Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, nor is it intended to be. Always consult a licensed physician before starting any supplement regimen.
Around this time last year I started getting what I thought were heart palpitations. My heart would be beating along, then without warning it would stop for a split second, then it would beat two quick times before starting the regular cadence again. I didn’t think it was a big deal so I left it alone.
But as time went on my heart continued to skip beats at a higher rate. Instead of thump, thump, thump, it would be thump, thump………..th-thump……th-thump. There wasn’t any pain to speak of but it got so frequent at one point I decided to go to the ER.
The doctor told me all my blood tests came back fine and that my heart was a strong and healthy as it ever was. “But what about the erratic patterns in my heartbeat?” I asked. “What about the palpitations and skipped beats?”
“Those aren’t heart palpitations,” he explained. “What you’re experiencing are what’s Premature Ventricular Contractions…PVC for short.”
“Is there any cause for concern?” I asked
“No,” he said. “Perfectly healthy people with perfectly healthy hearts experience them from time to time. They do freak people out but most of the time the blood tests show that there aren’t any underlying causes like heart disease and so forth.”
“Then what causes PVTs?”
“It’s either from exercising too much, overconsumption of caffeine, or a combination of both.”
…and that’s when it hit me. I had a caffeine addiction.
When I thought about my daily routine I was shocked at how much caffeine I was consuming and how often I consumed it. I’d have two cups of strong coffee in the morning, an energy shot before lifting, another energy shot after lifting, one before my bike ride, and then one or two during the day to keep my energy up. That’s a shit load of caffeine. As soon as the doctor said the c-word I knew immediately I had to make a change.
3 substances helped me to reduce my caffeine consumption and ultimately stop my heart from jumping around.
#1 – Modafinil
This is usually the #1 ingredient in today’s “smart drugs.” Modafinil is a nootropic that promotes extreme concentration and focus for extended periods of time. Men who’s livelihoods depend on consistent productivity swear by this drug which includes CEOs, executives, television producers, and the like. The movie Limitless, though make believe, is probably the closest on screen description in terms of what this drug is capable of when taken in the right doses.
Another effect Modafinil has is that it’s a stimulant. That is, it also gives you energy and lots of it. It’s easy to take too much of this stuff and end up with a ridiculous headache so people have to be very careful with their dosing procedures.
I ordered this to help ween myself off of caffeine and it was as advertised the first time I took it. They typically come in 200mg pills so I broke one in half and took it right when I woke up. That 100mgs not only helped me power through the first half of my day, I didn’t feel the need to drink anything caffeinated because of the energy it gave me. I woke up at 4:30am, took it at 4:35, and didn’t crack open an energy drink until around lunch time which by then, I would normally have had two cups of coffee and at least 3 energy shots.
The concentration and focus I also gained from the modafinil also helped my productivity in ways that caffeine did not. Suffice it to say that this nootropic definitely lived up to its reputation and was a huge reason I was able to reduce my caffeine intake on a daily basis.
#2 – Kratom
Those of you who watch my show TSR: Live on weekday afternoons at 5:30EST/2:30PST know that my title sponsor is Happy Hippo Herbals who specializes in kratom. Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia in the Indochina and Malaysiaphytochoria. Kratom is indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea where it has been used in traditional medicine since at least the 19th century.
People who suffer from alcohol, opiod, or other drug addictions credit kratom as the #1 reason they were able to kick the habit. Heroin addicts swear by this stuff and a quick search on Google or YouTube will back up these claims.
Kratom also has some opioid as well as stimulant-like properties and that’s where it helped me beat my caffeine addiction. On days I didn’t take modafinil (more on that in a bit), I’d take 2 or 3 ounces in the morning on an empty stomach, then take another 2 to 3 ounces around lunch time. Once again, I didn’t find myself reaching for an energy shot until later in the afternoon because I didn’t feel the need to.
#3 – Phenibut
Happy Hippo Herbals also sells Phenibut, which is a nootropic and used recreationally. It’s a central nervous depressant with sedative and anxiolytic effects.
“Why would you take something with a sedative when trying to beat caffeine?”
Good question. The way phenibut works with my body, it increases the potency and effectiveness of caffeine. In other words, when I take it in the morning, I don’t have to consume as much caffeine to get the same effect. The result is less caffeine consumption which is the ultimate goal.
Phenibut is a very complex compound and is also used to treat asthenia, depression, alcoholism, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, stuttering, tics, vestibular disorders, Ménière’s disease, dizziness, for the prevention of motion sickness, and for the prevention of anxiety so like the two above, this is a multi faceted compound.
On days I take phenibut, I’ll take 1 gram, then drink a mild cup of coffee and the effects last well past lunch time. Then later in the afternoon, I’ll take another gram with an energy drink and I’m good to go for the day. So with this compound I can get by on just two caffeinated drinks which is a hell of a lot less than I was drinking before.
I rotated these 3 compounds daily. Day one I’d take 100mg of modafinil, day two I’d take 2-3 grams of kratom in the morning then 2-3 grams in the afternoon, and on day three I’d take 1g with a cup of coffee in the morning then another gram in the afternoon with an energy drink. After a couple of weeks, my PVTs completely stopped and I haven’t had them since.
It’s very important to understand the importance of dosing correctly and not using these compounds on consecutive days. Modafinil, Kratom, and Phenibut are all highly addictive so one must exercise vigilant caution when starting a rotation. There are plenty of forums online that can point you in the right direction in terms of dosing for your particular body type, weight, and genetic makeup. You’ll have to tinker here and there to find the best combination for you but once you get them all dialed in, your caffeine consumption can and will be drastically reduced.
Again, always consult a medical professional before embarking on any supplemental regimen and do your due diligence to make sure you get the most out of these substances without overdoing it.