The average American drinks about 2 cups of coffee every day! For many, the warm, caffeinated drink is a much-needed morning pick-me-up. While others simply look forward to the ritual of it; the satisfying flavor, aroma, and social aspect of it. Recent studies have shown that coffee has many health benefits and can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, despite these health benefits, many people experience jitters, or the dreaded caffeine crash and are looking for alternatives.
Since most people depend on their daily cup of coffee to get them through their day, your body can eventually develop a tolerance to caffeine and you may find that you need to drink more and more in order to feel that same energy boost you’re accustomed to feeling. If this sounds like you, and you’re ready to cut down on caffeine for good, or even just temporarily, here are some tips to help you make it happen while avoiding withdrawal symptoms.
The Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal
If you’ve developed a dependence on caffeine, quitting overnight may cause withdrawal symptoms that could include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle pain
Generally, the more caffeine your body is accustomed to consuming, the worse your withdrawal symptoms will be. You may begin noticing the withdrawal symptoms start as soon as 24 hours after your last cup of coffee. However, these symptoms won’t last forever. Typically, they will last about a week, depending on your body and your personal caffeine intake.
Do it Gradually
When cutting coffee, you may want to think about taking a more gradual approach, and slowly cut down on the amount of caffeine you’re consuming. Don’t make the mistake of stopping overnight. If you do, you’re more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms and go back to drinking coffee or soda or taking a headache medication to make the symptoms go away. The good news is this caffeine dependency cycle can be gone for good if you choose the slow and steady route.
Get Enough Sleep
While getting enough sleep is vital for all aspects of your health, getting your 8 hours of sleep the week you decide to quit drinking coffee is especially important. When you give your body the rest it needs, you give it a chance to use its own stores of natural energy, so it doesn’t need to rely on multiple cups of caffeine to get you through the day. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night if you can. As you withdraw from caffeine, you may find it necessary to increase the number of hours you sleep every night. Don’t feel bad about giving your body the rest it deserves. It might just save you from a withdrawal headache!
Find a Replacement
For some people, it’s not the caffeine that they love, it’s the familiar aroma and taste of coffee that they look forward to every morning when they get out of bed. If you’re just not ready to give up this coffee ritual, you can try switching to decaf instead of regular coffee. Gradually switch from regular coffee to decaf by alternating between the two. As time goes on, slowly change to more decaf and taper off regular coffee. By gradually reducing your caffeine consumption over time, you’re less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, and you’re more likely to stick to this new lifestyle change.
Last, but definitely not least, remember to stay hydrated as best as you can! Drinking tons of water during your transition will energize your body, and as a result, may reduce the need for caffeine to begin with. People often drink caffeine to help them stay awake and have the energy to get through their day, but dehydration is actually a very common reason why people feel so tired to begin with. Not only is water a healthy choice and satisfies the need for drinking a liquid, but it will help your body naturally flush out the caffeine and keep you hydrated!
How To Quit Coffee Without Headaches | Method & Benefits
Source: Minus The Gym
In this video, Minus the Gym explains what his experience was like going a full month without any caffeine (not even decaf) and how he was able to wean off without the side effects. He goes in-depth about his method for quitting caffeine in detail, and offers valuable information about his experience, to give you inspiration! While many people assume that caffeine is the ultimate source of energy, Minus the Gym explains that this may not be the case.
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- 10 Coffee Alternatives For Those on a Gluten-Free Diet
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