So with being pretty good at staying on paleo (80/20) for quite some time now, my morning coffee wasn't doing what I was used to feeling... so I'd upped it to a couple cups a day to (oh no!) 3 cups (2 @ a.m. & 1 @early p.m.)... and I was dragging if not in need of a nap come time for dinner... and there were a few times I slept thru dinner. Shh! So, thinking about it, I changed my coffee to decaff - b/c I really do enjoy a "hot cup of strong", but was thinking of 'adrenal fatigue'-like symptoms (no official Dx).
I'm curious if anyone else has experienced this... the body sorta saying "hey, i dont need all that stimulant" after changing to a paleo-ish diet & maybe why this is happening? Sure once in a while my full-octane is used/needed (to jump start those really early morning commutes)... but I don't feel like I need it daily.
Scientifically speaking, the reason for this is that caffeine binds to adenosine receptors in the body. Adenosine acts as a neuromodulator for most of our important neurochemicals (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine), and two things happen when you're regularly filling your adenosine receptors with caffeine: first, your body becomes more sensitive to adenosine itself, and second, your body down-regulates the amount of these neurotransmitters that you have available.
This means that in the absence of caffeine, you're going to experience the side effects of low serotonin and dopamine, which are depression, irritability, tiredness, cravings, etc. Adenosine is also a vasodilator, which will have the opposite affect of most stimulants, including caffeine. (source)
Anecdotally speaking, yes. I find that a spoonful of coconut oil, butter, or ghee gives me much more pleasant of a buzz than caffeine does these days.
As for increased sensitivity after going paleo, I imagine it may have something to do with adenosine's role in ATP production.
During the cool season (being from the north I'd never call southern Nevada cold) I enjoy a couple mugs of coffee every morning. When it starts getting hot I lose interest and don't drink any.
I used to wake up groggy but I believe that was a wheat hangover. Now, with or without coffee I wake up alert and high energy and there's no hurry about getting the coffee going. I do enjoy sitting with a warm mug to sip though.