Do You Know that 90% of adults drink more than 5 cups of coffee every day? This clearly shows the high rate of caffeine addiction. Though its evident that caffeinated coffee has multiple benefits like reducing the risk of several types of cancer or stroke or even type 2 diabetes, addiction to caffeine is not good for one’s health. And in this article, I am going to talk about what is caffeine, symptoms of caffeine addiction, and 15 Benefits of Breaking Caffeine Addiction.
Just like smoking and drinking, caffeine is an addictive component found in different food and beverages; particularly in coffee. There is more harm it can do on your body, and most of us are not even aware of it. Once your body is loaded with caffeine, it can raise your blood pressure, straining your heart. Also, caffeine affects our daily sleep cycle, keeping us awake and alert. It is a stimulant drug that works by increasing the alertness and excitability of the brain. So, this is one more reason to break your habit of caffeine addiction. To add more, caffeine is known to alter mood and cause irritability. This irritability and mood swings can result in stress and anxiety.
So, it’s better you give up the caffeine.
Caffeine Addiction: Do you have the annoying sensation and inability to perform daily activities without a cup of caffeine? If yes, then, my friend you may be addicted to caffeine. Before jumping into the reasons to cut off or limit the caffeine, let’s know more about caffeine.
I myself was once Caffeine Addict, I have been addicted to caffeine as long as I remember. I used to drink coffee not less than 10 cups a day. As a teenager I remember drinking Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, I would drink three to four cans of soda each day. When I found out about Dangerous Side Effects of Energy Drinks I switched to Diet Coke, later after my first career job i used to drink Starbuck as much as i could.
I started to feel lousy. I was short-tempered, nervous, depressed, and I craved sugar all of the time. My sleep was horrible. I couldn’t sleep very well, and never felt rested no matter how many hours of sleep I got. I kept looking up online. Is caffeine bad for you? I would ask Google for answers. Most of the articles confused me. Some said yes, some said no, and most said nothing really. It was a gray area it seemed. However, I felt deep down the coffee was killing me so I stopped.
Then I came across a book that one of my friends recommended. This book helped me out a lot breaking my caffeine addiction. Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America’s 1 Drug I am very grateful for this book. The information in this book motivated to do what I didn’t think I could do, is stop my significant caffeine habit.
Caffeine Blues is a book about the rarely discussed dangers of caffeine and the products we most often use to get it into our bodies – namely, Coffee and soda. The book details how caffeine causes people to enter into a permanent biochemical state of “fight-or-flight”, which has a huge range of negative consequences for the body and the mind.
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a chemical stimulant occurring naturally called Trimethylxanthine. The chemical formula of caffeine is C8H10N402. Caffeine is an alkaloid compound present in tea, coffee plants, and cacao plants. It is a natural stimulant for our brain, central nervous system, and heart muscle. It is also known as the most commonly used and legal psychoactive drug. Caffeine helps you to stay alert preventing the tiredness by stimulating the brain and the central nervous system. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug worldwide. You can consider caffeine as a drug because it causes the increased alertness to you by stimulating the central nervous system. It gives you a temporary boost in your energy level and elevates your mood.
Fact: Do you know? 64% of Americans drink a cup of coffee per day. More than half of all American adults consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day. This makes caffeine the most popular drug in America.
How much coffee do you drink per day?
So, where do you get caffeine from? Is tea or coffee the only sources of caffeine?
What Are The Foods That Contain Caffeine?
As the name says, ‘decaffeinated’ implies that the coffee is free from caffeine. But even it contains at least 2 and up to 12 milligrams of caffeine.
Your regular cup of coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine per 8oz cup.
Energy drinks are high in caffeine and sugar too. An 8oz cup of energy drinks contains about 91 milligrams of caffeine.
Black tea contains caffeine. An 8oz cup of black tea contains about 26 milligrams of caffeine.
Cocoa contains caffeine, so it is sure that chocolate contains caffeine too. The amount of caffeine in chocolates vary with the ingredients. Usually, a dark chocolate bar contains about 30 milligrams of caffeine, and other bars contains about 15 milligrams of caffeine.
If you love ice creams, do expect them to contain caffeine too. Most of the ice creams contain about 30 to 45 milligrams of caffeine.
Have you noticed the energy boost after you take some cereals in the morning? That’s because cereals contain up to 11 milligrams of caffeine.
Yeah, you heard that right. You may be surprised, but the pudding can supply you up to 10 milligrams of caffeine.
