All About Caffeine Withdrawal

You have come to the right place to learn about caffeine withdrawal - including caffeine withdrawal symptoms and caffeine addiction.

It is incredibly easy to become addicted to caffeine! It is in so many of our most popular drinks inclucing coffee, tea, many soft drinks and energy drinks. It is no wonder that so many people suffer from caffeine addiction. Did you know that consuming as little as 100mg of caffeine a day (about 1 small cup of coffee) can lead to withdrawal symptoms when you stop? Wow!

Coffee is Addictive

caffeine withdrawal

A psychiatrist at Bristol University, did a study to find out if coffee really leaves one feeling better, more energised and alert, or just relieves the withdrawal symptoms. What he found was that after drinking their morning cup of coffee, regular coffee drinkers didn’t feel any better than those people who don’t drink coffee – they just felt better than they did before they drank their morning cup of coffee. This then means that drinking coffee only relieves the withdrawal symptoms and doesn’t help one feel more alert and energised.

What happens is that caffeine (which is a stimulant) blocks the receptors for adenosine, which is a brain chemical that has the job of stopping the release of dopamine and adrenalin - which are natural stimulants. The result is that the levels of those motivational stimulants (dopamine and adrenalin) increase which leaves us feeling more alert and motivated.
To get a clearer understanding on how caffeine works, please click here.

The bad thing is that the more caffeine we consume, the more insensitive our body and brain becomes to our natural stimulants and we need more of it to make us feel normal again…and so a nasty cycle begins because as we drink more and more caffeine to feel normal, we keep pushing our bodes to produce more and more of our natural stimulants which eventually leads to adrenal exhaustion. Our body then can’t produce these important natural motivational stimulants which leaves us feeling depressed, exhausted and unable to cope with life.

How to Break the Addiction

If you feel like you can not go without your morning cup of coffee, you may need to break the viscous cycle by completely cutting out coffee for at least 2 weeks. This will get your body back on track and after that you can start drinking coffee again, but in moderation. If you suspect you have a caffeine addiction, the best thing to do is to slowly reduce your caffeine intake to the equivalent of one cup of coffee over a few days before stopping all together. This will reduce the withdrawal symptoms and make it much easier for you to handle.

Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms

Caffeine addiction is common and withdrawal symptoms usually start 6-24 hours after suddenly stopping caffeine intake and peak at about 48 hours. The withdrawal symptoms usually last from one to five days. During this time the adenosine levels will return to normal in the brain. Withdrawal effects vary from person to person and include
  • caffeine headaches
  • drowsiness
  • insomnia
  • stomach pain
  • lethargy
  • trembling
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • reduced concentration

My opinion is that if you love coffee or any of the drinks that contain caffeine, try to limit them so that you don’t get yourself into a situation where you experience all the negative effects of caffeine. This will help avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms when you eventually decide to cut back. Remember moderation is the key here…as with so many things in life.

Caffeine Withdrawal Survival Guide

Have you ever experienced caffeine withdrawal?
Share your funny experience or tips that may help others overcome it here.

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I had suffered a major anxiety attack at work one day, and tried to figure out what my problem was. After careful consideration (I am on low dose HRT) …

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I usually drank one-two cups of coffee a day. I drink the "good stuff" dark (lower caffine). I also have maybe 1-2 cups of Earl Grey tea a day. Compared …

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