Don’t Quit Cold Turkey
The consensus among health experts and scientists seems to be that it’s best to wean yourself off caffeine by gradually reducing the amount you consume daily — if you’re able to, don’t go from 100 to zero.
Stopping caffeine completely one day is the surest way to trigger withdrawal symptoms that include :
- Muscle pain
In order to stave off those symptoms and change your habit, it’s best to decrease your soda, coffee, tea or other caffeinated drink consumption through a period of two or three weeks, according to the Clinic. To do this, you may alternate between drinking regular coffee and decaf , or cut back from three cups a day to two cups, then one.
If you’re a soda drinker, start swapping in water or other cold beverages instead of your usual caffeinated pop, the Clinic suggests. If you’re a tea drinker, experiment with less-caffeinated tea .
Whether your go-to is a refreshing soda or a warm cup of coffee, caffeine can be a tough habit to quit.
How To Kick Your Caffeine Habit During Pregnancy
03/31/2015 by Lizzie Goodman
Newly pregnant? Say goodbye to that morning cup of joe. Not only does caffeine flush much-needed nutrients out of your system, it also contributes to frequent bathroom breaks and intensifies mood swings. Most importantly, and the top reason to avoid it, consuming too much caffeine may also increase your risk for miscarriage. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists advises expectant mothers to limit their intake to two cups of caffeinated coffee each day the equivalent of one 12-ounce cup. If you’re the type of woman who doesn’t get to noon without a serious coffee boost, we have some work to do. Here’s how to safely and gently wean yourself off caffeine during pregnancy:
How Do I Beat The Symptoms
You can triumph over a caffeine habit and survive the symptoms of withdrawal by following these tips:
- Avoid withdrawal altogether by limiting your daily caffeine consumption if you normally drink 4 cups, drink 3, then 2, and so on.
- Gradually reduce the caffeine content of your beverage switch to half caf or decaf coffee or tea before quitting altogether.
- Replace caffeinated beverages with herbal teas to soothe symptoms and counteract dehydration, which can worsen headaches and withdrawal symptoms.
- Get extra sleep to combat fatigue and grogginess.
- Go for a morning run or fit in a quick workout to naturally boost your energy without caffeine.
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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.
Things That Happen When You Quit Caffeine
Caffeine is a mixed bag. There arebenefits associated with consuming itlike improved memory function and, obviously, greater levels of alertnessbut then you hear from people who quit the stuff and say it changed their life. Before taking your Keurig out of commission, check out these 8 side effects of going caffeine-free that you can expect to experience.
1. You’ll feel like crap .
While every person is different, if you are ingesting upwards of 400 to 500 ml of caffeine per day , you will probably feel some let-down effects, he says. These effects typically last 7 to 10 days, but you can minimize them by weaning yourself off caffeine, rather than quitting cold turkey. Every 2 or 3 days, trim your intake just a bit. Drink just half a cup of tea at a timeor mix regular coffee with decaf.
2. You’ll lose weight.
3. …Or you’ll gain it.
4. You’ll sleep more and have more energy.
Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
That’s why people who are completely off caffeine sleep more deeply and better than those who drink even a little coffee, says Delbridge. You’ll likely be tired as your body adjusts to a caffeine-free lifestyle . But over the long term, you’ll have more energy than you’d get from any shot of espresso.
5. You’ll feel calmer.
6. Your workouts will suffer.
7. Your tummy will be happier.
8. You’ll miss out on antioxidants.
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What Does The Research Say
Well it is not all bad. There are also some positive things from coffee. But generally it is still a food that needs to be given some respect and understanding of what it does to your body. Although coffee is one of the most heavily researched foods and endless studies have been performed, there is still much controversy surrounding its effects on health. Study after study is performed–often with conflicting results–and it seems there is always a new study out to disprove the last one. However almost all the research finds that that drinking coffee may interfere with your body’s ability to keep hormones and cholesterol levels in check, most likely by inhibiting the action of the vitamins folate, B12 or B6. Coffee has been previously associated with increased risk of stroke and arthritis. Studies have also shown that caffeine in coffee can raise blood pressure and levels of stress hormones, and if consumed in large quantities it can lead to heart palpitations, jitters and nervousness. Deep down we all know that coffee is not the healthiest drink to have–the best choice is pure waterbut it is still far less dangerous than alcohol, fruit juice or soft drinks. So while we are of the belief it is best to avoid coffee or limit your coffee intake, it can be put toward the bottom of your list, if you are drinking soft drinks, fruit juices and sugary drinks.
