Caffeine is the lifeblood of many adults – in fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, 80% of Americans consume caffeinated beverages every day.1 With major coffee chains, soft drink conglomerates and energy drink manufacturers continuously pushing the benefits of a caffeine boost in a can, it’s no wonder that four out of five Americans require a caffeine kick in order to start their day.
Unfortunately, caffeine contains many hidden dangers that are rarely acknowledged but are important to understand. Once you’re aware of these dangers, you may be interested in reducing or maybe even eliminating your caffeine consumption. Join us as we discuss how to quit caffeine safely and effectively.
What is caffeine exactly?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand caffeine for exactly what it is: a stimulative drug.2 And like many drugs, it comes with a list of short-term and long-term side effects. Also, like many drugs, quitting caffeine isn’t as simple as choosing to not drink it anymore, thanks to its addictive properties.
Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal
For consumers who have a solitary cup of caffeine every now and then, caffeine withdrawal will likely not be an issue. For those who have relied on this drug for an extended period of time, however, there are some symptoms you may experience if and when you choose to eliminate your caffeine intake: headaches, fatigue, lack of concentration, irritability, nausea/vomiting, anxiety/depression, dizziness and even heart rhythm abnormalities.3
As you can see from this shortlist of symptoms, caffeine withdrawal can be harsh on the body, but these side effects are necessary to endure if you want to escape the hidden dangers of caffeine consumption.2
How to quit caffeine safely and effectively
Now that we’ve discussed the power caffeine holds over the body and some of the sensations you may feel if or when you decide to kick the habit, here are some tips to help you lessen your withdrawal symptoms and take control of your body once again.
1) Wean off caffeine
Depending on the amount of caffeine you typically rely on each day, quitting cold turkey may not be the best option for you. Instead, reduce the effects of withdrawal by gradually decreasing the amount of caffeine you consume over the course of several months. This way, your body doesn’t feel the immediate shock of caffeine missing from your bloodstream.
2) Add supplements
Just because you are eliminating caffeine from your body doesn’t mean you can’t use less-addictive supplements to weaken the effects of withdrawal. For instance, you can take pain relievers to manage headaches. There are also many over-the-counter medications that can treat nausea, dizziness and anxiety/depression. Before pursuing any of these medications, however, it is important that you check with your doctor first.
3) Take care of your body
Removing an addictive drug like caffeine from your system can be stressful on your body. As a result, it is imperative that you take care of yourself as you navigate this detoxing process. That means ensuring you eat well, drink enough water and sleep at least eight hours each night. By taking care of yourself, you can help make sure that your body has the energy it needs to heal from the difficulties that can accompany caffeine withdrawal.
Ditching caffeine can lower your life insurance rate
Although the journey to caffeine elimination may not be easy – but depending on how much of the drug you currently consume, clearing caffeine from your body can have many beneficial effects, such as lowering your stress levels, decreasing your blood pressure, waking up feeling energized and more. By facilitating a healthier version of yourself, you may even be able to lower the rate on your life insurance policy — a win for both you and your wallet!
1 Medicines in my Home: Caffeine and Your Body. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/buyingusingmedicinesafely/understandingover-the-countermedicines/ucm200805.pdf
2 (27 October 2016). 10 Interesting Facts About Caffeine. Live Science. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from http://www.livescience.com/56603-interesting-facts-about-caffeine.html
3 Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms: Top Fifteen. Caffeine Informer. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-withdrawal-symptoms-top-ten
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