Know How Much Caffeine You’re Consuming
In addition to drinks like coffee, tea or soda, other foods, such as chocolate, preworkout formula or other supplements can contain caffeine, too. Before you decide to cut back or quit caffeine, it’s good to take an inventory of your weekly diet and see how much you’ve been consuming, exactly, and approach from there with what works best for you.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Addicted To Coffee Same A Nutritionist Shares Simple Tips To Quit Caffeine
Don’t go cold turkey!
Its that time of year. Copious cups of coffee are just what the holidays ordered. Mellow, rich, bold, fruitycoffee keeps the holiday traditions alive. Caffeine also fuels endless to-do lists: Gift shopping, family activities, email replies, and everything else December entails. When presence feels impossible, we swiftly reach for an extra cup of joe. And while coffee is chock full of benefits, its easy to overdo it, especially during the holidays. If you think youve become too reliant on your cup of coffee, dont fret. Im a ball and chain to my coffee pot, too. Thankfully, it is possible to become less reliant on caffeine and still feel energized. If saying sayonara feels impossible, weve got you covered. Read on to learn how to quit caffeine . Good news! You dont have to quit cold turkey.
- Double-certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Nutrition Consultant
Edie is the founder of nutrition coaching business, Wellness with Edie. With her background and expertise, she specializes in womens health, including fertility, hormone balance, and postpartum wellness.
Other Tips To Break Caffeine Addiction
As part of a wean, it may be better to substitute high-caffeine drinks with low-caffeine drinks. This is explained in detail here. Replacing coffee with green tea is a good suggestion .
Another thing to do is to take power naps during the detox. However, that is not realistic for most of us. When was the last time your boss was happy with you taking a nap under your desk?
Need help reducing caffeine ?
Some people may benefit from the Udemy course Overcoming Caffeine Withdrawal.
Theres also a meeting-based program available at Caffeineaddictsanonymous.com.
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Slowly Back Away From The Caffeine
These tips can help you incrementally stop your caffeine intake.
- Set a time limit: Set a time by which you stop your caffeine intake each day. Medical professionals recommend 2 p.m., so as not to interfere with your sleep.
- Substitute a lower caffeine drink: Start with small changes. If you usually drink light roast coffee, switch to a dark roast, to start. If you usually drink black tea, try green or white tea instead.
- Lean on decaf: If you typically drink espresso or dark-roast coffees, which have more caffeine than other caffeinated drinks, start by cutting it with half or even a quarter decaf coffee. Then, every few days, cut it down further, slowly reducing your intake over time.
And dont rush it. Slowing ramping down is the best way to go about it, Czerwony advises.
How Quickly Does Caffeine Affect The Body
It varies. For most, caffeine begins affecting the body very quickly. It can be felt as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. It reaches a peak level in your blood within 30-60 minutes, with a half-life of three to five hours. Meaning, your body can eliminate some of the caffeine within three to five hours, but the remaining amount of caffeine can stay much longer. Ultimately, it depends on if youre a fast metabolizer or a slow metabolizer. This all comes down to our genes. The fast group breaks down caffeine more quickly than the slow group. And thus, the effects of caffeine dont last as long for this group.
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Reduced Type 2 Diabetes Risk
While black coffee actually has been shown to reduce diabetes risk, drinking sugary coffee and caffeinated beverages actually increase your risk of diabetes.
People who consume sugary drinks regularly1 to 2 cans a day or morehave a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetesHarvard School of Public Health6
Coffee: The Good The Bad And The Ugly
As I said, on the whole, I think that coffee consumption is beneficial for most people, assuming you drink it in reasonable quantities. Nobody needs a gallon of coffee per day, sorry. A reasonable quantity is up to four cups a day, or so say the experts. As a one-or-two-cup-a-day guy, that sounds like a lot to me.
Even at that level of consumption, some people can have adverse reactions to caffeine depending on their genetics and underlying health issues. Headaches, jitters, and racing heartbeat are common, and of course it can majorly mess with your sleep. Its easy to slip into a vicious cycle where youre sleeping poorly, so you drink coffee throughout the day to combat fatigue, which means you dont get enough restorative sleep that night, and repeat ad infinitum.
Caffeine can also cause your adrenal glands to release cortisol, although this effect is tempered in habitual coffee drinkers.2 For people dealing with a lot of stressand who isnt right nowdrinking too much coffee may not be wise. It can interfere with your bodys ability to regulate cortisol and cope with the stressors.3 This is why practitioners often recommend that folks with HPA axis disorders limit or avoid coffee.
