Reasons to quit
We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.Jerry Seinfeld
Amino Acids To Conquer Coffee Addiction
Amino acids are a category of supplements that have very few side effects, and enormous benefit, as they are correcting a nutrient deficiency. After seeing the results of L-Carnosine with my daughter when she had autism (see more here), I’ve continued finding amino acids that work for various health problems, including my coffee addiction!
Amino acids serve to correct an imbalance within the body rather than force adrenaline out like caffeine does.
Potential Side Effects of DLPA
DLPA also has very few side effects, especially at low doses. The side effects of DLPA look a lot like excess caffeine consumption: Anxiety, jitteriness, and hyperactivity in children. (source)
Common advice is to avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding, or at least consult with a doctor before using. This is due to lack of studies of this supplement during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Personally, I have taken this supplement while breastfeeding. There was a 4-year time period that I was pregnant or breastfeeding continuously, so I tried a few supplements. I didn’t notice any change in my baby, but do what’s comfortable for you.
How DLPA Works
D, L-Phenylalanine (DLPA) is used by the brain to produce norepinephrine (our brains’ version of adrenaline), a neurotransmitter depleted by stress, caffeine, nicotine, pollution, and some pharmacological and recreational drugs. (Source)
When you’re low on dopamine, you feel dull, unmotivated and tired. Nothing seems very interesting. When left to yourself you might sit in the same spot for hours. This can feel terrible!
Symptoms of DLPA deficiency look a lot like caffeine withdrawal symptoms: Lack of motivation, depression, lack of energy, memory problems, lack of appetite. (source)
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to boost dopamine levels. The amino acid DL-phenylalanine (DLPA) is your body’s natural dopamine precursors. When you take DLPA as supplements, your body converts them into dopamine, and your alertness and energy level get a boost. (Source)
Caffeine gives us a temporary lift by sending norepinephrine into the blood stream. Over time, healthy levels of norepinephrine are depleted by caffeine and other factors mentioned above … if not replaced. Phenylalanine does a great job replacing this major neurotransmitter. (Source)
DLPA looks like it also helps with chronic pain (source) and depression (source), and it may help reduce cravings for alcohol as well (source) so it’s not just for withdrawing from caffeine.
I tried 500 mg capsules of DLPA (see here), 2 capsules in the morning and another in the afternoon. This allowed me to quit coffee immediately without any withdrawal symptoms immediately. After the first 2 days I went down to only using DLPA if I was craving coffee.
After using DLPA, I felt like I got better sleep, and woke up ready to go in the morning with more energy than usual, and a longer attention span than usual. I’ve continued to have coffee when out with friends on occasion and I haven’t felt my coffee addiction returning at all.
The DLPA itself doesn’t seem to be habit forming, I skip most days now and only take it if I start to feel like I ‘need’ something to wake me up.
The first weekend I tried DLPA to quit coffee, I was amazed that I avoided the caffeine withdrawal headache and even had a steady supply of energy all day long. It was not the nervous caffeine-induced kind of energy, it was the kind of energy you have after you had a great night’s sleep and you’re excited to do whatever needs to be done that day.
I’m still amazed at how well this works, it’s almost like it’s too good to be true.
Are you addicted to caffeine and want to stop?
Give DLPA a try!
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Thank you for this post! This information is very interesting. I plan to try this. I'm not a coffee drinker but I drank diet soda for years to get my caffeine. I stopped drinking the soda a month or so ago and have felt tired and had headaches since. Maybe this will help!
Very inspiring! It is worth a look into. I sometimes forget to make coffee on my days off and boy do I feel it at 3 o'clock.. the headache is like clock work. I drink 2 cups in the morning right now, which takes me hours to drink. I'm still drinking my second cup at lunch, which is limiting my water consumption. I hate the dependence. Thanks for sharing your experience.
The dependence is what I disliked the most as well! if you go to cheeseslave.com she has another article up right now on more amino acids and why/how they work. It's fascinating!
Yes to both questions.
Did you get the amino acid from a store or mail order it?
I got it from our health food store- but only one out of three in our town had it. I'm going to order from Amazon (there's a link up in the article) next time- the price locally is double what they carry it for.
