A regular user of caffeine may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop or cut down their caffeine intake.
Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include:
- headache – 'caffeine withdrawal headache' is a well known symptom
For a smoother caffeine withdrawal:
Keep a record of your daily caffeine intake and gradually cut back, reducing consumption.
Consume decaffeinated drinks instead – however, those sensitive to caffeine may still retain an addiction to decaffeinated drinks; they still contain caffeine, albeit in lesser amounts.
Substitute caffeine free products for caffeine based products – for example, try herbal teas as an alternative coffee or caffeine based teas. For those with a sweet tooth, choose sweet foods which do not contain caffeine as an alternative to chocolate.
Avoid pain relievers and other products which contain caffeine.
Caffeine Cold Turkey
Despite advice such as this, many people addicted to caffeine choose to go 'cold turkey'. To break their addiction to caffeine they stop their intake abruptly.
They then go on to experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms for a few days.
As a compromise to cold turkey, some people may take a low dose caffeine based painkiller to help overcome the associated headaches if and when they arise.
How long does caffeine withdrawal last?
Caffeine withdrawal usually occurs 12-24 hours after the last intake of caffeine.
2-4 cups of regular coffee a day are not considered harmful; where typical dosage is about 200mg to 300mg of caffeine per day.
However, those more sensitive to the effects of caffeine should consume less than this to avoid unwanted negative effects of caffeine.