If a mug of coffee is typically an extension of your hand or you simply can't make it through the afternoon without a cup of matcha, it might be a good time to reconsider your caffeine intake.
Too much caffeine makes you feel jittery, have a racing mind and troublesome sleep. No matter how addicted you might think you're, you will be surprised by the extent your body can go once you are 100% committed.
Why Is It Important to Cut Caffeine?
Caffeine is an ingredient present in many products: energy drinks and pills, weight loss supplements, some chocolate chips but most craved of all remains coffee.
There are a bunch of reasons why you would want to kick caffeine addiction out of your life—health and in between.
Caffeine is known to interfere with neurotransmitters responsible for sleep, results in nervousness and anxiety, digestion problems, osteoporosis, elevated heartbeats and blood pressure.
Studies have shown pregnant women who took in a lot of caffeine were at a higher risk of getting a miscarriage!
Additionally, if you have high cholesterol levels, chances of experiencing heart problems when you consume caffeine are considerably high too.
If you're considering coffee out of your life, be sure you'll not regret it. Stick around as we explore a step by step guide on how to detox from caffeine.
How to Detox From Caffeine?
PHASE ONE: PREPARING TO STOP
Step 1: Get Familiar With Everything That Has Caffeine
As mentioned earlier, a lot of products nowadays have caffeine. A successful detox strategy requires you to abstain from all products having caffeine—not only some tea and coffee beans.
Certain pain relievers, soft drinks and cold remedies have caffeine. The point is, read through the ingredients and inquire whether what you're taking has caffeine in it.
Step 2: Get Mentally Ready
Do you love the jolt of energy or the taste of your caffeinated hot or cold drink? Definitely, there is a reason why you keep back to caffeine.
As observed, many people use it as a source of extra boost during workouts, others take caffeinated drinks when they feel they have low energy while students take it to stay alert.
Once you find reasons, it will be easier coming up with alternatives which will help you eliminate caffeine addiction.
Step 3: Think Of The Benefits
If you are taking more than 200mg of caffeine(approximately 2 cups of coffee or 3 caffeinated drinks) per day, your health might be jeopardy.
Doses of caffeine beyond this level cause serious health issues too. Here are the reasons why quitting caffeine will prove to be a lifetime decision:
- Overwhelms the liver making it hard to filter other toxic chemicals in the body.
- Increased hypertension risk.
- Tooth discoloration and decay.
- Weak bone structure.
- Increased anxiety.
- Disrupts sleep cycle.
- Reduced libido, low sex drive and performance.
- Dehydration and poor pregnancy life. (yes, you must NOT drink coffee while pregnant)
Step 4: Come Up With Replacement Drinks
If caffeine formed an integral part of your life, it's no doubt you will have to find a replacement. Water in its purest form is the healthiest and best option.
Switch caffeinated drinks with fruit infused water, green tea or just sparkling water. Whatever you do, steer clear of soft drinks and sodas, because many if not all are caffeinated.
PHASE TWO: QUITTING.
Step 1: Take It Slow
Quitting caffeine is easier said than done. For best results and consistency, start small. You can come with a plan for cutting one drink per day.
Replace the caffeinated drink with a caffeine-free drink. Do this for a week. This method works best because from personal experience sudden stoppage results in severe withdrawal symptoms.
Cut the second caffeinated drink and replace it with a decaffeinated counterpart. Stick to this pattern until you completely phase out caffeine in your diet.
Step 2: Make It Hard To Consume Caffeine
Come up with strategies that will make it next to impossible to take in caffeine. Allocate your caffeine drinks much less money at the beginning of each week.
This way, if you spend a lot of money on the first days, you will have none to spend on caffeinated drinks.
Continue allocating less and less money as you go. To be honest, it's not easy—it calls for self-discipline and determination.
Step 3: Have Plenty Of Time For Recuperation
Once you give up on caffeine, your body will experience some energy decline.
To cope with this, give yourself plenty of rest and include a healthy intake of fresh vegetables, fruits and daily multivitamins rich in vitamins B and D.
This will give you the same results otherwise gained from products rich in caffeine.
Extra Step: If Possible, Don't Go At It Alone
Find someone who will help you through the process. If you cannot find this kind of support, promise somebody whom you respect or love that you will quit caffeinated drinks.
Consuming anything with caffeine will make you break the promise. This will help you stay on track.
It can just be a close friend, who will be in constant touch with you.
PHASE THREE: RECOVERING FROM CAFFEINE ADDICTION.
1. Drink More Water Than Usual
During this period, your body will be going through big and tough adjustments. It is therefore important you ensure you are well hydrated.
This will help you stay fresh and help you deal with withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. Make it a practice to start with water in the morning and end with it at night.
Water is known to boost metabolism and dissolving impurities for easier elimination from the body.
2. Have Adequate Sleep
Using caffeinated drinks does more damage not only to your body but brains imparting your cognitive reasoning. Whenever you feel tired or sleepy, get that solid sleep.
If you have tight responsibilities that have thrown your sleep pattern off-balance, try coming up with a schedule that will set aside a few hours of sleep. If this is not possible frequent short naps are encouraged, say something like 15 minutes.
3. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Apart from dehydrating your body, alcohol is also a depressant that will increase your desire to have caffeine.
If you are into alcohol you will have to limit its intake as well.
4. Find Positive Distractions
While still in the recovery period, come up with activities or which will help you keep your mind of caffeinated drinks.
Plan in advance, know your weakest moments maybe in the morning or afternoon and find something to do this period. You can incorporate workouts or just a walk.
5. Be Prepared To Handle Withdrawal Symptoms
From my experience, your body will definitely experience some shock as you shift from caffeine to no caffeine lifestyle. This is greatly dependent on the amount of caffeine you had consumed before.
The symptoms range from mild to severe conditions that may last for several days. They include:
- Work impairment.
- Muscle stiffness and pain.
- Flu-like conditions.
- Nervousness and anxiety.
You've fought a great battle and achieved a caffeine-free life. This might be the beginning of the journey!
Always remind yourself why you put an end to your addiction and all you had to go through to be where you're.
Once you have it in your mind you can do it without caffeine, you'll definitely do it. Use this as the fuel to help you continue being caffeine-free.
It does not take forever to put a stop to caffeine addiction. It just calls for consistency, determination and commitment.
Once you decide you want to quit caffeine, you've already won half the battle. All is left to do is follow this step by step guide which will help you put an end to your caffeine addiction.