Watch this video to see what our tips are
How To Wean Off Caffeine And Go Decaf For Good
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Have you ever had a caffeine withdrawal headache? I have, and they were the worst. Id wake up in the morning and have coffee immediately. Not because I always wanted it, but because if I didnt drink it Id have a massive headache. My temples would throb and it would be a one-finger pain on either side of my forehead that I could pin point. It would be hard to see straight sometimes!
But for years I kept drinking regular coffee. Part of the reason is because I actually like coffee, but the main reason was so that it would make my headache go away. I never understood those people who could have 3-4 cups one day, and then nothing the next, and not even notice it! How is that even humanly possible???
I remember when I was living in Boston a friend came to town and I couldnt even visit her because my caffeine withdrawal headache was so bad I was lying on the couch with my head under a pillow. I felt like such a jerk, but in all honesty I couldnt even walk to Dunkin donuts to get my fix. (An hour later I managed to drag myself down from my apartment, ACROSS THE STREET MIND YOU, to Dunkin and get an iced coffee regular. If you live in Boston you know regular means with cream and sugar. Just writing this makes me think of this video!
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Keep A Running List Of All The Ways Giving Up Caffeine Is Improving Your Life
Better sleep. More money in your pocket for artisanal seltzer. Less sugar or dairy in your diet . Freedom from what is, technically, an addiction.
Behavior change is often supported by connecting to the bigger valuesthe things that are important to youthat drive your life, says Washington-based nutritionist Meghan Cichy, who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and chronic dieting. When our perspective is more positive and connected to our values, it can actually help us to feel less crappy about going through it.
Light Users: How To Wean Off Caffeine
If you are consuming < 150 200 mg per day, you are considered a light user for the purposes of this guide .
Light caffeine users have a relatively easier task weaning themselves off of caffeine. I was in this category consuming around 100 150 mg per day in a single cup of cold-brew coffee early in the morning.
The weaning process for light users lasted for two days and decreased my dosage of caffeine to 80 mg per day. The total dosage per day doesnt matter, but you want to have at least two days where the dosage is lower than normal, but high enough that you dont exhibit heavy withdrawal symptoms .
- Use caffeine pills using capsules of caffeine helps you to measure your exact dosage of caffeine. I took a caffeine and L-theanine pill, which I knew had 80 mg precisely.
- Drink tea typically tea is far lower in caffeine content than coffee . If you dont have pills or want to have a beverage instead, a strong black tea can provide 60 80 mg of caffeine to help you wean off the substance.
- Combine with L-theanine there are dozens of studies showing that caffeine and L-theanine have synergistic properties for focus. If you arent already using L-theanine, its a good idea to start with the weaning phase. It may reduce many of the negative side effects of caffeine
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I Decided To See What Would Happen If I Just Toughed It Out And Quit Coffee
I know that coffee boosts metabolism, helps you burn fat, and has been shown to increase endurance for athletes. Still, it felt like a drug and I wanted to cleanse myself of needing it. Studies have shown that quitting coffee helps you lower anxiety and even help lower cortisol in the body and other studies show it can help lower blood pressure several points. Still more research into the benefits of giving up coffee indicates it helps boost vitamin and mineral consumption.
It took every inch of me not to give in and pour myself a cup of coffee for two more days when my headaches were still so extreme. I distracted myself with yoga and other mindful activities like a slow jog or a walk on the beach. I did and still do yoga first thing in the morning and added another practice after work to give my lower back a deep stretch after sitting all day. A friend of mine recommended I try drinking tea as an alternative, and that reminded me about my first roommate in college who was one of the most relaxed people I’ve ever met and all she ever did was drink tea every day.
Let It Go Periodically Of Course
Free your body and wallet from the grip of caffeine addictionbut take it slowly. Start by weaning yourself off main offenders such as energy drinks and chocolate. Then start eliminating those not-so-obvious sources, like decaf coffee, some herbal teas, and even some over the counter medications such as Anacin or Excedrin.
