeine addiction in four days, without withdrawal symptoms

For much of my life, I needed large amounts of caffeine just to get by.  As a kid, that meant a liter or two of Dr. Pepper a day.  As an adult, it meant energy drinks and green tea.  Because of my addiction, I was always twitchy and nervous, and could never sleep well or put on muscle.  I tried to quit over and over again, only to experience debilitating headaches and extreme lethargy which drove me to return to my addiction.

A few years ago, I decided that enough was enough: I was going to kick my addiction once and for all.  But this time, instead of relying on sheer willpower, I resolved to figure out how caffeine addiction works in the brain, and use that knowledge to find an easier solution.  What I discovered was that caffeine abuse causes deficiencies in two amino acids: Tyrosine and Phenylalanine.  By fixing those deficiencies, I was able to shortcut the entire withdrawal process and overcome my addiction in 4 days- other people Ive spoken with have done it in as little as 2 days.  

You see, caffeine works by causing your brain to overproduce dopamine.  Dopamine is made from L-Dopa, which is made from Tyrosine, which is made from Phenylalanine.  Extended caffeine use uses up your stores of Tyrosine and Phenylalanine, so your brain reduces its dopamine production to conserve them.  It then takes progressively more caffeine to force your brain to use its remaining amino acid stores to produce dopamine- meaning you consume more caffeine, let have less energy and feel terrible.  

Thankfully, this addiction can be cured very quickly by supplementing either Tyrosine or Phenylalanine for just a few days.  Best of all, this hack allows you to avoid the headaches, lethargy and other withdrawal symptoms that most people experience when quitting caffeine.

Dosages: How Much and When

Youll need to acquire a bottle of Tyrosine or Phenylalanine pills (pros and cons of each below).  Ideally these pills should be 500 mg each; 250 mg is alright, but dont get anything larger than 500 mg, as youll want to reduce the dosage over time.  The dosage is the same regardless of which amino acid you choose.  

For the first two days, take 1000 mg of your chosen supplement first thing in the morning, and another 1000 mg at lunch.

For the next two days, take 500 mg first thing in the morning, and another 500 mg at lunch.  

For two days after that, take 500 mg first thing in the morning only.

You probably wont need to go for the whole six days- I only needed four days, and many people only need two.  If at any point you feel that your desire to consume caffeine is gone and your energy levels are back to normal, you can end this regimen early.    

Tyrosine or Phenylalanine?

This hack works with either L-Tyrosine or DL-Phenylalanine, and the choice comes down to individual preference.  Because Tyrosine needs one fewer step to convert to dopamine, you may find it more stimulating, which you may or may not want.  Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, as your body uses it to produce other amino acids including Tyrosine.  Tyrosine, on the other hand, cannot be converted back to Phenylalanine. 

My personal preference is to use DL-Phenylalanine, because it will also fix a Tyrosine deficiency, whereas Tyrosine wont directly fix a Phenylalanine deficiency.  However, if you want something that will produce a mild stimulant effect, Tyrosine is more likely to be the better choice for you.    

Once youve cured your caffeine addiction, you can consume caffeine on occasion without becoming addicted again- but be warned, youll most likely find that it has a stronger effect on you than it did before.  Instead of consuming caffeine every time your energy level starts flagging, you should deal with energy slumps by drinking a tall glass of water- and, optionally, taking another Tyrosine or Phenylalanine pill.  Youll be surprised at how often a glass of water is all you need.

My experience with caffeine addiction is one of the main reasons why I write so much on sleep and body hacking, rather than just focusing on diet and exercise like so many other fitness writers.  I have several more articles about sleep hacking and curing insomnia coming out over the next few weeks- if you want to learn to consistently get 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night, enter your e-mail address below to get those articles sent straight to your inbox.  Join now and you’ll also receive a FREE Food-Mutilator 5000 blender  an ebook with ten of my favorite fitness hacks, all of which you can read and implement in just a few short days.

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24 thoughts on “How to cure a caffeine addiction in four days, without withdrawal symptoms

  1. I have read phenylalanine is quickly broken down when it reaches the brain, and is not useful as a dopamine supplement. What do you think regarding this?

  2. It worked, though it took the full six days to do it. Before, I’d start the day with an energy drink (Monster or Rockstar, sugar-free), with a few cans of Pepsi Max to keep me going through the day. (I can’t stand coffee.) When I found myself popping caffeine pills at work to stay awake, I knew I had to do something. Now that I’ve gone through your “hack”, most days my caffeine intake is a single can of Diet Pepsi. 🙂

    1. Well done! And you can keep taking 500 mg of tyrosine in the morning in place of caffeine if you want. It won’t be nearly as stimulating as an energy drink, but it’s anti-addictive and will at least wake you up.

