Are you looking to quit caffeine? Or even take a little break from that daily cup of coffee? Here is what you can expect.
(Scroll Down For All Essential Items I Used To Manage Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms)
Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world, which is why most people, including myself, struggle with a caffeine addiction. In everything from TV shows to books, caffeine is romanticized as this necessary ‘drug’ that we all need to function as adults.
By going on autopilot while pouring that cup of java, we get farther and farther away from analyzing what we are truly putting into our bodies. You are going to learn what happens when you quit caffeine once and for all so that you can decide for yourself.
This post is all about how to quit caffeine.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT CAFFEINE
While 28% of U.S adults admit to being addicted to caffeine, I believe that number is much higher when we all reflect on our daily schedule and how we rely on caffeine to wake up, get moving, and start the day. I used to rely on caffeine to wake up and get through my day. But then I decided to quit caffeine and see what happened.
I am not going to say it was an easy withdrawal or one that I found to be pleasant. But, I am going to share with you all of the amazing benefits that befell me once I stopped relying on this substance to get through my day. Namely, quitting caffeine alleviated my super dry, scaly eczema-like skin when nothing else would work. But, that’s just the cherry on the sundae of the outpouring of health, happiness, and energy I have abounding in me as someone who is now caffeine-free.
WHY YOU SHOULD QUIT (OR AT LEAST REDUCE) YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
Feeling like I was dependent on caffeine to perform basic functions throughout my day was not sitting well with me. I asked myself. “should I quit caffeine?” I then decided to do some research and discovered that the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes caffeine addiction as a clinical disorder, of which four are accepted: caffeine intoxication, caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, caffeine-induced sleep disorder, and caffeine withdrawal.
Upon doing further research, I discovered that caffeine raises levels of stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine, making the body feel more stressed out, anxious, and irritable. Caffeine was also heightening my heart rate and causing palpitations, as well as exacerbating the overall effects and symptoms of anxiety. Plus, every caffeine lover knows about the dreaded headache that consumes your head when you skip out on coffee a few mornings in a row.
But caffeine gives you more energy, right? That was certainly a misconception, after reading that caffeine actually makes you more tired since it is not a direct stimulant in the body. Instead, it works by binding to receptions in your brain for adenosine, a brain chemical that acts as a brake on brain activity. When your brain is flooded with caffeine, this natural brake no longer works, creating a vicious cycle of temporary boosts and crashes.
I had read that weaning off of caffeine would be an unpleasant experience since it comes with its own ‘withdrawal symptoms.’ But, my health was more important to me than an addiction, so I dove headfirst into quitting caffeine and want to share with you what I discovered along the way. Here is what happens when you quit caffeine.
ESSENTIALS THAT HELP MANAGE CAFFEINE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
How to quit caffeine without withdrawal? Caffeine withdrawal can manifest in different ways for different people. Some people might experience mild lethargy, while others can feel like they have caught a very bad cold. The most commonly reported side effect is a headache, which affects nearly 50% of people who quit caffeine (I can attest firsthand). And I can say for me, these withdrawal symptoms started to present themselves within the first 12-24 hours of going off of caffeine.
The good news is that the worst side effects occur in a 2 to 7-day period, and then after that, subside altogether. It’s not a month-long process that is going to make you feel stressed and constantly tired. The light at the end of the tunnel comes quickly, and it is oh so worth it. In addition to headaches, I experienced some irritability. It would be wise to let your loved ones know that you may be a bit sensitive for a couple of weeks.
Here are some tips and essentials that I used to make the process less harsh on my body. Disclaimer. This is not medical advice. Always speak with your doctor first before trying any new supplements.
1. Prioritize Sleep For Caffeine Withdrawal
I made sure to catch at least 8-hours of sleep each night so my body could regulate and repair itself. While you pull caffeine out of your blood, your body needs that extra hour of sleep to return back to its state of homeostasis. As a city-dweller, it can be difficult to unplug at the end of the day. Over the years, I have found solutions to help me combat the overstimulating effects of living in a big city. I found that these items were especially helpful during the detox period. To help me sleep, below are my go-to items.
- Lavender essential oil – a few drops in the bath or on my pillowcase.
- Noise machine – to drown own the noisy streets of New York City.
- Melatonin – when I really can’t fall asleep.
- Satin pillowcase – to keep cool.
- Weighted blanket – to snuggle under.
2. Drink Water To Alleviate Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
In an ideal situation, the best thing that you can do for your body is to stay hydrated. Coffee in it itself is a dehydrating beverage, which means that you may have been previously living in a state of constant dehydration. Drink lots of water while your body shifts itself back to where it wants to be. If drinking water isn’t the easiest thing, find alternatives. At the beginning of this journey, for an added boost, I consumed the items below. I found that I couldn’t consume the necessary three liters per day. More than likely because I had consumed coffee more than water for so many years. So, to give my body an added boost of hydration I alternated between a seawater solution called Quinton as well as Pedialyte (it’s not just for kids).
3. Caffeine Alternatives
In addition to the physical symptoms, there is a psychological component. The best way to kick a habit is to have something else replace that habit. For many people, making a hot beverage in the morning is about more than caffeine: it’s about a routine and your me-time. Coffee was that for me, which is why I replaced it with green tea. I still felt that same, warm sensation that comes from a piping hot drink in the morning. I started with decaf green and then worked my way back to full caffeine tea. You have to find what works Cravings are a very real phenomenon. Instead of ignoring them, listen to what your body wants and replace the caffeine beverage. Don’t feel pressured to give up caffeine cold turkey. Experiment with switching to decaf first if you feel like you don’t want to run the risk of feeling any intense symptoms. I also encourage you to try Ashwagandha, which is in my favorite Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy tea, linked below.
3. Be Kind To Yourself
Quitting anything is not easy. I made sure to allow myself time to rest, unplug, and say no to plans. When you are embarking on a journey of quitting something, always focus on where you are going. Try not to put yourself in situations that may set you up for failure. Personally, I had to say no to some morning coffee walks with friends and the mid-day coffee breaks. I felt it was necessary to be patient with myself and my body during this time. I did yoga daily for 10 minutes (before bed) and I meditated. Below are the products that I used to help me manage my caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Since my body was a bit stressed during that time, I knew I needed extra support.
I Quit Caffeine Cold Turkey – and You Can, Too
Now, as a caffeine-free person, I have more energy, mood stability, and calmness in me than ever before. I experience less anxiety and fight-or-flight feelings that resulted from extra stress hormones being in my blood. The 3 pm caffeine crash no longer happens to me. I can also say that I am sleeping better at night, and feel all-around better during the day since one side effect of a caffeine-free life is more efficient absorption of nutrients. If you are reading this and you are thinking of quitting caffeine, here is a great multivitamin that you can take to get ready for the journey.
For me, quitting caffeine came with benefits that are second-to-none. If you were looking for a sign to quit caffeine, let this story be your sign to quit caffeine today.
This post was all about what to expect when you quit caffeine.