Coffee, Caffeine and Parkinson’s

Plain and simple, Starbucks is my friend. Caffeine from my double espresso, or two, is helping my mobility and stiffness in the morning. I buy Starbucks espresso beans, grind them at home, and make fresh espresso in the morning. Once in a while, I will get a dopio (double espresso) while at the Starbucks store. I am loyal to Starbucks because of the consistency of their espresso. I drink it black with no sweeteners, and it is the same every time. It doesn’t matter if I get it at the store, the kiosk in the mall, the airport (okay, yes, I have been to many Starbucks over the years), or make it at home, it is consistent in aroma, flavor and strength.

Now that I am recognizing its usefulness in better mobility and less stiffness, consistency is crucial. By the way, I am not talking about a caffeine jolt; even my genetics testing says I am a slow caffeine metabolizer. I am talking about it assisting me in slowly easing into the morning without the heavy, walking-in-the-mud slowness and stiffness I face when I get out of bed.

In Dr. Marjama-Lyons’ book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Parkinson’s Disease, on pages 314-315, she comments on caffeine:

Caffeine intake has been observed to be associated with a lower
occurrence of Parkinson’s disease. A recent study with the
MPTP mouse model of Parkinson’s disease showed that mice
that were pretreated with caffeine had greater survival of dopa-
mine cells, suggesting that caffeine may have a neuroprotective
effect. Caffeine is thought to bind to adenosine receptors in
the brain and block their activity. Similar results were obtained
with administration of a drug that blocked the A2a adenosine
receptor, and genetically engineered mice that lacked this A2a
adenosine receptor were resistant to MPTP toxicity. Novel
drugs that block these receptors and have similar properties
to caffeine may prove to be neuroprotective of dopamine
brain cells.

If you do a search on Google, you will find much literature on this issue.

All my best,



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5 Responses to Coffee, Caffeine and Parkinson’s

  1. Pieter says:


    how much coffee would be sufficient? When is the best times to drink coffee – your experiences?

    Thanks for your website.


    • Howard says:

      Hi Pieter,

      Thank you for you question.

      Everybody is different. I will share my experience. I am not a person who gets hyper when drinking coffee, and a genetic test I had said I am a slow caffeine metabolizer, so instead of a jolt, it slowly goes into my system. I would have a double espresso coffee in the morning. Other than that, I drank water during the day. I am coaching people who have reported to me that coffee makes their tremors worse and they get anxious, so they do not drink coffee. I have other people I am coaching who have a cup of coffee or two in the morning and have no adverse effect, but have some looseness of rigidity about 30 minutes later, which was my experience. When I would feel the looseness of rigidity is when I would do the Recipe for Recovery Qigong exercises.

      I hope this information helps your situation.



  2. Lexi says:

    I quit coffee totally because it aggravated my symptoms and started drinking decaff coffee. It makes a huge difference and I didn’t have to change my morning routine. Good luck!

  3. Tony Glover says:

    Daily caffeine improves Parkinson’s mobility problems from the New Scientist beginning of August.

    I picked this up article rather late but it made me feel better about my bean to cup machine. I take on average three small cups a day and it doesn’t seem to do me any harm… Not sure about the improved mobility yet.

  4. Christine says:

    Morning coffee really helps me so I have a good strong cup every morning.It helps me to get out of bed,get moving and able to do my qigong.

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