You may use these medications to ease your cramps and other menstrual troubles. Many of these medications contain caffeine in their products. Midol, a popular medicine contains 60 milligrams of caffeine. Caffeine is diuretic, meaning that it makes you urinate more, reducing bloating.
So, What Exactly Is Caffeine Addiction? Should I Worry About It?
Regular consumption of caffeine as little as 350mg per day can make one dependent on caffeine. Well, there is a difference between being dependent and being addicted. People who are addicted to caffeine do not only feel distressed if they don’t get caffeine. Along with feeling distressed, they face various unpleasant experiences.
Symptoms of Caffeine Addiction
You do know that coffee, tea and lots of your daily drinks contain caffeine. Since caffeine is considered as a drug, you might be wondering if you are into addiction to caffeine. How do you know if you are addicted to caffeine?
A headache is the most common symptoms of caffeine addiction. Caffeine slows the flow of blood by constricting the blood vessels in the brain. A study says that about three cups of coffee (250 mg of caffeine) can reduce your cerebral blood flow by about 27%. Caffeine narrows the blood vessels, now if you cut the intake or consumption of caffeine, your blood vessels open up. This increases the sudden blood flow to the brain which causes painful headaches which vary in length and extend to a headache as your brain adapts the increase in blood flow. As your brain adapts more to the increased blood flow, you might feel the intensity of the headache decrease with it.
Do you depend on cups of coffee for your energy boost? If you feel alertness and reduced fatigue with the help of coffee, this is because caffeine blocks the receptors for adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter which makes you feel drowsy. Therefore, you feel your performance enhanced after your coffee intakes. Eliminating the caffeine from your diet has the opposite effect in your body. You can feel tired and fatigue after removing or reducing the coffee intake.
If you consume caffeine daily, you can have more severe symptoms of fatigue and drowsiness compared to those who drink caffeine a few times a week. The energizing effect of caffeine lasts for only about six hours in your system, and that might lead you to have multiple caffeine intakes. You might need more than one cup of coffee to maintain your alertness, and reducing or cutting the caffeine intake might cause you the feeling of fatigue.
You feel increased alertness with the caffeine intake. Now, as you take caffeine regularly, your body stars to be more and more dependent on the caffeine to stay alert and boosted. If you are sensitive to caffeine, just a cup of coffee can cause you to feel anxious and nervous. Consuming caffeine can lead you to the feeling of anxiousness. Contrary, cutting the caffeine intake can cause the same effect as well. As your body becomes mentally as well as physiologically dependent on caffeine, you might have the feeling of anxiety about whether you have it or you cut it from your consumption. The anxiety can get even worse if you consume a majority of the caffeine intake in the form of soda or sweetened coffee daily. Suddenly removing sugar or caffeine from your diet after a long period of caffeine consumption can cause anxiety symptoms.
If you take caffeine regularly, one of the main reason can be to boost your concentration. Caffeinated drinks are usually taken before tests, matches, or when you need to improve your focus. Caffeine increases the level of adrenaline, which is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Adrenaline reacts with the stress, increase in adrenaline helps to deal with stress even more as it boosts your concentration. It also encourages the activity of excitatory neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. These increased levels raise the heart rate and blood pressure and also stimulates your brain. This causes an increase in alertness and improves your focus. Your body can get dependent on caffeine to focus properly. Cutting out caffeine intake can negatively impact on your concentration. You can have difficulty in focusing as you get used to focusing more on caffeine. Your body can face struggling to concentrate.
You must have noticed how caffeine elevates your mood after a cup of coffee. Since caffeine blocks adenosine, it not only increases your alertness but it can also improve your mood. Regular consumption of caffeine also links to reduce depression risk, a study says. These feelings of well-being with increased positive energy goes away when you end or decrease the caffeine intake. You may feel depressed and low if you quit caffeine. If you are a regular caffeine consumer, cutting it out of your intake can lead you to a depressed mood.
Do you feel a bit cranky before your morning cup of coffee? That’s normal if you are a regular coffee drinker and are used to mood-enhancing effects of caffeine. The effect of caffeine lasts for up to six hours, and you can feel a bit irritability after the next intake. It might be tough to cut the amount of coffee intake for some regular coffee drinkers as it makes them feel irritated or moody.
A Decrease in Energy
If you are into coffee addiction, you inevitably feel the rise in your energy levels after caffeine intake. If you have some demanding jobs, get inadequate sleep, caffeine helps you elevate your mood, and you might drink coffee often to revive yourself. Caffeine compensates the lack of sleep or work for long hours, leads you to feel the increase in physical and mental energy. This can lead you to be dependent on caffeine, and cutting out of your intake can lead you to feel low energy. Withdrawing caffeine can cause low energy.
