Help for Caffeine Withdrawal

Help for Caffeine Withdrawal

Getting off of caffeine means to eliminate your addiction. Yes, really. It doesn’t mean that you can never have caffeine again. It means that you are your own best advocate by seizing control of your health. After a period of time off caffeine, where you no longer crave it or feel you need it, you may enjoy a cup now and then. Below I have listed 6 ways to help with caffeine withdrawal:

Eat Frequently. Don’t Go Longer Than 3-1/2 Hours Without Eating.

One of the most important things to remember is that caffeine messes with your blood sugar. Therefore, it’s important to find other ways to regulate sugar levels. Not eating for long periods of time sends your blood sugar to alarmingly low levels. At this point, the urgent craving for caffeine is practically a survival issue; you have to have it. One of the best ways to insure regulated blood sugar is by eating frequently. This can also be a good strategy for reducing sweet cravings and the urge to overeat.

Eat 1 to 1-1/2 cups of whole grain foods daily.

Rice kernalsThe reason for this is that whole grain, cooked with water and a pinch of salt, when eaten with a small amount of vegetables, or a tsp. or two of nuts as a condiment, helps normalized bowel function, blood sugar and the need for complex-carbohydrate. This could amount to 3/4 of a cup of oatmeal for breakfast and maybe 1/2 cup of brown rice for dinner. By whole grain, I am referring to brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa, bulgur wheat, etc.

Make Sure To Get Adequate Sleep.

I once heard a quote that claimed, “Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation.” For some, sadly, this may be true. The old saw that ‘getting an hour of sleep before mid-night is worth two after,’ makes some sense according to circadian rhythms and the release of melatonin, which occurs sometime after 1 am in the human body. Good sleep is the first line of defense in strengthening your immune system. Since you’re body is learning to run on less stimulants, you have to restore your natural energy. Rest will help accelerate this process. If you get up to go to the bathroom at night, make sure to not have soup, tea or any amount of plentiful liquids with dinner and do not go to bed for 3 hours until after the dinner meal. This allows your body to rest without disturbing sleep for bathroom visits, as well as not keeping your body in a digesting state when it should be at rest.

Keep Active.

It’s vital to keep your circulation moving. It may be a bit challenging, but consistent movement will, by itself, generate energy for you. Of course, we’re not talking about jumping to conclusions, side-stepping responsibility or pushing your luck—just good old fashioned brisk walking, biking, hiking, light jogging with cushioned support or stationary biking. Daily exercise will also help move blood through the kidney and act as a detoxifier. Most importantly, daily exercise will strengthen your will.

Take A Multi-Mineral and Multi-Vitamin Supplement

It may be helpful (can’t really harm) to take, for a period of 3 to 4 weeks, 6 days weekly a supplement. A good multi-mineral and vitamin supplement will up your nutrient levels and make this transition easier by offering added nutritional support.

Get Used To “Calm”

This may sound strange, but one of the first things you’ll notice when you get off caffeine is that you have more energy, yet feel calmer. This can be a very unfamiliar feeling for someone used to being pumped up every day. Something else worth mentioning is that running around and having an edge to your energy doesn’t always mean that you get things done. It might appear that you’re running around in productive circles, but often we mistake activity for productivity. We may have lots of energy, but we may also be so scattered that nothing, when you really add things up, gets done on time, because your energy is too fragmented.

How To Get Off Coffee Without Withdrawal Pains, Fatigue or Headaches

The Coffee/Caffeine Withdrawal Strategy

There are two ways to do this:

a) Cold Turkey: Stop all caffeine immediately, make sure you can take off work for a couple of days, get some rest, and deal with some potentially painful headaches, lethargy and low-level depression—in many cases.

b) The Gradual Elimination Method: This is a bit more involved, but it works and by this method you can avoid most of the side effects that makes caffeine addiction so difficult. Let’s say that you’re drinking about 2 cups of coffee daily. In this case, it’s best to reduce your caffeine gradually, as you take care of other factors that will help make this transition one with less drama, pain and fatigue.

The way I’ve found to effectively do all this is by taking 1/3 less the amount of caffeine you’ve been taking for 2 to 3 day periods before reducing to the next increment. For the first two days, these two cups become 1-2/3’s cup. The following two days, you begin taking 1-1/3 cups of coffee. You continue doing this until you are down to 2/3’s of a cup. At that point, you then switch to herbal coffee, and take this for three days, or reduce one more third of coffee until you have completely replaced the coffee with the caffeine-free herbal coffee. The key is to reduce very gradually and in the meanwhile make sure that you’re getting rest, minerals, eating regularly and getting some daily exercise.

“Never, never, ever again?”

You may discover, with a renewed sensitivity, that caffeine after such a period of time away, makes your head spin. In a restaurant once, the waiter brought me a cup by mistake. Before I could signal him, that coffee bouquet hit my senses and I literally inhaled it. I sped around for hours wondering how I ever drank it with such frequency. While I enjoy it now and then, I’m happy to be away from its addictive allure.




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3 thoughts on “Help for Caffeine Withdrawal”

  • I just read your other post on why coffee is bad and so glad to have read this one as well.My husband is a huge coffee drinker and now I realize that decaf is just as bad or worse because of the high acid content. I love your suggestions to eat frequently and to strengthen our immune systems by getting more sleep. No more coffee for him after dinner!

  • Wonderful and very informative article Amy!

    I had been taking caffeine pills for a while now and couldn’t go without them. However I realize whenever I don’t take them I get intense headaches.

    That made me want to stop taking them all together.

    I left those alone and started drinking coffee in the morning. I feel less addicted but I still believe I NEED it.

    I’ll try taking a multivitamin as you suggested and see if that’s any help. If not I’ll definitely give the gradual elimination method a try.

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