Going coffee-free can be magical for your mind, body and spirit. You will feel healthier, better and more active. But before you go cold turkey, there are a few things you should know.
Coffee is the most commonly consumed (overconsumed?) psychoactive substance. It is a central nervous system stimulant that is also highly addictive.
It stimulates the nerves and heightens the neural activity in the brain. This is why you feel alert, bright and fresh after drinking a cuppa. If you are a coffee drinker, you most likely know this!
And if you are addicted to your coffee and drink it more regularly, you can experience withdrawal symptoms as you abruptly discontinue it. From painful headaches, fatigue, restlessness, anxiety and irritability to depression, reduced concentration and moods and tremours, you can experience a range of symptoms.
Depending on the extent of your addiction, symptoms can be light or severe and can last from two to nine days. Peak intensity of symptoms usually occurs 24-48 hours after you first quit coffee.
Thankfully, there is a way of cutting back and quitting that can be very effective. Here in this week’s blog post, I discuss these tips. Using these, you can considerably reduce the unpleasant side-effects and avoid going into withdrawal.
When you decide to quit coffee, don’t do it suddenly as this may make the symptoms worse. Take it slow. Reduce your intake gradually before you stop completely.
Know that quitting caffeine abruptly can cause severe and unwanted changes to brain chemistry. This can affect your mood and wellbeing as well as other aspects of your health.
Drinks such as decaf herbal teas and shakes can serve as great replacements for the caffeine. Find the ideal beverage that gives you a boost of energy as well as quenches your thirst.
Remember to take it slow and swap one cup of caffeine with an alternate drink at a time. This will help you reduce your dependence on caffeine and cope better.
Consider this – not all your caffeine may be coming from coffee. There may be other drinks, beverages or deserts that may be laden with caffeine. It is important to identify all these foods and drinks and then refrain from them.
Also, reduce any sugary drinks or snacks that you may be consuming. While it is important to take in foods that boost your energy, go for naturally healthy and nutritious choices.
Get proper sleep
Getting proper rest and sleep means that the body can recuperate and recalibrate better. A healthy seven to nine hours of sleep is recommended every night.
Plus, if you are working on quitting coffee get some shut-eye during the day too. An afternoon powernap or siesta can really help you cruise through this journey.
Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Fluids will help you beat the symptoms that tend to get worse when you are dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water also eases headaches and lifts the feeling of fatigue and dullness.
If possible, have a cold-water bath or shower, splash your face with water and rinse your feet in cold water. All these steps can help you feel refreshed and energized.
In conclusion, the decision to quit coffee is a great one. Just remember to take it slow and reduce your intake over several weeks as compared to going straight in. This will help you avoid the withdrawal symptoms, sustain through and quit for good.
If you are going through caffeine withdrawal or want help quitting coffee, talk to me today. I am functional medicine Health Coach and I have helped several clients take this journey and make it.