How to Quit Caffeine: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve found yourself dependent on caffeine to make it through the day, you have an unhealthy addiction. You’ve obviously reached a point where you’re ready to eliminate your caffeine dependency, but it’s easier said than done. It’s a long-term commitment that requires 100 percent effort. It may be easy to identify the source of caffeine that’s tempting you daily, but some things may have caffeine without you even realizing it.

Caffeine is an ingredient in many products; weight loss supplements, energy pills and drinks, or soda. Even some chocolate has caffeine. Cocoa beans and kola nuts are a source of caffeine prominent in some food and drinks too. The most common and craved form of caffeine still remains beloved coffee. Before all coffee lovers fall out of your seats, don’t worry. You can eliminate caffeine for good and still enjoy delicious coffee drinks.

There are several reasons and benefits to kick your caffeine addiction, health and in between. It could interfere with your sleep because it blocks sleep neurotransmitters. Not everyone has sleep problems from using caffeine. It depends on your sensitivity to it. Your body processes caffeine through the liver and disposes it pretty quickly. Still, it takes several hours to completely exit your body. Overall, it depends on how much caffeine you ingest and at what time of day.

Those who have sensitivities to caffeine may have some problems. In addition to experiencing insomnia, a few other things might keep you up at night. You may get jittery or feel nervous. You could also be up for stomach problems and digestive issues due to caffeine. Caffeine may also cause or accelerate health conditions.

Some known health conditions worsened by excessive caffeine are heart disease and osteoporosis. If you’re already sensitive to caffeine, it could cause temporarily elevated blood pressure and heart rate. If your cholesterol is high or you’re at risk for heart problems, certain levels of caffeine could cause further complications. There’s even a slight risk of fertility problems from caffeine. WebMD states the March of Dimes recommends less than 200 milligrams of caffeine daily to avoid risk associated with miscarriage.

Eliminating Caffeine Can Save you Money

If potential health risks don’t alarm you, maybe an incentive will motivate you to eliminate caffeine addiction. Imagine how much extra money you could have from quitting caffeine. Aside from energy drinks or sodas, let’s think about coffee for a moment. If you’re on the go like most are, you’re spending $3-4 per caffeinated drink. Calculate that for the month and you’re spending $100 per month, more or less, on coffee alone. There are plenty of better things to spend $1200 a year on than caffeine. Read on to learn how to still enjoy coffee and eliminate your caffeine addiction.

Where Do You Start to Get Rid of Your Caffeine Addiction?

It doesn’t take a long journey to put a stop to caffeine in your diet. All it takes is determination and commitment. Once you’ve decided you want to quit, you’re already on your way. Next, you just need to follow the only guide you’ll ever need to rid yourself caffeine addiction. Follow the guidelines below.

The Ultimate Step by Step Guide to Eliminate Caffeine Addiction

Step 1: Evaluate Your Body and Life Habits

To attack the problem, you need to know where it’s coming from. There’s a reason you keep going back to the caffeine you’ve been dependent on. It could be that you lack energy. Many people rely on energy drinks to get them through the day. Some use it for an extra boost during an activity like their workouts.

You could be tired and use coffee to stay awake and alert. Students and workaholics normally use this method. You may be using supplements with caffeine to burn fat, increase metabolism, curb your appetite or lose weight. Many detoxes or diet pills add caffeine for that purpose. It could just be that it’s enjoyable having a hot beverage and good company. Finding your reason is the first step to eliminate your caffeine addiction.

Step 2: Identify Caffeine Sources to Start Eliminating them from Your Diet

Some of the obvious caffeine substances are listed above, but other products sneak in the culprit without you even realizing it. Some decaffeinated coffee, herbal teas, detox supplements, and pain medications have caffeine as a core ingredient. Ironically, the headaches pain medication work to eliminate are also a symptom when trying to lay off a caffeine addiction. Read your labels and nutritional information carefully to know exactly what products have caffeine.

Step 3: Take It Slow

There is no “cold turkey” when it comes to eliminating a caffeine addiction. Other sources may present the option, but it’s not a good idea. Drill down the caffeine in your diet slowly. Start by slightly reducing your daily intake. If you normally drink four cups of coffee a day, reduce it to three. A nice sized cup each morning gives you room to exchange the cup for one with less ounces. If your habit is energy drinks or soda, try to cut your normal amount and frequency in half (half the can every other day).

Use the reduction method to take it slow until you’ve weaned yourself off. Just like a substance addiction, you may have consequences for trying to drop the addiction all at once. Remember those headaches discussed earlier? That’s not what you want. You also want to avoid other symptoms like mood swings, fatigue, anxiety, or lack of focus. Also, do not try to kick more than one habit at the same time. Trying to do too much too soon much cause you to get irritated or discouraged.

