Caffeine Withdrawal The Ugly Truth
Before you can experience the benefits of becoming caffeine free, you have to go through hellish withdrawals.
Caffeine withdrawal is real, and it sucks. A lot. If you decide to go caffeine free and you have been dependent on caffeine for years like I was you will go through withdrawals, and they will likely last for months.
Although everyone is different, I will share with you the withdrawal symptoms that I experienced.;
First, some commonly reported caffeine withdrawal symptoms:
7) Muscle pain and stiffness
8) Lack of concentration
9) Flu-like symptoms
Update: Since writing this article, we have had amazing 700+ comments from people going through similar caffeine withdrawals.
You can see them below, and it just goes to show that it is not a two-week thing as many people will have you believe. So when you are done reading you can check out the comment section which is filled with amazing information and stories from great people.
You can also head to the Forum and personally track your progress and receive support from hundreds of people in the same spot. Just head here and start a new thread.
Im Jon And Im Addicted To Caffeine
So, you went a day without your morning cup and could feel the difference. Now what?
Fortunately, as far as addictions go, caffeine is pretty easy to kick. As long as you watch your serving size and frequency, you never have to stop drinking it completely. Just cut back until you dont have to fear withdrawal.
Do I Have to?
Again, as far as addictive substances go, you could pick a worse crutch than caffeine.
It is possible to;overdose on caffeine, though its pretty hard. It takes a lot of caffeine in a relatively short amount of time. Remember adenosine? It doesnt just make you feel drowsy; it allows your body to slow down. Too much caffeine and your heart rate and blood pressure can actually get dangerously high.
Still, the biggest reason to kick your caffeine habit or at least reign it in usually isnt because youre afraid of your morning joe killing you. Its because you dont want to live in fear of the day that you cant get your morning joe.
Another possibility is that your caffeine habit is kicking you in the pants. If you buy all of your coffee or tea out or stock up on soda and energy drinks to feel functional, it can cost quite a bit.
Maybe youre not afraid for your health, and you can afford your habit. Well,;Aristotle;wrote that self-control is an inherent good and that those who cant control themselves are doomed to be controlled by others. Now, whats your excuse for not kicking your coffee addiction?
How to Go about it The Stepwise Method
Why Would I Ever Give Up Caffeine
Kicking caffeine is certainly not for everyone, and I am in no way against caffeine or trying to say it is bad for you.
I know people that live on Starbucks and wouldnt be able to function without it. But to me, this is the problem. They wouldnt be able to function without it.;
Ask yourself right now, if caffeine wasnt available for you tomorrow, how productive and useful would you be? Most of you would probably be completely brain dead zombies. I was.
Personally, I do not want to be reliant on any substances. I used to be heavily reliant on caffeine for years and now I am 100% free of it. Since this life change, I can assure you my energy levels may be twice as good as they were before.
I must warn you though. This is not for the faint of heart and this change does not happen overnight. This is a decision for long term self-improvement and will make anything else you are trying to do in the next few months much more difficult. But if you can stick with it I know you wont regret it.
Benefits of being caffeine free are definitely worth it.
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Health Benefits Of Drinking Less Coffee
So, if you go through the pain of withdrawal, how is it making you healthier? By decreasing caffeine, you can expect to sleep better, feel less jittery and have less anxiety. If you struggle with heartburn or have to pee often, those symptoms will also improve as you reduce your coffee intake.
But I thought coffee is healthy?
Again, it depends who you ask. A 2015 study found that coffee consumption was associated with an 8% to 15% reduction in the risk of death. Many other studies show that drinking coffee decreases the risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinsons disease and uterine and liver cancer.
Conversely, the World Health Organization reports that coffee has been linked to irregular heartbeat and increased cholesterol levels. The WHO also states that long-term use of high caffeine intake may be linked to loss of bone density, which increases the risk of osteoporosis. Considering I have high cholesterol and have a family history of osteoporosis, those are two reasons Im more conscientious about how much coffee I drink.
So while the data is inconclusive or confusing at best, there are some side effects of caffeine that are everyone agrees on. In short, it wires us, alters digestion, and messes with our sleep and emotions. Too bad it tastes so dang good.
One more interesting note.
What about you?
My coffee and espresso makers and my favorite decaf pods
Benefits Of Being Caffeine Free
You can see from the infographic that the problem is not just in my or anyone elses head. Caffeine is a drug and not being dependent on it carries many benefits. For example, after giving up caffeine and getting through withdrawals:
1) You will have consistent energy levels through the day
2) You will have a decrease in stress and anxiety
3) You will wake up easier and more refreshed
4) You will save money
5) You will get harder erections!
