How Long Does Caffeine Withdrawal Last
In general, caffeine withdrawal symptoms can start 12 to 24 hours after you have your last hit of caffeine. Symptoms will be at their worst 20 to 51 hours after, and they can last anywhere from two to nine days. One study even suggested caffeine withdrawal headaches could last for 21 days.
Some people experience withdrawal symptoms sooner, though. One study looked at participants who had 250 mg of caffeine or a placebo in the morning, and their withdrawal symptoms were measured around noon. For those who took the placebo, even in that short time, withdrawal symptoms were present.
The researchers, Barbara G. Phillips-Bute and James D. Lane, wrote:
âEven short periods of caffeine deprivation, equivalent in length to missing regular morning coffee, can produce noticeable unpleasant caffeine withdrawal symptoms in habitual coffee drinkers.â
The amount of symptoms you get and how severe these are can be worse if youâre used to having a lot of caffeine each day.
One study looked at caffeine consumers who were used to 100 mg, 300 mg, or 600 mg of caffeine a day. The results showed the range and severity of withdrawal symptoms were worse with higher doses. For example, those who were used to 600 mg had significantly worse headaches and poor moods than those who were used to 100 mg a day. However, even those who were used to having just 100 mg of caffeine â about one cup of coffee a day â still experienced withdrawal symptoms.
What To Do If You Think You Might Be Addicted To Caffeine
Addiction involves not only excessive use of caffeine but also relying on this stimulant to better cope with life in spite of any negative effects you may be experiencing. To figure out whether you might be addicted, it helps to:
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Does Giving Up Coffee Improve Productivity
Theres no perfect answer to this question. What matters is how much coffee you drink.
Although my productivity has increased after giving up coffee, I was also addicted to caffeine, meaning I drank coffee to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
This study shows how your body can stabilize normal amounts of caffeinewith the caveat that what is normal differs for everyone. Plus, coffee beans can offer fantastic benefits, like lower risk of heart disease and Alzheimers.
Overall, coffee can help you focus as long as you maintain healthy levels of caffeine.
So how do you know how much caffeine you can consume?
It depends on your caffeine sensitivity and environment. Some questions to help you find out how much coffee you should have are:
1. How much sleep do you get per night?
2. Are you prone to feeling anxious?
3. How do you feel after drinking one cup of coffee? Two cups? Three?
4. Do you get headaches often?
5. Does drinking coffee make you feel alert? Or does it leave you wanting more?
Youll also want to consider what you put in your coffee. A peppermint mocha will affect you differently than coffee with milk. And who knows,added sugar and artificial sweeteners might affect your focus more than caffeine itself.
And think about other caffeinated beverages and foods you consume every day. Do you drink green tea in the afternoon? Or what about dark chocolate? You might be consuming tons of caffeine without realizing it!
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Caffeine: The Good And The Bad
So, is coffee really that bad for you? Most schools of thought would say no. In fact, caffeine has its fair share of benefits. It may improve mood and brain function, may boost metabolism , and enhance exercise performance. Coffee, specifically, has been associated with liver protection, life longevity, and gut health. That said, its easy to over-consume caffeine. And the habit is hard to break. Some caffeine downsides include:
Other Tips To Break Caffeine Addiction
As part of a wean, it may be better to substitute high-caffeine drinks with low-caffeine drinks. Replacing coffee with green tea is a good suggestion .
Another thing to do is to take power naps during the detox. However, that is not realistic for most of us. When was the last time your boss was happy with you taking a nap under your desk?
Need help reducing caffeine ?
Some people may benefit from the Udemy course Overcoming Caffeine Withdrawal.
Theres also a meeting-based program available at Caffeineaddictsanonymous.com.
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How Quickly Does Caffeine Affect The Body
It varies. For most, caffeine begins affecting the body very quickly. It can be felt as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. It reaches a peak level in your blood within 30-60 minutes, with a half-life of three to five hours. Meaning, your body can eliminate some of the caffeine within three to five hours, but the remaining amount of caffeine can stay much longer. Ultimately, it depends on if youre a fast metabolizer or a slow metabolizer. This all comes down to our genes. The fast group breaks down caffeine more quickly than the slow group. And thus, the effects of caffeine dont last as long for this group.