    1. I think it became easier, yes. Certainly got easier to eat more if I want to, plus my cortisol levels got under control. I didn’t go on a bulk right after kicking caffeine though- that came a while later.

  3. Do you think it’s ok to have decaf while doing this? I’ve started on phenylalanine and and have switched to drinking decaf, I’m currently on day one, and have got a slight headache.

    1. Not exactly the same, no. Taking chromium polynicotinate helps with sugar, but it isn’t processed in your brain anything like caffeine.

  4. where is this product available. I am near Canada’s Capital City Ottawa Thanks
    I am wondering if health food stores or over the counter in drug stores.

    1. I’m not familiar with Canadian stores. Here in the U.S. I find it at Whole Foods (high-end organic grocery store) or on Amazon, but I haven’t seen it in drug stores. Something like Vitamin Shoppe might have it too.

  5. Hey John what a life saver! Can you recommend a particular brand? I was just looking at NOW on amazon. Also do you drink any caffeine at all now? I thought that I should quit altogether, but I’ve quite so many times in the past. I always gave into temptation later on and then spiral out of control when I’m on it. I go from 1 to 6 servings a day in no time, and then I’m just drinking it to maintain now. Are you saying supplement and I literally won’t have the desire to have more caffeine?

    1. I still drink caffeine sometimes. I can’t promise you’ll have no desire for caffeine, but if you can’t drink it in moderation, it’s better to cut it out altogether.

  6. Thanks so much for posting this on your blog. Great info. I started it on Saturday, it is now Wednesday. Even with taking 1000 MG twice a day, I had awful withdrawal symptoms Saturday and Sunday. Seemed to start clearing up Monday (I stuck with the 1000 MG twice a day).

  7. Would you happen to have a guide on “How to Quit Smoking in 4 days”? I’m going to try this caffeine addiction plan as I drink coffee non-stop all day. I don’t this the taste is so great, but I think that I just like the warm drink basically because it soothes my throat and I don’t care for hot tea or hot chocolate or such.
    Quitting smoking would help everything..and I have too many issues (all need to be overcome) to list here…. and no it isn’t a matter of willpower. The best reason I’ve read is that people quit a habit only once they convince themselves that they can succeed (overcome the fear of relapse) and then, only then, does “willpower” kick in to stay motivated and remain a non-smoker or non-(fill in the blank).

    1. I don’t, and I don’t plan on writing one. From what I understand though, quitting smoking takes a bit longer, and the best option is to take Chantix.

  8. I tried quitting diet pepsi/caffeine in order to break a chronic headache and lasted about 1 & 1/2 months. My biggest hurdle was the brain fog and lack of concentration needed for my profession so I gave in and started back drinking it and my caffeine consumption has increased since then. Does either L-Tyrosine or DL-Phenylalanine assist with the brain fog side effects or should I add an non-caffeine alternative supplement for concentration? Thanks for your feedback!

    1. It should help, yes. Depends on what exactly is causing the brain fog, as there are a few possible mechanisms. You could try other supplements like piracetam, or alpha-lipoic acid in combination with acetyl-L-carnitine.

      1. Thank you. I started the DL-Phenylalanine on 09/29/2017 on the dosage you suggested. I took a sick week off work anticipating that I would have to take an additional week from my previous experience trying to quit caffeine cold turkey, however by October 3, I was ready to go back to work. I didn’t have the caffeine cravings or as much brain fog as I anticipated. Not a drop of soda or caffeine since the day before I started the hack. I was a bit skeptical, but going from the amount of caffeine I was consuming daily to none, amazing! I will try the piracetam, or alpha-lipoic acid in combination with acetyl-L-carnitine anyway for assistance with concentration. Thanks again!. TJ

        1. Thanks again for the help with the caffeine quit. Now I’m curious if I can break the Splenda/artificial Sweetener Habit. I’m currently using Splenda. I’ve tried Truvia and Stevia, however they haven’t helped and the price hasn’t helped me to switch either. Are there supplements, concentrated extracts and/or herbs that can help in breaking the artificial sweetener/sugar habit? Thanks again for your help, TJ.

          1. Nothing I know of, no. The best option would be to cut down the amount you use so gradually that it’s not noticeable. Over time you’ll get more sensitive to sweetness, so things will still taste good.

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