Quitting Caffeine – How to Combat the Symptoms of Withdrawal


quitting caffeineMost people start their day with some type of caffeinated beverage. With so many highly caffeinated energy drinks on store shelves, many teens have also adopted the habit of using caffeine for fuel. According to CNN Health, approximately 80 to 90 percent of American adults and children consume some kind of caffeinated beverage daily. Many are so accustomed to the stimulant that skipping it results in headaches and other symptoms— a problem that experts call caffeine withdrawal syndrome. Quitting caffeine can be discourage because of the withdrawl symptoms.

Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal Syndrome

If you are one of the many people whose day begins with a dose of caffeine, you may be at risk for caffeine withdrawal syndrome. Although it is possible to overcome a dependence on caffeine, the first step is determining if a problem exists. Surprisingly, you do not have to consume much to see these signs. In fact, people who consume just one cup daily have noted the symptoms. Here are some of the physical signs of caffeine withdrawal syndrome:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Quitting Caffeine

Quitting caffeind for those who want to quit, can been done easily by reducing their intake slowly, rather than using a cold-turkey approach, which is sure to bring about bothersome symptoms. To do this, you will need to take note of the caffeine you are currently consuming. You might be surprised to see how much you were ingesting unknowingly. Although coffee has the most caffeine, some teas, hot chocolate, colas and even chocolate candies and desserts are highly caffeinated as well.  Begin quitting caffeine by reducing your intake by swapping caffeinated drinks with water, juice and herbal teas. The following are some tasty teas that promote relaxation and will help you wean off caffeine.

  • Chamomile
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Valerian

Eat Well

Eat a well-balanced diet while weaning from caffeine. This is important because the right foods can help you feel your best. Consume a hearty breakfast and continue to use healthy foods to sustain you throughout your day. Foods such as fruits, nuts and cheese are ideal snacks that help fight fatigue associated with caffeine withdrawal syndrome.

Exercise

Exercise can help you wean from caffeine in two ways: by increasing your energy levels and reducing stress. Power walks on a pleasant morning, tai chi and yoga, are some of the ways you can depress while you decaffeinate your day.

References: CNN Health:  http://articles.cnn.com/2009-04-06/health/hm.caffeine.withdrawal_1_caffeine-withdrawal-caffeinated-products-caffeine-intake?_s=PM:HEALTH

Mara Gerke