There are many different reasons why people want to kick the caffeine habit. For me it was for health reasons and I didn’t want to be dependent on something for a boost of energy. The highs and lows that come with caffeine was really getting to me as well. I would be great for an hour or two and then would NEED more caffeine to feel like I was truly functioning correctly. Then another or two I felt like I needed more… and this would continue all day.
I am also trying to heal my gut (more on that later) and help alleviate my allergies and asthma through diet, so that is another motivating factor for me as well. Let me know in the comments why you want to quit!
So there are two ways to quit the caffeine habit. First is going cold turkey and second is weaning yourself off of it. I’ve found that the second option of weaning yourself off of it is nearly impossible. You continue to “allow” it and for me I never really was able to kick the habit this way. I would make excuses for myself “well just one more cheat day won’t hurt anything…” WRONG! It did and the only way I’ve been able to quit is cold turkey, so this is something you might want to consider. .
If you are drinking 4+ cups a day, then definitely weaning yourself down to 1-2 cups a day would be beneficial. For me I was drinking 2 cups a day with an occasional soft drink here and there. Yes, you gotta identify all the sneaky ways caffeine shows up in your diet and eliminate those as well. The only thing I didn’t eliminate was chocolate, but I will kick my chocolate habit another time. I really don’t have it that often anyways (maybe 2x a week).
Tips on kicking caffeine:
*Find a replacement drink ASAP! I like this set of decaf teas. It gives you a variety to try.
*Get something for headache relief. Peppermint essential oil got me through the first 2 days just fine. Rub it on your temples, across your forehead and along the hair line on the back of your neck.
*Practice meditation and yoga to help relieve stress.
*Drink a lot of water to help your body detox from the caffeine. This can also help lessen your headaches.
*Get lots of rest the first 3-4 days. Take naps when and if you can.
*Go to bed early and get some extra sleep at night.
*Eat healthy and drink smoothies. I used coconut water in my smoothies to help keep me even my hydrated during this time.
*Pamper yourself with warm baths and massages.
Side effects & what to expect:
*Irritability! You might find yourself extremely on edge and irritable. Let your loved ones know what you are doing so they can help support you. This is why mediation and yoga are so important right now. It will help you to manage these emotions a little bit better. Be kind to yourself and know this will pass!
*Headaches! This just doesn’t seem avoidable for most people. Get some peppermint oil like mentioned above and some Advil if needed. There are other natural remedies for headaches that you might want to look into, but I’ve found peppermint oil and sleeping it off to help the most. I was fine during most of my day, but the headaches would really kick in during the late evening. Again, know this will also pass!
*Fatigue! Naturally you will be exhausted! Down right tired! Find a new and natural replacement for energy boosting. For me it was smoothies and fresh fruit. It didn’t give me that jolt of energy I wanted, but it definitely helped. Get extra sleep and rest. Know this will also pass in time as your body levels out and you will have natural energy return.
*Increased appetite! You might find yourself wanting to eat more. Be sure to stock up on healthy snacks before you begin this journey. I suggest some DIY energy bars and fresh fruit.
Overall quitting caffeine can have many health benefits and of course it’s great not to rely on caffeine (or any type of stimulant) for energy. You will start to get better sleep, become more focused during the day, and wake up energized!
Let me know about your experience in the comments.