Need I go on? Okay, one more: caffeine can interact with prescription drugs, blocking absorption, increasing absorption rates to unsafe levels, or otherwise changing their effects.12
Avoid Alcohol And Simple Sugars
Alcohol depresses the nervous system and dehydrates the body, which is why a night of imbibing is often followed by a sluggish morning. And also why a strong cup of coffee is often needed to counteract alcohols effects. Avoid drinking alcohol while you quit caffeine so your energy stays as high as possible.
Simple sugars, especially added sugars, can spike your blood sugar and lead to a crash shortly after that. To avoid feeling tired and lethargic, avoid simple sugars like sugary drinks, white bread or pasta, and desserts.
After About A Week I Felt Like A Different Person
As the days went on, I wasn’t craving those caffeinated beverages as much, and I stopped feeling so tired all of the time.
This took at least four days to slowly kick in, and by day seven, I felt like a different person.
Romanoff explained that I may have felt better because caffeine can impact your body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients that keep it running smoothly.
“The cause behind this effect is due to tannins found in caffeine, which is believed to inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients such as calcium, iron, and B vitamins,” she told Insider. “Caffeine can also cause a dysregulation in your brain chemistry, just like other dependence-inducing drugs do.”
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Fewer Trips To The Bathroom
Caffeinated beverages cause us to urinate more often and in some people can even cause incontinence.
Caffeine also stimulates the smooth muscle tissue of the colon, which causes it to contract.
This can be challenging during meetings, road trips, or when bathrooms arent convenient.
Quitting can reduce the need to use the bathroom as often, especially in the mornings.
How Long Does Caffeine Last In The Human Body
The effects of caffeine can be felt as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. The level of caffeine in your blood peaks about one hour later and stays at this level for several hours for most people. Six hours after caffeine is consumed, half of it is still in your body. It can take up to 10 hours to completely clear caffeine from your bloodstream.
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How Much Is Safe
Most adults can safely drink up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. That translates to about four cups of coffee, 10 cans of cola or two energy drinks. Adolescents should take in less as they’re more vulnerable to its effects. It’s also a good idea not to mix caffeine and alcohol.
When consumed in excess, this stimulant may cause unpleasant side effects among adults. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others and will experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Some negative side effects of too much of the stimulant may include:
- Migraine headache
- Fast heartbeat
You may be getting caffeine from medications and not realize it, states the Cleveland Clinic. This compound is found in many over-the-counter headache medicines, pain relievers and cold treatments. It also occurs naturally in herbal products, such as guarana, yerba mate and green tea extract.
What You Can Do To Feel Better
Like recovering from a hangover, youll have to wait out your caffeine overdose to get over it completely. And this could take 4 to 6 hours, says Sridhar, unless youre one of the unlucky few who are caffeine-sensitive, in which case you may have to wait much longer. Sigh.
But while youre waiting, here are a few things that might help.
No more caffeine. Dont consume any more caffeine today. Seems like a statement of the obvious, but be sure you dont absentmindedly nosh on your usual mid-afternoon chocolate-covered snack bar by mistake.
Drink plenty of water. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that you need to drink extra water to make up for what youre peeing out. You dont want to add dehydration to the unpleasantness.
Replace electrolytes. If you have been sick to your stomach or have diarrhea, youre losing not only water but also electrolytes. You can replace those with an electrolyte replacement solution like Pedialyte.
Take a walk. If you feel a lot of pent-up energy, take a walk to expend some of it. But if you notice anything unusual happening to your heart rate like a sudden rapid increase then stop.
Practice deep breathing. If youre anxious, chances are that your breathing is fast and shallow and that will only further increase your anxiety. Take slow, deep, deliberate breaths to bring your breathing back to normal and reduce anxiety.
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How Much Caffeine Can You Safely Consume
Studies suggest that drinking coffee can boost productivity and improve your health, but only if you consume up to four cups of coffee a day or less than 400mg of caffeine per day. But this only applies to healthy adults.
Pregnant women, surgical patients individuals who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, individuals with irregular or faster heart rates, and individuals who are prone to caffeine dependency may, however, need to limit their caffeine consumption or quit the habit altogether.
This is because studies have linked the excess consumption of caffeine to a number of adverse effects, including:
- Modest increases in blood pressure
- Increased serum cholesterol due to lipids found in coffee
- Increased risk for cardiovascular disease
- Delayed conception and lower birth weight
What To Do If Withdrawal Symptoms Become Uncomfortable
- Make sure you drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily.
- To prevent headaches, make sure your bowels are clean.
- If you are tired, allow more time for sleep.
- Make sure you exercise daily to help fight off fatigue.
- If you are hungry, have some protein in the afternoon such as a handful of nuts or seeds such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds, cooked beans, or a piece of steamed or baked fish.
