Caffeine addiction is common. It’s also challenging to quit and comes with it’s own unique set of withdrawal symptoms. Always remember that the symptoms are temporary.
In a few short weeks, you’ll feel amazing. Because of the many side effects of caffeine, quitting it is very much worth it.
Side Effects of Caffeine
Here are just a few of the side effects of caffeine. If you recognize any of these in yourself then you know it’s definitely time to cut down on caffeine or completely cut it out altogether.
- Caffeine can cause indigestion. Those that regularly consume caffeinated beverages are more likely to complain of an upset stomach.
- Caffeine can affect the quality of sleep. Excessive caffeine consumption can lower the quality of sleep and cause insomnia. If you have trouble sleeping, learn more about how to reclaim your bedtime routine.
- Caffeine can cause anxiety and may lead to nervousness & jitteriness according to some reports.
- Caffeine consumption can lead to adrenal fatigue. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands and increases alertness. Your adrenal glands can only take so much stimulation. Over stimulation can lead to exhaustion, a decreased ability to handle stress, and memory loss.
- Caffeine can raise blood pressure. Blood pressure is elevated for 2-3 hours after caffeine consumption. Hypertension causes damage to internal organs and the interior of blood vessels.
- Caffeine can affect your bones. Caffeine has been shown to limit the metabolism and absorption of calcium. Excessive caffeine intake can increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis.
This is just the short list. Further research will show even more health hazards of caffeine. You might be surprised by how many of your body’s systems are impacted by caffeine.
Beat caffeine addiction one step at a time with these strategies
1. Make a list of reasons for quitting.
List the damage to your health and the financial impact. How much are you spending each month on caffeinated drinks? Give yourself a list of good reasons to remove caffeine from your life. Maximize your motivation for quitting.
2. Find a suitable substitute.
It’s not just the caffeine that you enjoy. Whether it’s reading the paper at the local coffee shop with a latte or drinking soda with your chips at lunch, there’s a secondary benefit. Perhaps you can have green tea with your morning paper or try decaffeinated soda at lunch. Find a beverage that you enjoy that preserves the social benefits. Perhaps switch to a smart coffee that has some caffeine but also has other clean energy ingredients.
3. Don’t forget about water
If you drink caffeinated drinks because of the stimulant effect it has on you, then you may want to consider increasing your water intake. Water is so easily and often overlooked but drinking enough of it during the day can actually raise your energy levels to the point of not requiring caffeine. If you find it challenging to fit water into our day, then check out 6 Amazingly Useful Ways to Drink More Water.
4. Decide if you want to change quickly or slowly.
You can go cold turkey or decrease your caffeine consumption slowly over time. Taking the slow route has a better track record. Try this game plan.
- Cut down your caffeine consumption by 20% for the first week. If you’re drinking five cups of coffee each day, limit yourself to four. Add in one cup of your substitute drink.
- Continue reducing your consumption until you’re free of caffeine. In five short weeks, caffeine will become a thing of the past.
Take a nap. Studies have shown that a 20-minute nap can increase alertness more than a cup of coffee. If you can get away with it, close your office door and take a short nap. Remember to set an alarm! Consider taking a nap in your car during lunch and eating your lunch at another time.
5. Expect some discomfort
It’s likely that you’ll experience a small amount of discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any headaches or other aches and pains. See your physician if you’re having serious issues.
6. Don’t go it alone
Everything seems easier with a friend doesn’t it? Same thing with quitting a caffeine addiction. Enlist the help of a bestie to keep you accountable in your mission to cut down.
Caffeine addiction is common, especially among us moms. And while it probably won’t ruin your life, as we’ve seen, there are consequences to both your health and sense of well-being. Beating caffeine addiction is best accomplished in steps. Good luck and feel free to shout out your small wins and successes in the comments!