Millions of people use coffee as their preferred way to get up and recharge. Coffee, tea, chocolate, cola soft drinks, energy drinks, and even some pharmaceuticals all include caffeine as their main constituent. Caffeine gets absorbed easily and increases mood-enhancing hormones in the brain. This makes it popular amongst millions of people who then become dependent on it.
Coffee or tea drinkers especially start finding it more and more difficult to start their day without having their daily cup of coffee or tea. But with time the effect of caffeine starts decreasing. The body becomes accustomed and tolerant towards caffeine. This results in individuals’ increasing their daily dose of caffeine.
Anything consumed in higher amounts starts becoming toxic. When an individual starts depending on caffeine to go about their day, is when problems arise. Coffee also disrupts your sleep cycle which can lead to many health issues like High BP.
But do you understand what caffeine does to your system and how to stop drinking it with little to no withdrawal symptoms if you’re an addict?
How Caffeine’s Effect on The Body
Caffeine’s noticeable and felt effects include increased heart rate, frequent urination, alertness, improved focus, and of course the “feel-good” high.
Every time you consume coffee, the adenosine levels in your brain decrease. Adenosine triggers pathways in your brain that slow your neural activity and increases your sleepiness. But caffeine binds itself to adenosine and disrupts your sleep cycle.
Caffeine remains in your body between 4 – 6 hours after consumption. So when one drinks coffee late in the evening or at night, it starts hampering their sleep cycle, which can result in many health problems. Getting the proper amount of sleep is necessary to let go of stress, regulate your Blood Pressure and metabolism and improve your memory.
Other ways Caffeine affects the body are:
- Too much caffeine can lead to confusion because of overstimulation of the brain.
- It helps you stay alert and can decrease drowsiness.
- It can cause heartburn and also increase your heart rate.
- It’s a mood enhancer.
- Caffeine helps you maintain regular discharge of waste but too much caffeine can cause diarrhoea.
As you can see above. Caffeine can help you in the short term or if consumed in proper amounts. But as mentioned before, the body becomes tolerant of caffeine and you might feel the need to start increasing your caffeine intake. This is the wrong solution.
To get the best of both worlds, regulating your caffeine intake or ensuring you do not get addicted to coffee is the best solution. This can be done by either maintaining the amount of caffeine you drink daily and not increasing it and by weaning off it a few days a month.
This can help you enjoy your coffee or tea and still get the shot of adrenaline even after drinking it for a long period of time.
How to Wean Off Coffee?
Avoiding or eliminating tea or coffee is quite difficult. Some, very rarely, might find it a little easier than others because they genetically have better coffee metabolism. But most start experiencing coffee withdrawal symptoms like headache, fatigue, decreased attentivity and energy, drowsiness and more. In some cases it can also show flu-like symptoms, muscle pain, nausea and more.
A few steps to get over your caffeine withdrawal symptoms are:
- Hydrate and add electrolytes to it like salt, magnesium. For the best solution, drink lime water with salt in the morning followed by coconut water. And repeat it around 3 – 4 p.m. when you start feeling drowsy again.
- Start your coffee detox during the weekends as you might feel drowsy and rather than making your body stay awake it is better to sleep it off.
- Eat a good quality program. It will keep you satiated and is overall healthy for your body.
- Another way is to not go cold turkey at once but rather gradually decreasing the amount of coffee/tea you consume. (might not work for everyone)
- Breathwork also helps you deal with the headache that comes with coffee withdrawal.
About the Author:
Mugdha Pradhan, CEO & Founder of iThrive, TedX speaker, Serial Entrepreneur, Author, and Orator has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition. A few years ago, when she struggled with her personal health issues, learning the nuances of Functional Medicine transformed Mugdha’s health and made her fit, happy and healthy. She moved from Canada to introduce Functional Nutrition for the first time in India through iThrive – Healing & Beyond in 2019.
Mugdha also delivered a Ted talk in 2019 about how she dared to reinvent the current healthcare model to reverse the chronic disease epidemic. iThrive is centred on the concept of food as a tool for disease treatment. ‘How I dared to reinvent the current healthcare model to reverse the chronic disease epidemic,’ says Mugdha, following a period of ill health, she was inspired to change her life for the better and began researching the functional nutritive powers of food – an approach that is revolutionizing the nutrition industry.
iThrive is a health and wellness startup that focuses on reversing chronic health conditions and lifestyle diseases through Functional Nutrition using root cause analysis. It is backed by a team of highly qualified functional nutritionists that help people in reversing a multitude of health dysfunctions through their expertise, science-backed functional nutrition coaching and real-time response.
iThrive recently raised $350,000 in a pre-Series A round, which will be used to accelerate iThrive’s growth and scale all three verticals with technology: iThrive, iThrive Essentials & iThrive Academy.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.