How to quit caffeine (step by step guide)
Caffeine is a common ingredient in many products.
Weight loss supplements, energy drinks, soda, chocolate, and coffee all contain varying amounts of caffeine. Coffee beans and tea leaves are the most common natural sources of caffeine.
Caffeine is a psychostimulant and has an impact on the body. In moderation, caffeine can be very good, but if taken in excess, there are a range of side effects that may occur.
Over time, regular caffeine consumption can lead to your body becoming physically and mentally dependent on it.
If you think that you've got an unhealthy relationship with caffeine, maybe it's time for you to take the necessary steps to overcome your addiction and quit caffeine for good.
The benefits of quitting caffeine
There are tons of benefits to kicking your caffeine addiction. Your overall health and general well being will thank you for it if caffeine consumption was becoming a problem for you.
1) Lower Blood Pressure
Caffeine usually raises your blood pressure, sometimes to unsafe levels, which can damage our heart and blood vessels over time.
Quitting caffeine can help you to return your blood pressure back to its normal state.
2) No more Insomnia
Caffeine is a stimulant, and most of us take it for the purpose of feeling more alert and energetic. However, this can be counter-productive when you're trying to sleep at night.
Depending on your sensitivity to caffeine, it might interfere with your sleep as it blocks the adenosine receptors in your brain which are responsible for helping us to fall asleep.
3) Decreased Anxiety
Caffeine usually gives us a burst of energy which is why most people us use it. However, those very same effects can stimulate hormones that may increase anxiety.
This is especially true in those who are already prone to stress and anxiety disorder. Caffeine can make this anxiety a whole lot worse for some people.
Quitting caffeine can help to get your body, and it's hormones back to its natural state, reducing your anxiety.
How can I start?
Too overcome your caffeine addiction you only need determination and commitment.
As easy as that sounds, quitting caffeine can be a challenging task. When you're going through the process of quitting, you may experience some symptoms of withdrawal.
The severity of caffeine withdrawal symptoms depends on your sensitivity to caffeine and the amount of caffeine that you've previously been consuming.
Typical Caffeine withdrawal symptoms
The typical caffeine withdrawal symptoms are:
- Mood changes
- Difficulty concentrating
Common methods of eliminating caffeine addiction
The two common methods of quitting caffeine are the cold turkey method (Cutting out caffeine all at once) or reducing your caffeine intake gradually.
Overcoming your caffeine addiction by going cold turkey is not recommended.
Sure, you might be able to overcome your addiction faster, but it's going to be a lot harder and will certainly make your caffeine withdrawal symptoms worse.
It's best if you start by reducing your caffeine intake little by little in order to overcome your addiction.
Step by Step guide to eliminate caffeine
Step 1: Estimate the amount of caffeine you've been consuming
To start things off, you should at least have a rough idea of how much caffeine you are consuming on a daily basis.
This means that the first step to quitting caffeine is simply to understand how much you're drinking on a daily basis. From there, we can figure out a plan to gradually reduce your intake over time until you achieve "caffeine-free" status - hopefully with no withdrawal symptoms along the way.
Uncertain about the caffeine content in your favorite beverages?
Well, a cup of coffee generally contains 95mg of caffeine and energy drinks have a varying amount of caffeine content depending on the brand and type of energy drink.
Be aware that if you find that your daily caffeine intake is more than 400mg, it's a clear sign that you should be cutting back.
The recommended maximum dosage of caffeine set by the FDA at 400mg/day. Consuming any amount more than that could lead to some serious health issues.
If you want to know how much caffeine is in your favorite energy drink, check out my other article on the strongest energy drinks.
Step 2: Evaluate your habits and overall health
In order to overcome your caffeine addiction, you need to know why you're consuming it in the first place. It might be for an extra energy boost during your workouts or simply to keep you awake and feeling energized during the day.
By getting down to the root of your caffeine consumption you can better prepare and plan to overcome your addiction to caffeine.
For example, if you mostly consume caffeine in order to stay awake, instead of getting your daily caffeine fix, try to make some small changes to your sleeping habits to get at least 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep.
Step 3: Gradually reduce your caffeine intake
This is the most important part in my opinion.
Once you've determined your daily caffeine consumption and uncovered the root of your addiction, it's time to reduce your caffeine consumption.
When it comes to beating an addiction, it's usually best to not try to go cold turkey - it'll usually only delay your success.
Instead, start off by making small changes to your daily routine.
If you normally drink coffee every morning try to go for the decaf alternative instead. If you have a habit of drinking energy drinks every day, try to opt for an energy drink that has a lower caffeine content or the very least try to cut your normal amount to about half.
Use this method and take it slow until you've managed to overcome your addiction to caffeine or the very least reduce it.
