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We’ve previously talked about the risk of high caffeine consumption, which can have major effects on sleep patterns, mood, and blood flow to your brain.  But what do you do if you’re seriously hooked on the stuff?

Because caffeine is addictive and our body builds up a tolerance to it over time, people who decrease their caffeine intake often experience symptoms of withdrawal.  Headache is the most frequently reported symptom in caffeine withdrawal studies.  Some other symptoms include fatigue and crabby mood (not the medical term, but you know what I mean). 

Studies have found that even people who consume a moderate amount (about 2 ½ cups of coffee) can experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to break the caffeine habit.

Here are some tips for decreasing your caffeine intake without experiencing serious withdrawal:

Wean yourself off slowly.  You built up a tolerance to caffeine over time, now take some time to bring yourself down.  Drink ½ cup less of coffee or tea for a few days, and then shave off a little bit more.

Jump around.  You will experience fatigue when you remove the caffeine that was keeping you alert.  Going for a walk, having a good stretch, or a quick run up the stairs will give you a little energy boost.  Also, if you’re experiencing fatigue often it might be time to ask yourself if you are getting the sleep you need.

Find a replacement beverage.  Here are some ideas for beverages you could use to replace your caffeine vehicle:

Coffee:  Grain-based coffee alternatives like DandyBlend® or Teeccino®.  These instant beverages are dark brown, aromatic, and earthy like coffee.

Caffeinated Tea:  Herbal or decaffeinated green tea.

Soda:  Fruit-flavored seltzer water like Talking Rain®.

I chose this topic today because I am currently in the process of decreasing my caffeine intake!  I recently found out that I have a food sensitivity to coffee; it just about knocked me out when I got the news.  I’m almost two weeks deep now, and it’s actually been a great experience thus far.

8/20/2013 02:45:15 pm

Thanks for sharing these tips! My dad has been a regular drinker of diet coke for decades now, and I have been trying to hint at him that he should start to cut back. Of course, he hasn't been to receptive to these suggestions, but maybe with a few of these suggestions, I could get a better result.

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