If you do feel any of these symptoms if you do not get the regular amount of coffee, you now show signs of caffeine addiction. You are addicted to caffeine, and your body is dependent on the caffeine intakes.
If you experience points as mentioned above when you do not get your daily dose of caffeine, then it’s high time for you to rethink before taking a cup of coffee or tea.
Ok, now finally let’s talk about reasons to cut off caffeine from your life.
Sooo…Why Kick Caffeine Out Of Your Life?
15 Benefits of Breaking Caffeine Addiction
To Get A Good Sleep
Too much consumption of caffeine causes insomnia. Many workaholic people prefer a strong cup of coffee because it helps them stay active and energetic. Sleep deprivation in the long run damages overall health. A good nights sleep not only brings glow in your skin but also calms and soothes your nerve.
To Lower Blood Pressure
Caffeine in high amount causes a sudden rise in blood pressure though caffeine doesn’t have a long-term effect on blood pressure. The exact reason for caffeine to result in spiking the level of blood pressure is unknown. Some believe that caffeine blocks a hormone which keeps your arteries widened. Some also believe that caffeine makes your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline. Both of the reasons with one result: increased blood pressure. If you are addicted to caffeine, the level of increase in blood pressure is even more. Now when you cut off the caffeine addiction, you can feel your blood pressure go low. Make sure that you do not cut off the caffeine at once, and decrease the intake gradually so that you can avoid headaches.
Addiction to caffeine leads you to have an anxious feeling. Since your body is dependent on caffeine, cutting off leads to the sense of anxiety too. So, if you are planning on cutting off caffeine, reduce the intake gradually. The feeling of fear is even more if you are sensitive to caffeine. So, reducing consumption and going off caffeine addiction slowly minimizes the sense of anxiety. However, you might feel the feeling of anxiety as you eliminate the caffeine from your regular intake.
A headache is a major effect of addiction. As you are used to caffeine and reduce the intake suddenly, you experience headaches. Now if you can get out of the habit slowly, you start experiencing less of these headaches, and your body gets less dependent on caffeine. However, the initial days can be hard as you are so used to caffeine. As time goes on, you experience fewer headaches compared to the times when you were an addiction.
Coffee has a pH level of about 5.0, and it is acidic. Coffee contains the compound that can irritate your digestive tract linings. This irritation can even lead to discomfort indigestion, heartburn, and indigestion. Having too much coffee can also prevent your body from absorbing vital nutrients properly. When you give up or reduce your coffee intake, your digestive system performs better. The digestive system can process the foods efficiently which results in more energy. Thus getting off coffee addiction can lead to coffee digestion.
You Save up Financially
Quitting up or reducing the amount of caffeine intake can help you save lots of money. For example, a Grande Starbucks latte costs $3.85 per latte. If you cut off one latte per day, you can save $1,405 in a year. How is this for a deal? If you have a caffeine addiction, you surely do consume more than one or two drinks per day. Multiply that by the number you have per day; the numbers are huge. Just cutting off one or two intakes can help you save a lot of amounts.
You get Better Sleep
The effect of caffeine lasts up to 4-6 hours and disrupt your quality of sleep. Caffeine intake shortens the deep-sleep phases of your sleep and results in poor sleep quality and duration. If you need to stay overnight, you must have surely taken some coffee. The most recognizable effects of caffeine are increased in your alertness and wakefulness. Caffeine makes you more alert and less sleepy, blocking adenosine, which is a neurochemical which helps you to sleep. One intake can last for hours, affecting your sleep. If you cut off caffeine, or reduce the intake, you can get better sleep.
You Feel Better
I said you how caffeine alters your mood as it starts to wear off. The addiction makes your body dependent on caffeine to work correctly and boost your mood. But as the effect slowly fades away, you start to feel grumpy and need another cup of coffee or caffeine intake. You need coffee to be productive, and being dependent on something even to work correctly is not a good sign. Cutting off caffeine slowly makes your body do the work, making you naturally active. You get less dependent on caffeine, and this is a good sign that your body can work independently. Reducing the caffeine intake helps you feel better.
This might seem crazy when you read at the first time, right? Yeah, because caffeine elevates your mood, boosting your energy, how can reducing caffeine give you more energy? The energy boost you receive with caffeine is temporary, and once the effect starts to fade you need more caffeine intakes. As times goes by, you will need even more amount of caffeine to maintain the level of energy in you. Your body needs it, and not giving the required amount results in headaches and fatigue. This makes your body difficult to rely on itself. Without caffeine, you might not be able to function with proper energy when you are in addiction. So, if you get out of the habit your body can work on its own. And you slowly feel consistent, natural energy in you every day.
