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Last Updated on January 22, 2019
Coffee; the worldwide known and loved beverage has been a part of our history and numerous cultures for centuries. Nowadays, coffee has become an indispensable part of every person’s life to such an extent that a day without coffee is unthinkable. And, of course, I was part of the coffeeholics of the world, until I decided that coffee needs to go. Therefore, I have decided to share my story about quitting coffee and what is the true face of coffee withdrawal.
But, before we jump into the story itself, make sure to hop over to this paper writing service for some help in case you are struggling with due-to papers and essays. Sometimes not even a whole jug of coffee can help you write, so make sure to use the advantages of the Internet and look into their services and offers.
It was the first day of my coffee-quitting mission, and I felt great. I didn’t have to spend a lot of money on coffee that day, so I decided to treat myself with a fancy lunch (one of the benefits of quitting coffee; you’ll save up). As the day went by, I started to feel some pressure in the back of my head, but I thought it’s the work stress and being overwhelmed by tasks that caused such a strange feeling. However, I was very wrong.
The main symptoms of coffee withdrawal are, amongst others, headaches. Since caffeine causes blood vessels in the brain to narrow, the blood flow slows down. If you used to drink coffee regularly, and all of a sudden stopped, as I did, you are enabling the vessels to open up, hence the increase of blood flow to the brain; meaning, headache.
My headache during the first day was quite mild, but the next few days it became unbearable. Even the pain-relieving medications didn’t quite help, as caffeine helps increase their efficiency, and without caffeine, their effectiveness is quite low. One way I could have avoided such a painful withdrawal in the first few days was by simply limiting my coffee intake. This means that instead of drinking four cups of coffee, I would drink three, and so on until I drink none. The gradual caffeine reduction is much healthier for your body as it is less invasive.
Anxiety and Irritability
Even while I was drinking coffee, my anxiety level was quite high; I always worried about the work I had to complete and other, usually trivial things that caused me distress. However, I thought caffeine might have been the cause of my anxiety, but that wasn’t the case. Once I stopped drinking coffee, I got to experience the true meaning of anxiety.
One’s body can quickly become dependent on coffee, mentally and psychologically, which causes feelings of anxiety. If you have suffered from anxiety before quitting coffee, chances are, your anxiety levels are going to increase substantially. To combat this issue, it is important not to cut sugar from your diet, as sugar decrease in your body can make the anxiety even worse.
Speaking of anxiety, another frequent participant in the coffee withdrawal process is irritability. This annoying feeling followed me for a good half a month, and I almost started drinking coffee again just to get rid of it. Luckily, I didn’t succumb to the urge, but I definitely had to find ways to calm myself down; I made sure to extra sleep to combat anxiety and irritability, as well as to get enough water throughout the day. Another way one can fight the feelings of anxiety and irritability is by regular exercise or morning workout to naturally boost energy levels and mood without caffeine.
Other Withdrawal Symptoms
Headaches, anxiety, and irritability were the main coffee-withdrawal symptoms in my case. However, there are numerous other symptoms you may experience if you stopped drinking coffee. Here’s the list, according to CaffeineInformer;
• Sleepiness and low energy level
• Muscle pain, stiffness, cramping
• Lack of concentration
• Flu-like symptoms
• Brain fog
• Heart palpitations
• Nausea and vomiting
• Intensified Premenstrual symptoms
Methods to Quit Coffee and Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms
If you’ve decided to transition from the coffee addiction to a healthier and more balanced lifestyle, here are some tips I have decided to use after the negative experience with headaches and anxiety. These tips are provided by HealthAlt.
1. Decaf Coffee Method
This method is beneficial for those who want to stop drinking regular coffee gradually; all you need to do is follow these steps:
• Week 1: Using all organic coffee, brew ¾ regular coffee to ¼ decaf coffee –
• Week 2: The following week reduce the ratio to ½ regular coffee and ½ decaf –
• Week 3: Now brew just ¼ regular coffee and ¾ decaf
After the third week, your transition to decaf coffee is complete.
2. Lowered Caffeine Method
This method is excellent for those who want to turn to caffeine-free beverages completely.
• Week 1: Make sure to, instead of using regular coffee, you brew yourself some caffeinated coffee substitute; coffee substitutes have less caffeine and are excellent for the transition
• Week 2: Make sure to replace ½ of your caffeinated coffee substitute with a caffeine-free coffee substitute or herbal tea (green tea, for example)
• Week 3: At this point, you have to replace your caffeinated coffee substitute with a caffeine-free choice completely
3. Quick and Easy Method
• Week 1: Replace ½ of your coffee with herbal tea or a caffeine-free coffee substitute
• Week 2: Brew just a ¼ of your original coffee intake and replace the rest with a caffeine-free choice
• Week 3: Drink only caffeine-free coffee substitutes or herbal tea
Quitting coffee is not easy, and it may cause you some serious health issues. However, the benefits of lowered or zero coffee intake are numerous; from financial savings, reduced blood pressure, better sleep to better mood and decreased anxiety once the withdrawal symptoms are gone. However, if you still find it hard to get an energy boost after quitting coffee, make sure to incorporate ginseng, cacao, Maca root or powder, and licorice root into your diet. Ginseng and cacao have been especially useful in my coffee withdrawal process, and I hope you’ll find them helpful too. However, before quitting coffee, make sure to consult your medical practitioner for more information and insight into the withdrawal symptoms and effects.