Caffeine is a common stimulant found in sodas, coffees, teas, energy drinks, and other beverages.
Caffeine, when used correctly, can help you wake up and concentrate. It will boost your energy and reduce fatigue. If you use it irresponsibly, you may become dependent on it or experience headaches and insomnia.
When you quit coffee you can experience withdrawal symptoms like headache, tiredness, and nausea. These symptoms appear 12 to 24 hours after the last caffeine intake and can last two to nine days.
Now let’s dive into some details of what caffeine is and how it ends up affecting your body.
How Does Caffeine Work?
Caffeine is the stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda that reduces tiredness, increases alertness, and provides an energy boost. If you’re not careful and overdose, it can also cause insomnia, headaches, dehydration, and high blood pressure.
Many people use caffeine to help them wake up, perk up, and concentrate. Take advantage of its advantages, and it can help you get through the day.
Caffeine is classified as both a food additive and a drug by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Caffeine levels in foods and beverages vary. The amount of caffeine in coffee or tea varies depending on the brand, the type of beans or leaves used, how it is prepared, and how long it steeps. Coffee can contain as little as two milligrams of caffeine per cup (decaf coffee) or as much as 200 milligrams per cup.
Caffeine levels in tea typically range between nine and 110 milligrams. 12 ounces of soda pop/soft drink typically contains 30 to 60 milligrams of caffeine. Eight ounces of an energy drink contains between 50 and 160 calories.
Caffeine tolerance develops in many people. This means that your body adjusts and becomes accustomed to consuming caffeine daily. You may find that you need to increase your caffeine intake over time to achieve the desired effects of alertness and concentration.
What Effect Does Caffeine Have On The Body?
Caffeine enters the bloodstream via the stomach and small intestine. When caffeine enters your bloodstream, it stimulates your central nervous system (nerves, brain, and spinal cord), making you feel more awake and alert.
It works by blocking off the adenosine receptors from attaching to the brain which tricks your brain into thinking that you just woke up from a nap making you feel energized and fresh.
Caffeine improves focus and concentration while decreasing fatigue. Caffeine also causes the release of acid in the stomach, so you may experience heartburn after consuming it.
Caffeine increases the signaling of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that aids in the regulation of motivation, emotions, and movement. When the signaling increases, you become more alert and awake.
The average adult in the United States consumes 200 mg of caffeine per day. This is equal to two 5-ounce cups of coffee or four 12-ounce colas. Most people have no problems with 400 mg per day or four cups of coffee. Caffeine, on the other hand, affects people differently depending on their size, gender, and sensitivity to it.
Even moderate amounts of caffeine can cause insomnia (difficulty sleeping), a rapid heart rate, anxiety, and feelings of restlessness if you are caffeine sensitive. Experts in health and nutrition agree that consuming more than 600 mg of caffeine per day (equivalent to four to seven cups of coffee) is excessive.
What Are The Symptoms Of Coffee Withdrawal?
In general, the more caffeine you are used to consuming, the worse the withdrawal symptoms will be. Withdrawal symptoms appear 12 to 24 hours after the last caffeine intake and can last two to nine days.
If you have become dependent on caffeine, a sudden reduction can cause withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Muscle pain.
Caffeine can be an effective tool for adults who need assistance waking up and concentrating. However, if you are not cautious, it can cause problems. Caffeine should not be consumed in excess, as it can lead to dependency, insomnia, and headaches.
How Long Does Coffee Withdrawal Last?
Caffeine’s effects can be felt as soon as 15 minutes after consumption.
For most people, the level of caffeine in their blood peaks about an hour later and remains there for several hours. Half of the caffeine you consume remains in your body six hours later. Caffeine can take up to 10 hours to completely clear your bloodstream.
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms vary in duration from person to person, but caffeine withdrawal usually lasts at least 2 to 9 days.
Someone who abruptly stops taking caffeine after a long period of use will usually experience withdrawal symptoms between 12 and 24 hours after stopping. The withdrawal symptoms usually peak between 24 and 51 hours.
Caffeine withdrawal will almost certainly affect you if you consume caffeine regularly. The more caffeine you consume, the worse the withdrawal symptoms will be.
Even a single small cup of coffee consumed daily can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Here is a video for better understanding:
How Can You Treat Caffeine Withdrawal?
Now it’s not like there’s no treatment for withdrawal effects, there is. Below are some pointers that you can follow to treat your caffeine withdrawal:
- Instead of going cold turkey, taper your consumption. If you like coffee, start with half-decaf, half-regular, and gradually wean yourself off.
- Caffeine sources should be avoided. Make certain that you are not unintentionally reintroducing caffeine. Examine the labels of packaged sodas, tonics, and teas, as well as packaged food.
- Hydrate. Dehydration can exacerbate withdrawal symptoms.
- Take an analgesic. To alleviate withdrawal symptoms, take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
- Get enough sleep. When you stop drinking caffeine, you will probably feel tired, so try to sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours per night.
- Increase your energy in other ways. Try natural energy boosters.
How Can I Get Rid Of Caffeine Without Withdrawal?
Reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet gradually.
Don’t make the mistake of completely stopping. You will most likely experience withdrawal symptoms and return to drinking coffee or soda or taking a headache medication containing caffeine to alleviate the symptoms.
This restarts the dependency cycle from the beginning. One of the most common reasons people continue to consume caffeine is to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
To successfully reduce your caffeine intake, gradually reduce your daily intake of coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. Begin by replacing cold caffeinated beverages with water. Water, being an important liquid, also flushes caffeine from your system and keeps you hydrated.
If you drink coffee, gradually transition from regular to decaf. Alternate between decaf and regular coffee at first, then gradually increase the amount of decaf and decrease the amount of regular coffee.
Reduce your caffeine consumption gradually over two to three weeks to successfully change your habit without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Benefits Of Quitting Coffee
Now there are some benefits to quitting coffee; let me tell you how many:
- Quitting caffeine can lower your blood pressure
- It can also help in improving the amount and quality of sleep
- It decreases anxiety levels
- Since caffeine is a major trigger for headaches quitting caffeine can get you rid of them
- Fewer trips to the bathroom
- It gives you healthier teeth
- If you are having a sugary caffeinated beverage it may add up to weight gain
- Convenience is one major benefit, this means you wouldn’t have to wait in shops for your coffee to be prepared, saving you precious time
- Financial stability can be increased since you’d cut off on ample products that would contain caffeine
Although it isn’t about quitting coffee, it’s about moderating your intake so you don’t become dependent on the drink. If consumed responsibly, coffee actually provides a few health benefits. You can read about those benefits here.
Alternatives To Caffeine
Here are some of the alternatives to caffeine along with their benefits:
|Chicory Root Coffee||Aids digestion improves bowel movement, improves hyperglycemia|
|Golden Milk||Reduces inflammation, improves mood, prevents heart disease|
|Peppermint Tea||May relieve digestive symptoms, may relieve headaches, may improve your sleep and energy|
|Nuts||Beneficial for Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome, packed with antioxidants, high in fiber|
Caffeine is a popular stimulant that can cause withdrawal symptoms in some people.
Caffeine withdrawal can occur in anyone who consumes caffeine regularly and then abruptly stops using it.
Headache, fatigue, low energy, irritability, anxiety, poor concentration, depressed mood, and tremors are common symptoms that can last two to nine days.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce these symptoms, such as gradually cutting back on caffeine, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and finding natural energy boosters.
Although caffeine withdrawal may seem unbearable at first, it is only a temporary reaction on the way to reducing your dependence.