When I was on caffeine, I started to have a problem with anxiety and my energy levels. I was on a constant track of ups and downs, and each cup made me increasingly more jittery and nervous. Some people will never feel this way. Good for you. But most people do, and they have no idea what the cause is.
Since I quit caffeine, and have recovered from withdrawals, my life has gotten a lot better. I have consistent energy throughout the day. I wake up refreshed and my overall well being has increased.;I also dont have to spend my hard earned money just to feel good and have the energy to get out of the house.
It is a great change, but I will not butter it up. It did not come easy.
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Negative Side Effects Of Coffee According To Research
When I am not sure about something, I ask my good friend Google. I love to have some research-backed knowledge and act based on that.;
I found that caffeine had a 6 hours half-life, meaning that the coffee I had after lunch would still be in my blood for 25% when I went to sleep.
Besides that, I found an article that stated that caffeine can lead to poor concentration, anxiety, increased stress levels, irritability, sleeplessness, rapid heart rate, and stomach ache.;
Caffeine can make you feel restless, it can cause nausea, dehydration, and even a dependence on caffeine. Your central nervous system is responding to the stimulating effects of caffeine, which can make it addictive.
Personally, I also experienced an irregular heartbeat, nervousness, and could get an occasional migraine.
For me, there were two main reasons to quit drinking caffeine:
- Poor concentration
- Increased stress levels
Caffeine Wants To Convert Views Into Money For Creators
The social broadcasting platform Caffeine is launching a new way to get paid.
Caffeine’s users will be able to purchase digital items that they can use to interact with live broadcasts. The more users who participate in a live broadcast on the platform, the more money that show’s producer makes.
The company’s founder and CEO, Ben Keighran, said he hopes this new monetization system will create a more exciting and interactive experience.
“We’re trying to build something that is really additive to the experience, really additive to the engagement, and hopefully makes broadcasters more money and makes the whole experience for everyone more fun,” Keighran said Thursday on Cheddar.
The new system uses an internal currency called Caffeine gold, which viewers can buy through an iPhone app and through Caffeine’s website. The gold, which starts at 99 cents, is to purchase the various concessions.
Caffeine is not expecting everyone to buy the gold. Users can broadcast their own content to earn credits, which can be turned back into Caffeine gold.
The new system separates Caffeine from competitors, like Twitch, because it enables any social broadcaster, no matter their following or concurrent viewership, to make money. Caffeine is still figuring out exactly what percent of the money spent on concessions within a broadcast will go to the content creator.
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My Personal Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
Here are my personal symptoms that I experienced after being a slave to the drug for years of my life. Again, everyone is different!
And some of you lucky bastards will feel better in weeks to a month. But for some, it can take as long as a year for the brain to fully return to its Pre-caffeinated state.
So do not feel afraid or alone if you experience any of the following or worse.;
Signs Of A Caffeine Addiction
Rather than going by the actual amount of Caffeine consumed per day, Caffeine addiction is discerned by the way that the substance affects an individuals day-to-day functioning. The severity of the addiction is calculated based on how distressed someone feels when they want Caffeine and cant get it and how much of a disruption this causes in their daily life.
The fifth;edition of the;Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not recognize Caffeine addiction as a SUD, but it does recognize it as a condition for future study. According to the DSM-5, problematic Caffeine consumption is characterized by at least three of the following criteria:
- A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control Caffeine use
- Continued Caffeine use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by Caffeine
- Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
- The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for Caffeine
- Caffeine is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms
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Better Sleep At Night
Caffeine is influencing my sleep big time!
I knew that and I took measures. No coffee after 3 PM.
Even though I did that, apparently the caffeine that was still in my body influenced my sleep. It was harder for me to fall asleep at night.
When I quit drinking coffee, my sleep improved. I was sleeping deeper, was not waking up as regularly, and woke up rested.
I even managed to resist the desire for my afternoon nap. Mostly.
How To Break Your Caffeine Addiction
1. Gradually reduce your coffee intake
While you could go cold turkey, its likely going to suck, especially if you drink a lot of coffee each day. I gradually reduced my intake over a month. I stopped having my afternoon cup of coffee first. Then I stopped going to get coffee after Id emptied my pot at home. That cut out two cups a day.
Next, I starting making less coffee so there was less for me to drink in the first place. I kept having two cups pre-run but then I only had one cup with with breakfast after I ran, rather than my usual two. Then, I reduced to one cup pre-run and one cup post-run. And finally, I switched to one cup pre-run and then made decaf post-run.
