Caffeine makes me crash hard?

I haven’t had a cup of caffeinated coffee or tea in over a year because I realized the caffeine made me crash very hard.

Some of my CFS background: EBV induced for 2 and an half years and I still have viral flares when I skip a day of valacyclovir. Fairly certain I have chronic EBV that’s causing my CFS symptoms

About a year ago, I tried a regular sized cup of coffee to see if it would help with my CFS symptoms. I had avoided it pre-CFS because it’s anxiety fuel for me. A few hours after drinking it, I experienced the worst PEM I had ever had and it lasted for about a week. I would consider my CFS symptoms moderate but I could hardly get out of bed and was getting weak simply standing in the shower during this period.

The PEM faded and I went back to feeling ok. At the time, I wasn’t convinced it was the coffee that made me feel so bad but this changed after I went to the store to buy an energy drink and crashed just as hard after drinking it. Same PEM, same fatigue, same everything.

Has anyone experienced something similar with caffeine? What’re some potential reasons this happens?


Senior Member
For me its the coffee. Caffeine doesn't seem to be the issue and I can take it in other drinks but something in coffee itself is making me feel worse. I get the same impact from decaf coffee so I am pretty certain its coffee and not the caffeine.

The problem is I love speciality coffee. I am big on the light roast lemon and floral flavoured ehtiopian coffee's and I have a bunch of ways to make coffee and expensive hand grinders etc. Its downright irritating to be kept from it especially since I didn't loose my sense of taste with Covid would be nice to continue to explore the incredible range of flavours coffee has.

I have no idea what causes it unfortunately, not that I could do anything about.

perchance dreamer

Senior Member
I had been a coffee lover all my life, but I woke up one day, and it didn't taste good anymore. Coffee always gave me strong initial stimulation, but that effect was short lived.

I switched to 1 cup of black tea and 1 cup of green tea a day. The caffeine content is a good deal lower, but I also seem to metabolize tea differently. It's lower stimulation, but the stimulation lasts a lot longer for me than coffee.

Organic Irish Breakfast tea is delicious! I order it from a company called Divinitea in New York.