- If youre irritable or have trouble sleeping, take a combination of calcium citrate and magnesium citrate before bed.
- If you have an upset stomach, drink ginger or peppermint tea. Drink up to four cups a day as often as needed.
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How To Manage The Most Common Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
There are some instances when reducing or eliminating the consumption of caffeine can trigger symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. Even consuming caffeine for three consecutive days can result in caffeine withdrawal symptoms when you stop using caffeine.
Studies show that approximately 50 percent of individuals experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms when they eliminate or cut back on caffeine consumption, while around 13 percent experience withdrawal symptoms so severe that they cannot go to work.
Improve Your Sleeping Habits
You might think this is a bit too on the nose, but if youre feeling tired, chances are theres something off about the way youre sleeping.
You might have insomnia if it typically takes you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, or if youre awake in the middle of the night for more than 30 minutes at a time a couple of nights a week . In this case, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider, but there are other things you can do, too, to improve your sleeping behavior:
- Avoid alcohol and food two hours before bed.
- Sleep in a cool, dark room.
- Avoid electronic screens one hour before bed.
- Create a routine.
This last one is important: On average, you should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, so fine-tuning a sleep-wake schedule can help you create a space so you can pull that off. If you go to bed each night and wake up around the same time each day, your body will start depending on that schedule, which can improve insomnia.
If youre constantly feeling tired, sleep has to be a priority, Dr. Darling stresses.
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What Is Caffeine Withdrawal
Caffeine withdrawal occurs when someone who has been consuming caffeine regularly stops. Most people who regularly consume caffeinated beverages are familiar with at least some of these symptoms.
If you skip your morning coffee, you might start to feel some of these unpleasant effects just a few hours later. They can range from fairly mild to more severe, depending on your regular caffeine intake. Headaches are perhaps the single most common sign of withdrawal. Irritability and fatigue are also frequent. These negative symptoms then lead people to grab a caffeinated drink to find some relief.
How To Stop Drinking Coffee And Why You Should Consider It
Thank you for reading past the title of this post. I wasnt sure anyone would. After all, here I am offering advice on how to quit the worlds most beloved beverage.
The love of coffee transcends national and cultural borders. Around the world, most of us start our day with coffee. Folks take pride in sourcing the best beans and pairing them with the ideal grind and brewing method. We meet friends, clients, and first dates for coffee because coffee shops are comforting, safe spaces.
As good ol Anonymous observed, Humanity runs on coffee.
Yet here I am suggesting you might want to quit. Before I get into why, let me assure you that by and large, I still think coffee has more benefits than downsides. It improves workouts and memory, fights fatigue, and epidemiological evidence links coffee consumption to a host of health benefits. You can check out my Definitive Guide to Coffee to learn more.
There are downsides, though. In the pursuit of optimal health, its essential to examine our choices and behaviors and ask which of them might be undermining your health and longevity goals. Thats what Im suggesting you do today.
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Common Sources Of Caffeine
Usually, the more caffeine you consume, the greater the risk of experiencing caffeine withdrawal symptoms when you stop or reduce your intake rate, and the greater the chances of experiencing more severe withdrawal symptoms.
Caffeine is found in many plants, though the most widely consumed are coffee, tea, cocoa pod, cola nut, guarana, and mate. Caffeine is so popular that an estimated 80 90 percent of adults and children in North America consume caffeine habitually. Only 15 percent have stopped taking caffeine completely due to concerns about their health and unpleasant side effects.
In the US, the average caffeine consumption for a healthy adult is 280 mg, which is the equivalent of 84 ounces of soft drink or 17 ounces of brewed coffee.
Studies indicate that quantities as low as 30 mg of caffeine can affect your mood and behavior, while 100 mg per day can result in physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon cutting back.
The leading dietary source of caffeine among US adults is coffee, while the largest source among children is soft drinks. An estimated 70 percent of soft drinks in the US market contain caffeine, including some non-cola drinks such as cream soda, orange soda, root beer, and lemon-lime drinks.
Why I Quit Coffee And What It Did For Productivity
Nothing has ever awakened my senses more than the sweet aroma of coffee. Who can resist the cocoa flavor, nutty texture, and overall happy feeling you get when you take your first sip?
Not many. For hundreds of years, coffee has spread its rich flavor around the globeso much that many of us cant live without it.
In a survey of 2,199 Americans, 62% of them agreed that they cannot function without a cup of joe. And if you think the U.S is addicted, look at Finlandthe top coffee-consuming country at 8.3 kg per capita.
Many of us drink coffee to increase productivity and focus, but how much coffee is too much? Below, Ill go over what happens when you drink coffee, why its so hard to give up, and how it affects your productivity.
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