Step 4: Continue Transitioning Away From Caffeine with a Aggression

This steps is mainly for those who want to eliminate their caffeine addiction, but still enjoy coffee or hot beverages. After a few days of slightly cutting back on caffeine, get a little more aggressive. Switch to part decaf. As mentioned, most decaffeinated coffee still has minimal traces of caffeine. To be exact, decaf requires removal of at least 97% of caffeine, but it’s often through a chemical process. Organic decaf uses the Swiss Water Method, which is a rinsing and washing process without chemicals.

If you truly want to kick your caffeine addiction and coffee is your main source, you need to start dwindling down and replacing it with organic decaf. Start by making your cup of coffee with half regular and half organic decaf. Once you’re acclimated to that mixtures, reduce the caffeine down further by doing a ratio of 3/4 cup organic decaf and 1/4 cup regular coffee. Keep going until you’re drinking a full cup of decaffeinated coffee.

Step 5: Get Your Diet in Check

This is a later step because you shouldn’t introduce too much at the same time. If you haven’t practiced a healthy diet, you need to get acclimated to reducing caffeine before making more lifestyle changes.  One of the reasons your body craves caffeine could be because of low energy. Eating the right way can keep your energy levels high. Make sure you’re eating nutrient rich foods on the proper schedule.

Eat your carbs early in the morning. Don’t rely on them during the middle of the day when you need to be productive. They’ll treat you the same way caffeine does, and you might crash. Have healthy snacks in between meals. Protein is also a vital element for regulating energy. Pack or purchase a high protein lunch with a main protein source and a side of fresh vegetables when possible. Eat healthy fats and reduce sugar intake from unnatural sources.

Step 6: Use Water on the Inside and Out

Start each morning with a cold splash of water in your face or by even dipping your head in a sink of ice water. It’s good for your skin and it wakes you up. Speaking of water, you also need to drink it as soon as you wake up. Starting with 16 ounces of water in the morning and ending with water at night helps release toxins from your body. The natural detox will boost your metabolism and your mood. It’ll do you a lot of good to start removing impurities on your caffeine elimination journey.

Step 7: Begin Incorporating the Proper Sleep Schedule

Using caffeine to keep your body awake when you’re tired only does more damage. You need proper rest to keep your body in good condition. Since you’re making changes to eliminate your caffeine addiction, now is the time to get a solid sleep and rest schedule. It’s a matter of scheduling your responsibilities and coming to a stopping point each day. If you’ve had a crazy schedule that has thrown your sleep pattern off balance, try temporarily using melatonin. It’s a natural supplement to help you sleep and put your body on a sleep schedule.

Napping is also good for your body. It doesn’t have to be a long nap. Power naps work too by boosting your energy. They give you the recharge you need better than a cup of coffee or energy drink would. Plus, naps are a natural body respondent just like sleep. When you need energy, find a way to fit a nap in your schedule. Take your 15 minute break at work or take a nap after work before starting chores.

Step 8: Replace a Bad Habit with a Good One

Like anything you consider a bad habit, the key step to breaking it is to replace it with a good one. Find a more positive way to boost your energy. Use another method of staying alert. Get an alternative morning pick-me-up. You can start with a good fitness regimen. Not a strenuous routine that you’ll dread even thinking about. Incorporate fun activities that you love and look forward to doing. With these, you won’t even realize it’s exercise.

Step 9: Give Yourself a Small Budget to Enjoy a Treat Without Caffeine

You have a world of options to purchase or make a delicious drink that’s completely caffeine free. You can even incorporate some healthy, natural ingredients to give you the energy boost you need. Some drinks will also accomplish detoxing. Natural fruit juices and smoothies are a few options. If you insist on drinking a hot beverage, try warm milk or caffeine free tea. They come in many flavors and with many benefits.

Your treat doesn’t have to be a drink. Another food item, or even a product or service can help you shift your focus from caffeine. This is also a reward for getting through the steps to eliminate your caffeine addiction. Perhaps a massage would be a way to relax and give you health benefits like ridding toxins.

Step 10: Continue on a Consistent Journey

If you’ve made it to Step 10, congratulations!

You’ve done the hard work and fought through the urges to eliminate your caffeine addiction. You are now caffeine free. The journey doesn’t end here, though. It’s the beginning of your life free from dependence.

From here, remember your reason for putting an end to your caffeine habit and use the steps you took to accomplish your goal. Use that as fuel to continue being caffeine free.

Eliminating caffeine addiction starts in your mind. Once you believe you can function without caffeine, you’ll start taking the steps to actually do it.

Start by thinking about what makes you rely on it and what forms of caffeine you use. Once you identify the problems, you can use the next steps to gradually eliminate caffeine from your life.

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