From there, its on to the big one: coffee. The best way to kick coffee to the curb is to taper off in small increments so as not to trigger those dreaded withdrawal symptoms . The mission here is to slowly dial down your caffeine consumption, so your body can acclimate over time.
Heres a strategy to try when youre finally ready to ditch the caffeine:
- Day 1: Today, have your usual amount of coffee.
- Day 2 to Day 5: Blend your regular coffee with 50% decaf . Drink that for the next three days.
- Day 6: Have 25% regular coffee, 75% decaf for one day.
- Day 7: Start drinking pure decaf.
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Deterrence And Patient Education
The public perception of caffeine is as of a drug with just a trivial impact on human health compared to other drugs. However, caffeine is the most commonly used drug in the world, so it makes it a major public health concern. Many of the individuals who develop a dependence on caffeine are unable to reduce consumption despite the knowledge of recurrent health impacts associated with continued caffeine use. The high-risk population is teenagers, adolescents, students, heavy-duty workers, and night shift workers especially. Caffeine withdrawal should be a high index of suspicion in these group of the patient presenting with headache, fatigue, decreased energy/activeness, decreased alertness, drowsiness, decreased contentedness, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and feeling foggy/not clearheaded.
Individuals determined to overcome caffeine dependence should be advised to gradually decrease caffeine consumption to prevent the caffeine-withdrawal syndrome.
It’s Been Three Months Since I Gave Up Coffee
I had no intentions to give up coffee for this long, but I love it. All of the things I mentioned like better sleep, more energy, increased productivity, and feeling calmer have all remained the same or got better which changed my daily routine. I start my day earlier with yoga first thing in the morning, go for a light stress-free jog, work more productively, and I don’t experience any type of 3 pm crash. I stay out later with my friends which I’m not sure is a benefit but I do have more energy to go out.
Bottom Line: I am fully aware that coffee has its perks like stimulating the metabolism and boosting energy because I used to drink it for all those reasons. But right now, without it, I have no plans to drink it anytime soon.
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Cutting Coffee Cold Turkey
There were two times in my life, since then, when I cut coffee cold turkey.
The first was when we went through the IVF cycle. I didnt want anything to ruin our chances that it would work, so I steered clear.
But I dont remember the effects that time. I mean, it was just Ryan and I and two dogs so even if I did have zero energy, I could sleep it off.
Now, the second time I cut coffee cold turkey it was about as rough as it comes.
It was Saturday, March 21, 2015. Ryan was gone for the weekend, so it was just little Samarah and I. That day, I had a cup of decaf coffee, but that was it. Anyways, I barely made it through the day. The fatigue that took over my entire body was unreal. I slept every second Samarah was sleeping.
And the following days werent much better. It took quite some time before I felt normal again. It was then when I vowed to never drink that much coffee again ever.
Well, within the next couple years, our house would be filled with 2 more very small children. At the time, we were living in California, Ryan was traveling, and I did everything I could just to keep up.
And listen, I dont care what anyone says, coffee was there for me and made it all possible. I owe a lot to the delicious beverage.
What started out as 1/2 cup of coffee then has now become more caffeine than I want to admit.
While Im not looking to cut it completely, I am looking to wean off coffee. And here are my personal reasons why.
How To Cope With Caffeine Withdrawal
Cutting back on coffee, soda or energy drinks in 2022? Learn how to minimize the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.
So, you’ve decided to quit coffee. Whether you want to cut it out completely or peel back your consumption from three mugs a day to one, I commend your bravery.
Because caffeine is a drug , you might experience some side effects or withdrawal symptoms if you’re a regular tea, coffee, soda or energy drink consumer. Unlike withdrawal from other drugs such as alcohol or opioids, caffeine withdrawal is not typically considered dangerous, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
But the side effects of quitting caffeine can be quite unpleasant.
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According to the Cleveland Clinic, avoiding withdrawal symptoms is one of the most common reasons people continue their caffeine habit — kickstarting the dependency cycle all over again after you’d intended to break it. But with a few tweaks and tricks, you might just be able to alleviate or avoid the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.
Here are some tips on how to cope.
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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.