Caffeine Withdrawal: What You Should Know
Drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages has become the norm for many people in society today. In fact, it is pretty popular to reach for that cup of coffee … or two… to get started every morning and maybe even throughout the day! Everyone knows by now that coffee is addicting but the side effects of quitting are less popular to talk about. Here is what you should know about caffeine withdrawal and how to avoid it.
What Is Caffeine Withdrawal?
Caffeine is a stimulant and can be chemically addicting so it is possible to develop a pretty hefty dependence. Therefore quitting abruptly can cause physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms. Although this is especially true for those who drink more than two cups per day, symptoms can occur from withdrawing from as little as 100 mg per day!
Caffeine is SO addictive because the actual molecule fits perfectly into our brain’s adenosine receptors. Adenosine tells the brain when it is time to rest or sleep. When these receptors are blocked with caffeine molecules, dopamine (the feel good chemical) works more efficiently. Excess adenosine triggers the adrenal glands to release adrenaline, which is what increases feelings of alertness. However, the prolonged effect is the brain adds more adenosine receptors to compensate for the caffeine. This leads to a “tolerance” build up to the caffeine molecule. Therefore, when a person misses or quits taking in caffeine, the brain is then flooded with adenosine. When the dopamine levels drop drastically this leaves brain’s chemistry out of balance. The increased adenosine plus a drop in adrenaline levels leads to some of the caffeine withdrawal symptoms listed below. (source)
What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?
- Headaches – this is the most common withdrawal symptom. Pain usually starts behind the eyes and moves up the front of the head.
- Fatigue – Like your eyelids may as well weigh 10,000lbs kind of tired.
- Irritability – Maybe become a hermit and stay far away from social interaction during this period …
- Lethargy – The lack of energy at this stage leaves you totally unmotivated to even start binge watching your favorite TV show. Just go back to bed.
- Constipation – Since caffeine stimulates the bowel, you may be feeling pretty blocked up in more ways than one.
- Depression – If you feel totally hopeless in this stage, you are not alone and just remember – it’s temporary!
- Insomnia – On top of feeling the total exhaustion, some people are unable to sleep at all during withdrawal period…
- Lack of Concentration – It may be wise to set aside the brain surgery for later …
- Flu-like symptoms, Muscle Aches – Some people experience sinus pressure and stuffy nose during withdrawal as well as flu-like aches and pains.
- Nausea and Vomiting – Some people lose their appetites due to the withdrawal symptoms which can increase feelings of lethargy.
- Anxiety – Some people experience anxiety while consuming caffeine, while others experience this during withdrawal…
- Brain Fog – Maybe schedule that epic job interview for another day because you may have difficulty collecting and expressing coherent thoughts or basic thinking …
- Dizziness – You may feel a bit off balance and disoriented
- Heart Rhythm Abnormalities – some people experience low blood pressure and heart palpitations because caffeine also stimulates the heart muscle.
Symptoms usually begin within 12-24 hours after discontinuing caffeine and can last up to 9 days or more! The withdrawal symptoms are most common with high-intake coffee drinkers but it only takes about three days of regular caffeine consumption to experience withdrawal effects while quitting.
How To Ease The Symptoms
Gradually Decrease Caffeine Intake
Avoid withdrawal symptoms by limiting daily caffeine consumption. Replace caffeinated beverages with more water (read my article on the top 7 reasons to drink more water here) and herbal teas to stay hydrated. Dehydration can worsen headaches and withdrawal symptoms. I recommend gradually substituting Young Living Slique Tea and Hydrogize Water Bottle for optimal hydration.
Get Extra Rest and Sleep
It’s best to go through withdrawal when you have at least a couple days off to rest and catch up on sleep. This will lessen feelings of fatigue and other withdrawal symptoms. Prayer and Meditation are also great ways to calm your mind and uplift your spirit.
Go for run first thing in the morning or do a quick work out to jump-start your system and naturally boost energy levels.
Raise your vibe with lots of living foods – like fresh veggies and fruits. Providing your body with adequate nutrition naturally supports energy levels and encourages a good mood! Enzymes are vital for absorption of nutrients and it can be challenging to get the enzymes we require through our food alone. I recommend Young Living Essentialzymes-4 for supplementation.
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