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How to Drop Caffeine

Updated on June 11, 2012
Coffee Love.
Coffee Love. | Source

A Daily Addiction... I Don't Have

My friends still think it's funny that I once worked for Starbucks and yet I don't drink coffee. I simply never developed the daily habit of drinking coffee, although it smells great. It is just too bitter for my taste. Having been able to quit chocolate for great lengths of time, and tending to naturally limit my caffeine consumption with my usual, rather healthy diet, the rare times I do have coffee it feels like an event inside. :)

That doesn't mean caffeine has been out of my life completely, or will ever be totally gone. Chocolate has caffeine and so does green tea, and I'm not about to kick these out of my life for good, although I will certainly limit the amount of chocolate I consume. Sigh. Sadly.

I know some people who have quit the daily caffeine hit for various reasons and I thought I'd share for others how they did it.

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • headaches
  • tiredness/lethargy
  • decreased energy
  • sleepiness
  • decreased attention
  • depression
  • concentration/focus difficulty
  • irritability
  • feeling foggy in the head
  • cravings for high caffeine products or sugar

Do You Have a Caffeine Addiction?

Do drink coffee, soda, energy drinks, or chocolate every day?

Do you have sugar cravings when your mood gets low?

Are you crabby without your coffee?

Do you drink coffee throughout the day and prefer it black?

Do you use high caffeine energy drinks to get a boost of energy?

Do you sleep poorly ~ only a few hours at a time ~ until days go by and then you crash for 10-12 hours?

Are you worried about what the level of caffeine you consume is doing to your body and energy levels?

People usually know when they have an addiction and "need" their coffee or energy drinks for the caffeine boost they get. Deciding to quit caffeine will improve your health by improving your energy levels. Instead of going from highs to lows to highs again, you'll have a stable, balanced energy level that is more natural and less stressful to your body. Without constantly causing your body to shoot out adrenaline, you'll be able to deal with the stresses of the day with a calm, healthy body, full of natural energy.

The Fast and Furious Quit

Drop all forms of caffeine immediately and suffer through the consequences. If you are a heavy coffee drinker and know you need your caffeine to get up in the morning, you might want to consider starting this method on your first day of vacation. That way you can sleep in, enjoy massages, and bake in the sun while your body heals up from its usual wired state. Just don't start the coffee drinking when you get back. Think of it this way: waking up early feels horrible whether or not you have the coffee. You can get some exercise in the morning instead and that will also wake you right up, and be healthier.

The Slow It Down Quit

I worked at a famous and popular coffee shop during college. We had many regular customers, including a guy who just wanted to quit caffeine! So what did he do? He tapered down the quantity of espresso shots in his coffee drinks until he was able to switch to decaf. Then he switched from espresso to plain decaf coffee. At that point he was satisfied.

You can do this the same way with your regular coffee cup. Start with full strength, where you're at, and then lessen the amount of caffeinated coffee in the cup until you're just drinking decaf. At this point you may find you are used to less caffeine and can switch to tea or a coffee substitute easily.

The Swap to Herbal Quit

Swapping coffee to a herbal tea or to Teeccino can be a good, workable choice for many people. Teecino is a coffee-tasting herbal substitute for coffee that a lot of people enjoy. You can find it at health food stores and online. My once caffeine-hooked friend swears by it.

Getting Other Sources of Caffeine Out of Your Diet

Coffee is not the only source of caffeine out there. Caffeine is also found in these foods:

  • chocolate
  • soda
  • decaf coffee
  • green and black regular tea
  • energy drinks

Going without these other foods for the time it takes to get over your caffeine addiction can really help your body heal up and get used to a more balanced, calm healthy state. Good luck on your journey to better health!

Comments on How to Drop Caffeine

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    • carozy profile image

      carozy 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks for the visit NarcononVistaBay.

    • NarcononVistaBay profile image

      NarcononVistaBay 5 years ago from California

      I support caffeine-free lifestyle as a healthier and happier choice. Thanks for the hub.

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 5 years ago from San Francisco

      My friend from the coffee shop used to say you always know you're addicted if you can't go without it. I think it's a personal decision and based on how you feel and would like to feel. Wish you the best of health. :)

    • hubcloud profile image

      hubcloud 5 years ago from India

      Lots of good advice. I am not sure if I am a caffeine addict, but need coffee at least twice a day.