The 6 Steps To Beating Your Caffeine Addiction
Have you ever felt jittery and stressed, all because you drink too much caffeine?
Ever noticed how many calories are in coffee? Maybe you’ve tried to cut down but it’s too hard.
It’s all about moderation, but the more we consume the more our body builds a tolerance. If we’re not careful we can overload our adrenal glands and become stuck in a cycle of fatigue.
Also, caffeine can greatly affect our quantity and quality of sleep each night.
Here are 6 steps to help you reset your system.
1. Substitute With Green Tea
Start substituting one of your daily coffees with a cup of green tea.
Continue substituting little by little.
- If you drink 4 coffees a day, begin by drinking 3 coffees and one green tea.
- A day later (or a few days – depending on how tough going it is) move that down to two coffees and two green teas.
Green tea still contains caffeine but in far less amounts – and is also an all-round healthy drink.
2. Addressing the Social Experience
Part of coffee drinking is the experience of sitting at a café in good company and savoring the drink. Somehow paying $4 for someone to bring out a cup of hot water with a tea bag dangling out of it just doesn’t measure up.
Find cafés that offer tea infusions or herb tea in plungers.
I’m talking about the ones that bring out little pots of real herb tea (not tea bags). The experience is completely different to staring at a cup with a tea bag in it. Most herb teas are caffeine-free.
3. Use Other Milky Drinks
For many people, coffee means a big milky latte. There’s something about clutching that hot milky drink that is therapy in the morning.
Try substituting with Hot Chocolate, Chai Latte, or even a hot vanilla almond milk. Unfortunately hot chocolates tend to be very high in sugar, so go easy!
4. Take Care With Carbs
Do you struggle with afternoon fatigue? That awful period after lunch where you cannot concentrate or struggle to stay awake and alert?
It would be wonderful if we could all hunker down under the desk and take a nap – but most bosses would not be impressed.
Here’s a clue: Do not eat a carbohydrate heavy lunch.
Make sure your lunch has a strong protein component in it. Something like a tin of tuna, or some nuts.
I used to think I was doing my body a favor by eating a huge low-fat sweet bun (along with a large bread roll). An hour later I was struggling to stay awake.
5. The Power Nap
Napping at work is not going to make your boss happy – but if you are in an environment where it is possible – try it.
Researchers have shown that a power nap is more helpful than a cup of coffee. The optimal power nap is a 20 minute siesta taken at about 2.30pm.
6. Addressing Habits
Often our food and drink choices are very habitual. We accompany certain activities with certain food and drinks.
If caffeine consumption is linked to a routine, you will need to address the routine. Do it one small step at a time.
Got a Soda Habit? Check out our guide for quitting that habit too.
Here’s also a great quitting caffeine resource from Caffeine Informer.
Results: What You Can Expect
I was able to completely stop drinking caffeine for a month or so while I sorted out my sleep patterns and addressed a stressful situation.
Once I was completely healthy again I would begin enjoying a one or two espresso’s a day.
That may seem counter-productive – but under normal circumstances, I have no problem with moderate caffeine intake and enjoy the bitter taste of coffee.