Detoxing From Caffeine Is Hard To Do Heres Why
Approximately 90 percent of all adults in the world consume caffeine on a daily basis, mostly through teas, coffee and sodas. In their unprocessed forms, coffee and teas contain beneficial chemicals, including magnesium and chromium. These can help the body effectively use insulin, which controls blood sugar.
However, caffeine does not contribute to these benefits. Instead, caffeine is a stimulant that works on your central nervous system, and consequently affects all organs. Caffeine is hard to give up because we can develop strong dependency on it for physiologic, psychological and emotional reasons:
- Physiological: Caffeine has measurable physical effects on the body by increasing heart rate and respiration, and making us feel more alive.
- Psychological: Research shows that caffeine improves concentration and task performance. It can also help people feel more social and at ease, and we love to share the caffeine ritual with friends.
- Emotional: Perhaps the strongest aspect of dependency on caffeine is linked to its mood-lifting effects. Every day, we look forward to those treasured, oasis-like moments when we consume caffeine.
These symptoms are often uncomfortable enough to force women to continue consuming caffeine despite adverse side effects like insomnia and stomach upset. If youve decided to cut back or eliminate caffeine, there are some simple, effective ways to meet your goal without the discomfort of withdrawal.
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Symptoms Of Caffeine Withdrawal
When people stop drinking caffeine, its a shock to the body. People whove long drank coffee for the buzz have to find new ways to stay energized and alert once they swear off caffeine. The first few days can be especially disorienting. Common withdrawal symptoms include:
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms typically last between three and seven days. The onset usually occurs within six hours of the last cup. If a person drinks coffee throughout the day, the first evening can be rough if he/she quits cold turkey in the afternoon.
How Is Caffeine Used In Medications
Caffeine is a common ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter headache remedies, pain relievers and cold medicines. Through caffeines effects on your central nervous system, it helps these drugs act more effectively. It helps your body absorb headache medicines quicker.
If you are concerned about your caffeine intake, read the product label on over-the-counter medications or the information sheet that comes with your prescriptions to determine whether a medication contains caffeine. The FDA requires that the medication labels list the amount of caffeine they contain.
Caffeine is also found in some herbal products that people take as supplements, including guarana, yerba mate, kola nut and green tea extract. These products are not required by law to show their caffeine content on the label, and there is no set standard for caffeine content.
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How To Eliminate Sugar And White Flour
- Start the same day you cut your caffeine intake in half.
- Go cold turkey from all white flour and sugar products.
- Include protein for breakfast, such as eggs, nuts, seeds, nut butters or a protein shake.
- Combine good protein, good fat, and good carbs at each meal.
- Dont go low-fat. Consume olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, and avocados every day. Despite commonly held beliefs, these good fats are NOT fattening.
- Eat every three hours. Snack on nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds . One serving is a handful or ten to twelve nuts.
- Drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water a day.
Do I Really Have To Give Up Caffeine
Unless youâre experiencing severe side effects or severe sleep disruptions â like insomnia â you may not actually have to give up your caffeine habit altogether. If youâre considering giving up caffeinated beverages because theyâre disrupting your sleep, there may be another way to make sure this doesnât happen. You just need to find out your caffeine cutoff time.
Your caffeine cutoff time is the time of day when you should have your last coffee â or anything else containing caffeine â to give your body enough time to break it down by bedtime. Caffeine can last in your system for 10 to 12 hours, so even if you have your last coffee for the day at 3 p.m., it may still keep you up past midnight. Weâve covered more about how long caffeine lasts here.
For most people, their caffeine cutoff time will be around noon, though for night owls it may be a little later at around 2 p.m. However, the exact timing of it is unique to you, and it can even change each day.
Thatâs because itâs dependent on your circadian rhythm, which dictates your ideal bedtime and is affected by everything from light to meal times to how long you slept the night before. The RISE app takes the guesswork out of it by predicting your circadian rhythm each day based on things like your phone use behavior and inferred light exposure.
