How to Drop Caffeine
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.
- decreased energy
- decreased attention
- concentration/focus difficulty
- 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:
- 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!