Usually, people drink coffee with sugar, milk, and flavorings. Those lattes, sweet chocolates, every single product have some amount of sugar and lots of calories in them. Also, it is said that drinking large amounts of caffeine slows down the metabolism process leading to an abnormal gain of fat in the cells. This makes you gain lots of weight over time. Even though you might drink some product with fewer fats and sugars, in large number, they contribute in your fat gains. So, cutting out even one drink a day helps you gain minor weight. Getting out of coffee addiction helps you lose your weight.
Did you know that those energy drinks, tea, and coffee you take erode the tooth enamel? They stain and weaken your tooth enamel. You could reduce this problem by brushing your teeth after you drink them. But if you are into caffeine addiction, how many times a day would you brush your teeth? Getting off caffeine addiction results to healthier teeth as your tooth enamel is strong as ever.
Those sodas, energy drinks, coffees contains some preservatives in them, so that they can have a longer shelf life. Some of the drinks contain preservatives chemicals so harmful that it is even banned in some countries. The preservatives have adverse health effects. Also, if you drink sugar-free drinks or sodas, they contain artificial sweetness which affects your health. If you cut out these drinks from your diet, you already have taken off the risks to your health, leading to a healthy diet.
Make a picture in your head, let me assure you take 4 cups of coffee or latte per day. Now, where do those 4 cups go? For the various reasons, most of the companies sell coffee in plastic cups, cans which have adverse effects in the environment. Single-handedly, only in America alone, about 33 million tons of plastic is discarded each year. How many plastic cups do a caffeine addict throw per day? How many addicts are there? You do the math. If every caffeine addict would reduce their intake just by one cups per day, it results in so much less plastic cups wastes.
Less Risk of Heart Disorders
You know that the coffee is a stimulant and it stimulates the heart muscle which causes your heart muscle to beat with more forceful contractions. This isn’t much of a problem you need to worry about. However, if you have some heart conditions, you are at risk of cardiac events. The damage can come anytime, and even if you have a healthy heart, the stimulating of heart does affect yours too. So cut out the caffeine and lower the risks.
Increase in Productivity
If you are a caffeine addict, how much time do you spend at coffee shops or stands? Caffeine addicts spend a lot of time making trips to stores. Even if you take 4 cups of drink per day, you might pay about an hour making the trips and standing there alone. This time can be used to do something productive, or even get a sound sleep.
Imagine you don’t have to take those extra trips to your store or coffee shops. You can wake up, and start to do things without your coffee. Imagine you can go anywhere and not worry about those coffee cups or intakes. Caffeine addiction makes you depend on it even to work normally. Cutting out this in your routine makes you convenient to do daily talks.
Tips to Overcome Caffeine Addiction
Are you worried about caffeine addiction? Let me tell you some steps to follow to get out of the addiction.
Get out of the caffeine addiction:
- Replace a high caffeine drink with another drink with less amount of caffeine. If you take 4 cups of coffee per day, replace one of the cups with black tea or green tea. Black tea does have caffeine, but very less as compared to the coffee.
- Dilute your drink with water. Leaving the drink at once is a hard task, and you might even be in love with it. Add some water to the drink and dilute it. The taste and amount of caffeine may seem and tasteless effective and tasty to you, but you will get with it. This way you can decrease the amount of caffeine intake per drink.
- Take some walk or do exercise every day. Walking out or doing some training every day will help your body to boost naturally. With a positive vibe, you will need less caffeine as your energy is raised naturally too.
- Switch to low caffeine alternatives. Something is undoubtedly better than nothing. A less caffeinated drink is better than a strong one. Switch from those sodas and energy drinks that contain a high amount of caffeine in them to the ones with less caffeine in them.
Getting out of caffeine addiction is similar to getting off the addiction to cigarettes, alcohols or even drugs. You can’t get it off all at once; you must do it gradually. The first days when you reduce the intakes or get off the addiction is going to be a disaster, as your body is so much dependent on caffeine. Be dedicated and determined that you are going to get out of addiction one way or the other.
Caffeine addiction may not sound serious, but the addiction of any sort is not good for our overall health. It is always good to rely on the body’s natural source of energy. In the beginning, you may experience many caffeine withdrawal symptoms like a headache, anger, exhaustion and Muscle pain. However, once out of addiction, you’re the whole outlook towards yourself change. So, All the best!