For us coffee drinkers, consuming a cup of coffee is part of our morning routine. There's nothing better than waking up to a freshly brewed cup of joe. Some of us may enjoy a simple morning coffee at home, while others prefer a latte at their favorite coffee shop.
And while some caffeine is ok, many people cannot function without their daily espresso shots to keep them energized through the day and night. The FDA suggests that adults should have no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day. This equals out to around four cups of coffee.
If you feel that your coffee habit is getting out of hand, we are here to help. We've researched how to quit coffee safely and effectively.
Effects of Caffeine
If your caffeine intake is more than your body can handle, you'll start feeling some uncomfortable symptoms. Common complaints are having jitters or shakes, headaches, insomnia, racing heart rate, and increased blood pressure.
Most people develop a tolerance to caffeine, meaning they might need to consume more to feel the same effects. When you drink caffeinated beverages, your dopamine level raises slightly, but not near as much as with illegal stimulants.
Not everyone needs to quit or even limit their amount of coffee. The Mayo Clinic recommends that pregnant women limit their coffee consumption to two cups per day during pregnancy.
How To Quit Coffee
Caffeine addiction, like other addictions, can be extremely hard to break. There will be some unpleasant side effects, but the health benefits from quitting caffeine will outweigh any negatives.
The main health benefits from quitting coffee, energy drinks, or any "pick-me-up" caffeinated drinks are better sleep, whiter teeth, and lower blood pressure.
There are two main ways to go about breaking the caffeine addiction: cold turkey or the weaning method. We will go over both to see which one will suit you best.
1. Cold Turkey
This method of breaking your caffeine habit involves stopping all caffeine consumption at one time. This detox involves going caffeine-free overnight.
The benefit of this method is that it is the quickest way to detox from caffeine. The downside is the lousy feeling you'll experience for several days following the detox.
2. The Weaning Method
This method allows you to slowly taper off the amount of caffeine you consume each day. The best way to start is by drinking a beverage with a lower caffeine dose.
Substituting decaf coffee or green tea will help curb cravings while lessening your overall caffeine intake.
Lastly, don't rush the process. Nutritionists suggest slowly decreasing your overall caffeine intake while increasing your water intake. Don't expect the changes to happen overnight.
How To Combat Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms occur because the withdrawal is affecting your body's central nervous system. Some common symptoms include headaches or migraines, tiredness, nausea, and irritability.
If you experience headaches, you can take a caffeine-free pain reliever to help alleviate symptoms. You may also consider taking a natural supplement like turmeric or magnesium.
Increasing your water intake to avoid dehydration is another way to limit the withdrawal symptoms. Another perk of increased hydration is increased energy levels.
Doctors suggest limiting caffeine after 2 p.m. so it does not interfere with your ability to sleep. Caffeine allows you to function with less sleep than is ideal. Without the caffeine, you'll need to re-train your body to get a full night's rest.
It's recommended that you aim for 7-8 hours of sleep to avoid any lethargic feelings.
If the coffee ritual is one that you enjoy, we suggest substituting your hot coffee with a cup of herbal tea. If caffeinated soda is your drink of choice, try swapping one for flavored sparkling water or mineral water.