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What's the buzz on caffeine? Join a live Web chat to find out

July 31, 2011|By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • Some people can't start the day without a caffeine buzz, while others avoid it entirely
Some people can't start the day without a caffeine buzz, while others… (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles…)

Caffeine--some people can't live with it, and others can't live without it. Join a live Web chat on Monday, Aug. 1, at 11 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. CT, 2 p.m. EST) and learn how this substance can affect your body, your health and your athletic performance. Chatting with readers will be registered dietitian Ruth Frechman, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Assn. and author of the upcoming book "The Food Is My Friend Diet." Frechman is also the founder of "On the Weigh," a nutrition consulting business, as well as an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer.

While many people have no plans to give up their daily cups of coffee, others are trying to kick the caffeine habit. We asked Frechman to give some guidance on the best way to surrender that buzz.

"If you feel that you're consuming excess amounts of caffeine and want to quit cold turkey, you may experience a headache or feel tired," she said, adding that the side effects usually last only two to three days. If a clean break is too harsh, "Slowly decrease the amount until you have gradually reached the level you want to achieve. You might choose to go from brewed coffee to instant coffee to decaffeinated coffee."

Or, segue from three colas a day to two, then one. Be sure to make up the fluids you're losing, though, to avoid dehydration.

Do you have a question for Ruth Frechman? Email jeannine.stein@latimes.com and join the chat to see the answer.

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