2. Replace some coffee with tea
On days that I was really struggling during the gradual phase down, Id have a cup of black tea or green tea since the amount of caffeine in tea is less than coffee and espresso. Black tea has 25-48 mg of caffeine in an 8oz cup and green tea has 25-30 mg. If youre new to tea, it may take getting used to since many people find it tastes like dirt. Try a few different varieties and experiment with sugar and milk to decide what you like.
I love gunpowder or genmaicha green tea. I like black tea less, but I do like chai tea . And I hate any flavored teas, like peach, strawberry, etc. I prefer my green tea plain, while a little milk and honey makes black tea more palatable.
3. Get a single-brew system
4. Drink espresso instead of coffee
Heres the math:
5. Brew or buy decaf
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What I Discovered Experimenting With Coffee And Tea
Last week I mainly experimented with coffee, green tea, and black tea. I usually drink a cup or two of green tea every day, and one or two coffees every week.
A cup of green tea contains 25mg of caffeine, a cup of black tea contains 42mg, and a cup of brewed coffee contains 108mg, so coffee definitely packs the biggest punch out of the three beverages.1 If youre looking for an energy boost, coffee has the biggest effects, and its no doubt the strongest.
To observe how adding caffeine to my diet affected my focus and energy levels, I started by not drinking any caffeine at all for the first two days so I could have a baseline to compare other days to.
I think everyone has a different productivity baseline . There isnt much science behind the productivity baseline below its just an arbitrary, flat curve that Ill show the affects of caffeine against.
After you drink a caffeinated beverage, caffeine gets to work quickly. Caffeine quickly stimulates your central nervous system, reduces your physical fatigue, and restores alertness when you feel drowsy.2 It generally helps you focus better, and also helps your body with physical coordination. This results in a productivity boost. Take green tea, for example:
In a nut, here are the two points I want to get across with these graphs:
- If you dont over-caffeinate, caffeine will provide you with a solid energy boost, and it will also boost your focus.
- That extra energy has a cost, which may make you less productive .
Caffeine Addiction: How To Drink Less Coffee
Coffee is one of the most well-known natural stimulants, along with nicotine. But whether or not coffee is listed among addictive substances depends on who you ask. The World Health Organization lists caffeine addiction as a clinical disorder. But the American Psychiatric Association doesnt identify caffeine addiction as a substance use disorder. The APA does, however, recognize caffeine withdrawal as a clinical condition.
The National Institute of Health shows that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system in three ways ; and they also state that caffeine does cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
And yet another classification comes from the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide called Caffeine Use Disorder, which refers to a disruptive, problematic pattern of caffeine use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. Common features of the disorder include overuse, inability to quit, withdrawal symptoms, craving, tolerance, and continuing to use despite problems.
That 100% sounds like what I experience over the last year with my coffee intake.
So, yes, the scientific community has different definitions and different opinions on the addiction level of caffeine, but if youre reading this post, you probably do believe that caffeine and coffee is addicting. And while there is research to show that coffee does have some solid health benefits, Im going to focus on the benefits of reducing coffee intake in this post.
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Do I Need Two Monitors To Stream
Most popular streamers or anyone who takes the job seriously will tell you that its a requirement to have two monitors to be able to communicate with your fans while you play games. This will allow you to converse with the people watching your stream while being able to focus and play your game at the same time.
Spam Impersonation And Scams
Nobody likes spams, scams or being cheated. Please donât impersonate another user, create misleading information, or encouraging participating in schemes.
What do we define as spam, impersonation and scams?
- Misleading Broadcast Titles: Using the title, thumbnails, or description to trick users into believing the content is something it is not.
- Scams: Content offering cash gifting, âget rich quickâ schemes, âmiracle pillâ promotion, or pyramid schemes
- Self Promotion Spam: Going in to a broadcast only to hype your own broadcast on Caffeine or elsewhere is bad form. If promotion comes about organically in a conversation fine but jumping from broadcast to broadcast to hype yourself is a no go
- Off Site Promotions: Starting a new stream just to get clicks, views or traffic off of Caffeine for any reason. We don’t mind having links to your other channels in your profile but actively driving viewers away from Caffeine is not permitted
- Repetitive Comments: Leaving large amounts of identical, unintelligible or repetitive comments
- Impersonation: Claiming to be a well known person that is not on Caffeine, celebrity of note, widely recognized brand , creating a username similar to another Caffeine user with the intention of trolling them, or posing as a Caffeine employee can result in the deletion of the account
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