The Process Of Quitting Caffeine

Detox this, detox that…. it’s what many in the health and fitness industry are talking about, right? From amidst the plethora of things to rid yourself off, caffeine might seem to be one of the less harmful ones. In fact, some studies have suggested the positive effects of caffeine consumption. Sooo….. what do you think happens when you try to get rid of it?

Firstly, let’s pick a starting point. Nutritionists have suggested that the average person would do well with three cups of normal coffee a day, you know, to get the antioxidants that are good for us – especially athletes among us. We do know, however, that some of us tend to severely overdose on that, drinking up to twelve cups a day. No kidding!

It stands to reason, therefore that those who only have three can go cold turkey with minimal effects, but those on the higher numerical end will have difficulty. Just like breaking any addiction, one particularly useful strategy is to reduce the number slowly. And since we are talking about caffeine in particular, another “trick” would be to replace some coffees with tea.

The first day when you quit coffee, some of the symptoms associated with high doses can reduce, or even disappear. These include, reflux, indigestion, bowel movements and even heartburn. Another more obvious one is an increase in hydration levels, which means less trips to the bathroom. But this does not say much for people like me, who drink coffee on some days but not others. How about longer time periods?

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If one can persist for a week without it, the typical signs of addiction will disappear. The most obvious one is that energy levels will become more stable, which makes sense because of the removal of energy boosts brought about by caffeine intake. Along with this comes reduced irritability, anxiety and also restlessness. Not bad isn’t it?

Let’s extend the time period to a month. To those who are able to push on to this point, the cravings will start to subside. Interestingly, blood tests might also reveal some changes in one’s physiology. The increase in digestive function and reduction in trips to the toilet will result in better absorption of vitamins and minerals, mostly due to the reduced excretion of certain minerals. Electrolyte levels will also increase. Another thing that happens is an improvement in sleep cycles and a reduction in stress hormones such as insulin and cortisol. A reduction of caffeine was also shown to be associated with increased happiness.

Let’s now take things to the extreme and explore what happens after a year of quitting caffeine. By that time, the kidney, heart and liver would have improved function by then as they don’t have to work as hard. So, with that being said, will I quit caffeine? Not a chance! There are many other things that can harm you a lot more. I’ll take my hit of antioxidants thanks!

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