How To Quit Caffeine (And Keep Sane), According To A Nutritionist

This is the most memorable moment of the year. Rich cups of coffee are just what the holidays order. Smooth, rich, rich, fruity coffee – coffee that keeps the tradition of the holiday alive. Caffeine also fuels an endless to-do list: Gift shopping, family activities, email replies, and everything else in December. When we feel like we can’t be there, we quickly grab an extra pint of wine. joe. And while coffee has many benefits, it’s easy to overdo it, especially during the holidays. If you think you’ve become too dependent on your cup (or three) of coffee, don’t worry. I am also a ball and chain to my coffee pot. Thankfully, you can become less dependent on caffeine and still feel energized. If saying sayonara feels impossible, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn how to quit caffeine (temporarily or permanently). Good news! You don’t have to give up cold turkey.

What is caffeine?

Every day, billions of people rely on caffeine to wake up, get through an afternoon slump, or fuel a night shift. Working, studying, parenting or simply running errands all get easier with a cup of caffeine. It’s no surprise that caffeine is a natural stimulant (a drug). It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system. It keeps you awake. In other words: Caffeine prevents the onset of fatigue. In many ways, your cup of coffee (or soda or tea) acts as an adenosine receptor antagonist.

What adenos? Adenosine is a chemical found in all human cells. It promotes sleepiness. As soon as you take your first sip of caffeine, it blocks the adenosine receptor. This keeps you from feeling drowsy. In essence, caffeine works by blocking the effects of adenosine and, at the same time, triggering the release of adrenaline. It’s a double whale.

How quickly does caffeine affect the body?

It changes. For most, caffeine begins to affect the body very quickly. It can be felt as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. It reaches peak levels in your blood within 30-60 minutes, with a half-life of 3-5 hours. Meaning, your body may get rid of some of the caffeine within 3-5 hours, but the remaining caffeine can last much longer. In the end, it depends on whether you are a “fast metabolizer” or a “slow metabolizer”. All of this is due to our genes. The fast group broke down caffeine faster than the slow group. And so the effects of caffeine didn’t last long for this group.

Source of Caffeine

Caffeine ranks as one of the most commonly consumed dietary ingredients globally. It is found naturally in coffee beans, cocoa beans, kola nuts, guarana berries, and tea leaves (as yerba mate). It can also be done, synthetically. Coffee and tea are the two most prominent sources, but soft drinks and energy drinks also rank high. Curious to know how much caffeine is in your espresso? Here is the gist:

Coffee: 1 cup (or 8 ounces) of brewed coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine. The same amount of instant coffee contains about 60 mg of caffeine. Decaffeinated coffee contains only about 4 mg of caffeine.

Espresso coffee: 1 cup or (1.5 ounces of coffee) contains about 65 mg of caffeine.

Tea: 1 cup of black tea contains about 47 mg of caffeine. Green tea contains about 28 mg. Decaffeinated tea contains 2 mg and herbal tea does not.

Soft drink: A 12-ounce can of regular or diet dark cola contains about 40 mg of caffeine.

Cocoa: 1 ounce of dark chocolate contains about 24 mg of caffeine, while milk chocolate contains much less caffeine.

Energy drink: 1 cup (or 8 ounces) of energy drinks contains about 85 mg of caffeine. However, the standard serving of energy drinks is 16 ounces, which doubles the caffeine intake to 170 mg. However, the energy shots are much more focused. One small, 2-ounce cup contains about 200 mg of caffeine.

Complementary: Caffeine supplements contain about 200 mg per capsule or the amount in two cups of brewed coffee.

Recommended Amount of Caffeine

Moderate caffeine consumption is considered safe, but even small amounts of caffeine daily can become a hindrance. For healthy adults, the FDA has cited 400 milligrams per day — that’s about 4 or 5 cups of coffee — as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects. However, there are huge differences in how sensitive individuals are and how quickly they metabolize caffeine. Certain conditions and medications tend to increase sensitivity to caffeine, including pregnancy. Nursing mothers also want to be mindful of their caffeine consumption. As always, talk to your healthcare provider about your caffeine consumption.

How does caffeine affect sleep?

You may have been told not to drink coffee after a certain time of day. And there is a lot of truth in this. Years ago, a study tracked the effects of caffeine on sleep. Here’s what they found: Caffeine significantly disrupted sleep at 0, 3, and 6 hours before bedtime. After caffeine was consumed six hours before bedtime, sleep was disturbed for more than an hour. Furthermore, when caffeine is consumed throughout the day, levels of sleepiness are reduced. Participants spent a significant amount of time awake when they should have been asleep, even when caffeine was last consumed 6 hours earlier. This study is an exciting window into how caffeine can significantly impact our sleep.