I think I might try this as well! I only have one cup of coffee in the morning, but I definitely need it. I get massive headaches w/o it. Now to find something else to drink in the morning: I hate tea. Thanks for the post!
hi i am in the process of giving up coffee which i love and came across this herbal coffee which is caffeine free. its called teecino and its been a god sent b/c its rich and full bodied like coffee with great flavours but none of thenegative side effects!
I'm a once in a while coffee drinker but this interests me because of the comments made about getting better sleep and having more energy. I have insomnia more nights than not and then I end up being tired all the time. Thanks for the info… off to research more :-)
What a coincidence, I have been researching amino acids and how they can replace bipolar mood stabilizers. I dislike all medications, and their side effects and would love a more natural approach to treatment. Maybe I'll be able to shake my coffee addiction at the same time. I'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks, Cara. Quitting coffee is high on my list and I am completely addicted. Have quit often over the years but never successfully “for good.” Will give the DLPA a try asap.
You mentioned L-tyrosine and I’ve just read about that somewhere else – maybe cheeseslave, don’t know. Have you tried that at all? Just curious. Will have to see where I read this…
Thanks again! I’m excited!!!
Oh Lord, I wish I had this information when my husband insisted that we go to decaf mid February. We were already cutting our one cup of espresso machine coffee with half caff half decaf. I actually had a migraine the third day, that got progressively worse during the day and I ended up in bed that afternoon, feeling nauseas and falling asleep for a while. My sleep isnt great the best of times and it got worse. I read that insomnia can be a symptom of caffeine withdrawal. I also had neck and upper back soreness for weeks. I must be a glutton for punishment. This is one of a few times that I have quit caffeine in the past few years, but its definitely the last! I think I might try the DLPA, I wonder if its good for weak adrenals? Im betting it is.
Can’t you get DLPA and l-trilocyne from animal products such as grass fed meat and raw milk? As I understood it, these foods provide you your essential amino acids which in turn allow your body to produce non-essential acids. Not saying cutting out caffeine is a bad thing (I should probably as well) but you should be able to get all you need from a traditonal diet, no? I mean, that’s the whole point in eating traditional. That you don’t need fancy supplements if you’re eating healthy and feeding your body what it needs. Just curious, because I’ve not heard of this before :)
Right, but caffeine I think really depletes that particular aminio acid, which somehow makes you crave more coffee and deplete even more. If someone had always had good nutrition and never drank coffee, they’d likely be fine :)
Okay, yes, that makes sense. Very interesting. I love my coffee, but have read enough about it to seriously consider cutting it out – I do use raw cream and no sugar, so that’s a bit of a plus, minor, I know – lol. If you simply cut out coffee, without supplementation, then I assume your levels will even out once you’re coffee free, is that right? We drink raw milk and eat only grass fed beef at our house. Thanks so much for the info!
Hi Rachel, I needed a little jump start from the amino acids (DLPA) to get my levels to even out. I’d tried quitting before and never felt really ‘awake’ without it, even after a few months. But that was just me, I was raised on formula than SAD/low fat, so I most likely was very deficient!
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How long did you continue taking DLPA after quitting coffee?
Is the L-tyrosine a separate supplement that you take in addition to the DPLA or does the DPLA contain everything you need? If it’s in addition, could you recommend which one you take and the dosage? Thanks!
Hi Maryann, DLPA has everything you need!
I drink an Organic coffee with Green Tea extract and trace minerals. I don’t want to give up coffee totally as I feel I am getting health benefits from this coffee but I would like to try this product instead of hitting up drive-thru coffee that is low quality when I am feeling a caffeine need. Where can I get this product?
I get it from Amazon. Our health food stores have it too, but it’s a lot more expensive there.
I’m wondering, when you switched to DLPA and cut out caffeine cold turkey, how much caffeine did you consume,
As I plan to make the switch, I’ve reduced but still drink about 200mg a day. I’m wondering how effective DLPA is when switching from higher/different doses. It seems reasonable to me to think that someone cold turkey int from 500mg and switching DLPA will still probably feel like garbage.
What’s your thoughts?
Hi! I was drinking most of a pot of regular coffee a day, I think it’s really effective!