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How To Overcome Caffeine Addiction
This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 115,912 times.
Caffeine is a drug and can be highly addictive. If you’re tired of relying on coffee or energy drinks to get through the day, there are ways to cut back on caffeine. Start tapering off caffeine gradually. Adjust your life as necessary. You may, for example, have to opt for decaf beverages during social settings. You can expect a headache and other symptoms of withdrawal, so manage those accordingly to stay on track.
How To Lower Your Caffeine Intake
Step 1: Start on a weekend
Step 2: Reduce your caffeine intake
Step 3: Drink green tea
Step 4: Take vitamin C
Step 5: Drink plenty of clean water
You should also drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water a day. You should do this regardless of whether or not you are getting off caffeine, but it is especially important for this process because it will keep your body well-hydrated and can reduce headaches and constipation, and flush toxins out of your system.
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Skip The Caffeine Headaches
Caffeine withdrawal is exactly what it sounds like withdrawal from a substance.
Caffeine is very addictive, so your body is literally going through withdrawal symptoms, as if you were coming off of any other substance, Czerwony says. Because it affects the central nervous system, youre going to get shaky, irritable and headachey.
To avoid these undesirable side effects, including the agonizing headaches associated with withdrawal, go slowly and dont expect to give up your caffeine habit overnight.
In fact, quitting caffeine cold turkey can actually further your reliance on it.
Caffeine is a vasodilator, which can help relieve headache pain, making it an ingredient in many over-the-counter pain relievers. Taking a caffeine-laden painkiller for your caffeine withdrawal headache, then, will help your pain but will only continue your caffeine dependence.
Youre not really helping yourself youre just feeding your addiction in a different way, Czerwony says. Instead, you want to start weaning yourself down.
If youre taking a prescription medication that includes caffeine, speak with your doctor about the possibility of alternatives but know that they may not be an option. If not, youll have to reduce your caffeine intake in other ways.
Dandelion And Root Tea
Though not a coffee at all, Dandelion Tea, or Dandy Blend is a combination of Dandelion greens, barley, rye, sugarbeet root, and chicory grown in Poland on certified organic farms. Yes, the weed that many people pull from their yards is actually incredibly good for you. Dandy Blend has a slightly sweet, earthy flavor, and though it doesnt really taste like coffee, it is indeed an enjoyable morning beverage and a great substitute for caffeine-laden coffee.
- Dandelion greens contain a host of antioxidants including Vitamin C and Vitamin A . Dandelion is also a natural diuretic, aids in digestion, and is a great liver detoxer.
- Barley, Rye and Chicory are all anti-cancerous. With Chicory root containing sesquiterpene lactones that reduce inflammation that can lead to colon cancer.
- Rye is high in B Vitamins, potassium, and folate so it is an excellent drink for pregnant or lactating women since they require high levels of folate for the healthy development of their babies.
- Chicory balances the stimulant effect of coffee and is sometimes used as a coffee additive for this reason. It has a similar taste, when brewed, to coffee. It also is a tonic to many systems in the body, easing constipation, helping with liver and gallbladder disorders, and contains prebiotic inulin which helps to promote healthy gut flora.
Dandy Blend is an excellent choice for pregnant women, and anyone wanting to avoid caffeine completely.
Dandy Blend is 100% caffeine free.
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Recovering From Caffeine Cravings
Signs Of A Caffeine Addiction
Rather than going by the actual amount of Caffeine consumed per day, Caffeine addiction is discerned by the way that the substance affects an individuals day-to-day functioning. The severity of the addiction is calculated based on how distressed someone feels when they want Caffeine and cant get it and how much of a disruption this causes in their daily life.
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not recognize Caffeine addiction as a SUD, but it does recognize it as a condition for future study. According to the DSM-5, problematic Caffeine consumption is characterized by at least three of the following criteria:
- A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control Caffeine use
- Continued Caffeine use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by Caffeine
- Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
- The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for Caffeine
- Caffeine is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms
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