Caffeine: Good and Bad

So, is coffee really bad for you? Most schools of thought would say no. In fact, caffeine has a lot of benefits. It may improve mood and brain function, may boost metabolism (burn fat) and enhance exercise performance. In particular, coffee has been linked to liver protection, longevity and gut health. That said, it’s very easy to consume too much caffeine. And habits are hard to break. Some of the disadvantages of caffeine include:

  • Insomnia
  • Jitters
  • Worry
  • Fast heart beat
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Trembling
  • Excitement
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dehydration

Can You Be Addicted to Caffeine?

This is up for debate. While you can develop a dependence on coffee (and other caffeinated beverages) fairly quickly, some health care officials don’t consider it a true addiction. The main reason for this is that other addictive substances stimulate an area of ​​the brain – involved in reward and motivation – to a much higher degree than caffeine. That said, if you drink caffeine daily, you’ll develop a tolerance. After a while, you need more and more caffeine to produce the same effects as sober. Regular caffeine drinkers gradually require higher amounts to achieve the same “caffeine intake”.

4 Signs It’s Time to Quit Caffeine

To know when it’s time to quit (or quit altogether), here are a few signs. First, you notice a change in your sleep cycle. It takes a long time to fall asleep or your sleep is restless. Second, you get a headache every morning. Once you are dependent on caffeine, your body will expect it to arrive consistently. While your body waits, your blood vessels dilate. This can generate brain irritation, thereby activating the pain centers that form a severe headache.

Third, you experience anxiety or panic attacks after drinking caffeine. Fourth, you experience muscle spasticity. When you constantly drink caffeine, it can lead to dehydration. This causes your muscles to contract. If you notice calves, hamstrings, or thighs cramping throughout the day, it could be a sign of consuming too much caffeine. Fortunately, learning how to quit caffeine (even if only for a short time) can be incredibly helpful.

How To Quit Caffeine With These Simple Steps:

Without becoming a completely miserable and exhausted person, you can detox (or temporarily detox) from caffeine in a practical and easy way.

  1. Slowly stay away from caffeine.
    For example, set a time limit. Set an alarm for 2 p.m. to end the day’s caffeine intake. Or, if you usually drink light roasts, switch to a dark roast (which has less caffeine). And of course, rely on decaf. Start by cutting your coffee consumption with half (or even a quarter) of decaf coffee. Mommee Coffee makes half and a quarter coffee beans!
  2. Start during vacation or a long weekend.
    It’s the perfect time to cut out caffeine because you don’t have to spend hours glued to your computer or performing work tasks. Maybe, you can go back to sleep. And chances are, what you’re doing doesn’t require a lot of focus and energy. Finally, it will be easier for your body to adjust to abstinence once the post-holiday work begins.
  3. Find out your replacement bev.
    In order not to feel deprived, consider which hot (or iced) non-caffeinated beverage you will want to sip. Want to increase without problems? We have just the teas and pills for you. For sustained energy in the morning, try these delicious drinks.
  4. Keep an ongoing list of motivations for quitting caffeine.
    For example, better sleep. Save more money. Less sugar consumption. Not dependent on caffeine. Remember that behavior change is supported by motivators. If you’ve written them down and can add to the list, you’ll get positive reinforcement. As a result, you’ll be more likely to stick with your detox.

Benefits of Quitting Caffeine

These things speak for themselves, but cutting back on caffeine can help you feel less anxious, sleep better, absorb nutrients more efficiently, whiter teeth, balance hormones, improve quality brain and less headaches.

How long does it take to detox from caffeine?

The duration of caffeine withdrawal symptoms varies from person to person. However, caffeine withdrawal usually takes at least two to nine days. People who suddenly stop drinking caffeine (after regular use) will usually feel a withdrawal effect between 12 and 24 hours after stopping.

What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?

According to research, caffeine withdrawal symptoms vary. However, they can include lethargy, increased heart rate, decreased motor activity (generalized inactivity), tremors, increased need to urinate, and flu-like symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms usually appear about 12-24 hours after quitting caffeine. As mentioned, it took just over a week to get over a caffeine addiction. During that time, you can reset your stamina. Plus, the worst withdrawal symptoms usually go away after two or three days.

Should You Quit Caffeine or Quit Cold Turkey?

I’m a fan of caffeine detox (it feels more real and not nearly as painful!), but if you’re looking to detox from cold turkey, here’s a precise schedule to follow. Otherwise, circle back above for four simple steps to reduce your caffeine consumption. In the end, you might surprise yourself and quit.

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