A good rule of thumb is to reduce your daily consumption by about 50mg every few days until you've reached zero.
Step 4: Set small yet achievable goals
Breaking any addiction isn't easy, and quitting caffeine is no exception.
Caffeine is a psychostimulant and has an impact on your central nervous system and the chemicals in your body.
In order to successfully overcome your addiction to caffeine, start small by setting achievable goals for yourself to accomplish each week.
I suggest you set goals that are measurable and in your control, such as a specific amount of caffeine to cut down on each day rather than the final outcome, which is "I want to quit caffeine".
Focus on the process and the outcome will take care of itself.
Step 5: Drink lots of water and hydrate yourself
When you're on your quest to overcome your caffeine addiction, it's important for you to drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
Being dehydrated can make certain symptoms of caffeine withdrawal worse. Having a headache or being fatigued are bad at any time, but being dehydrated exacerbates them and makes it more likely that you'll relapse into your old consumption habits.
Drink at least 8 glasses or around half a gallon of water a day to prevent dehydration.
Step 6: Eat a more nutritious diet
As you go about trying to reduce your caffeine intake and overcome your addiction, you will probably start experiencing fatigue at some point. This is common as your body no longer has the energy-boosting effects that it was previously getting from caffeine.
During this phase, you might be tempted to reach for a caffeinated beverage in order to overcome your fatigue, but doing so will only put you back to square one.
The good news is that you can improve your energy levels naturally by incorporating a healthier diet into your lifestyle.
Good dietary habits can help you to decrease your risk of developing certain diseases and also help to improve your energy levels.
Our body needs fuel from the food that we eat in order to get the energy to get through the day.
Fueling your body with healthy and nutritious food like natural carbs and fruit will provide it with the nutrients it needs to function at it's best.
Start by removing processed carbohydrates and refined food from your diet. Try to eat more vegetables and natural food instead.
I know that your taste buds won't be too happy with this change, but if you can stick with it for a couple of weeks, eventually the healthy food that you're eating will actually start to taste good - making it even easier to stick with it.
Give it a try for a couple of weeks and you might just see a significant improvement in your energy levels without relying on caffeine.
Step 7: Get active
If you're looking for a way to boost your energy levels naturally while you're on a caffeine detox, try taking some time out of your daily schedule to exercise.
Exercise is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and can help boost your energy levels and overall health.
No, you don't have to go out there and beat yourself up with a hardcore exercise regime or lift heavy weights in a gym full of sweaty guys. But, if you can increase your activity level by even a moderate amount you'll likely feel more energised, and happier than you did before.
Instead, just go out for a short walk and you'll start to notice the impacts on your energy levels almost immediately.
Try it for a couple of weeks and see how great you feel afterward.
Low-caffeinated energy drinks to overcome your addiction
There are tons of great energy drinks that can help you to kick-start your journey to quitting caffeine completely.
To be successful in kicking your caffeine addiction, consider weaning off with some energy drinks that contain a more sensible amount of caffeine than some of the heavy hitters.
Here's a few brands that might help you to wean off caffeine as an interim step to quitting:
• Red Bull
• Mountain Dew Kickstart
If you're looking for something a bit different, try out Mio Water drops. It's basically droplets that you can add to water to enhance the taste AND get your dose of caffeine.
Down for something revolutionary?
Try out powdered energy drinks!
Powdered energy drinks are much more versatile than ready-to-drink energy drinks.
Simply add water and voila!
They generally come with a cheaper price tag than most of the leading energy drinks:
• REIZE (my personal favorite)
If you're looking to try powdered energy drinks out (you should), I highly recommend that you try REIZE.
REIZE the best low-caffeinated energy drink!
REIZE isn't your run of the mill energy drink. For starters, it comes in a cool little sachet that fits nicely in your pocket. Perfect to keep on standby for when you need a boost.
REIZE is much more versatile and convenient than most other energy drinks out there. You can mix it with almost any beverage of your choice - soda, juice, water, you name it!
At 50mg of caffeine, REIZE contains less caffeine than most other energy drinks. However, it contains a bunch of other great ingredients like taurine, ginseng and B vitamins that all work together to give you a great energy boost.
The sensible caffeine content makes REIZE a great option if you're trying to wean off caffeine.
Not to mention, REIZE is also sugar-free.
The best part?
REIZE ships right to your door for about $1 per drink, much cheaper than most other energy drinks.
Choose monthly deliveries with the set and forget subscription boxes or make a one-time purchase to suit your needs.
Low in caffeine, sugar-free and the flexibility to choose what works for you.
If that's not a deal-maker, I don't know what is.
If you've previously been drinking one of the stronger energy drinks, it's time to jump ship and try REIZE.
What are you waiting for?
Try REIZE today, and get started with quitting caffeine once and for all.