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How to Break Your Caffeine Habit

April 5, 2016

If you're lucky, you can get up and go every day without any help. For many of us, however, caffeine provides the pick-me-up we need to get up early, stay up late and handle all of the challenges we face in between. That being said, a serious caffeine addiction can become problematic, especially if you find yourself unable to function without it. If you're thinking about quitting caffeine, follow these tips to kick the habit. 

1. Don't go cold turkey. 

Eliminating caffeine consumption completely, and at once, may seem like the fastest way to get the job done, but it will also be the most uncomfortable. Instead of quitting caffeine altogether in one day, gradually reduce your intake over a couple of weeks.

2. Know what to expect.

Reducing or eliminating your intake of caffeine will most likely lead to minor withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, mood swings and headache. Expect these effects to last anywhere from one week to 10 days. 

3. Tell your friends and family.

Let your closest friends and family know that you are trying to eliminate caffeine from your life so that they will be prepared for any changes in your mood. 

4. Schedule the worst part of your detox when you're off work.

Caffeine withdrawal is hard enough without the added stress of work. If possible, schedule the beginning of your detox for days when you will be off work and able to stay home. This will allow you to nap if you feel tired, turn off all the lights if you have a headache, and relax on the couch until the worst part of your withdrawal has passed. 

5. Replace coffee with healthier drinks.

Many of the drinks that contain caffeine are unhealthy for a number of reasons in addition to their caffeine content, such as high calorie amounts and/or added sugar. Increase your likelihood of success by replacing your usual caffeinated beverages with something healthier, such as a smoothie, decaffeinated tea or water. Not only will these replacement drinks prevent you from missing your daily coffee and giving up on your detox, but they will also keep you well hydrated, which may minimize your withdrawal symptoms. 

It is important to remember that caffeine isn't all bad. It can boost your metabolism and suppress your appetite, and it is often accompanied by antioxidants when consumed in the form of coffee. However, if you feel like you are drinking too much, our tips can help you cut back safely.

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