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Tips to Beat Caffeine Addiction
Caffeine is one of the most universally used mood-altering substances, and as a mild stimulant, it has an effect on the central nervous system. These effects cause it to be highly addictive, often leading many people to have a caffeine addiction without their knowledge.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms
The most common symptoms of a caffeine addiction are headache, fatigue or drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating when caffeine is not consumed. Once these symptoms are observed, it is evident that a person has become dependent upon the effects of caffeine to feel productive.
In extreme cases, flu-like symptoms such as muscle pain, nausea and vomiting are reported. If you begin to experience these symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, it is recommended that you begin cutting back on your caffeine intake.
Gradual Caffeine Reduction
It is recommended that an individual cut their caffeine intake gradually, by drinking a mix of regular coffee and decaf, adding more milk or non-dairy alternative to your beverage, or brewing your tea for less time, instead of going cold turkey.
One may also begin by tracking daily caffeine intake before starting the reduction process, which can be done by reading product labels that state the caffeine content of food and beverages. Once this is done, beginning to slowly reduce daily caffeine intake can make the withdrawal symptoms less severe and more manageable.
Over a period of time, by following the above tips, one may begin to lower their caffeine intake without experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.
Cutting caffeine out of the diet cold turkey is the fastest way to detox from it, but the severe headaches that result from this approach often leave the consumer in need of pain relievers to deal with the repercussions. The ultimate goal is to return one’s body to its natural state of no dependency, instead of relying on another drug to feel better.
If one does decide to take the cold turkey approach, it is important to be prepared for what is to come. Symptoms range from mild to moderate headaches to reduced productivity; however, these symptoms are only temporary. Remember to stay hydrated, get enough sleep and eat well, and the symptoms will pass.
Caffeine Addiction and Sugar
Caffeine intake often goes hand in hand with sugar levels. Caffeine and sugar are both a form of quick energy and are characterized by the energy crash that follows, resulting in the consumer purchasing another beverage to accommodate for low energy levels.
In order to fight these tendencies triggered by heavy caffeine consumption, we must treat it like any other addiction and focus on decreasing dependence. Start by drinking teas with low to medium caffeine levels, like green tea, then transitioning to decaffeinated tea like chamomile once you feel ready. To avoid withdrawal and depleted energy levels, make sure you eat, sleep, and exercise enough. These three components of health help reduce stress and maintain proper energy levels. Additionally, try to avoid caffeine during the late hours of the day, as this can lead to insomnia and higher dependency to caffeine during the day.