23 Home Remedies for a Caffeine Addiction
Caffeine is a drug that naturally occurs in numerous plants. Because it is found in plants, it has been considered both a food and a drug. You can find caffeine in a number of different edible things, namely energy drinks (that is a given), soda, chocolate, tea, and coffee. Now you can even get caffeine in pill form and gum. With how accessible caffeine is, it has become easy for people to become prone to a caffeine addiction.
Why Should You Drop Caffeine?
It may seem that consuming caffeine is only pros, but that is not the case. Caffeine is flooded into your bloodstream and stimulates your spinal cord, brain, and your entire nervous system. This is what gives you the high, are your nerves being messed with. While your nerves on end, you are not nearly as tired and you can focus better.
The cons are that people can feel indigestion and heartburn after you drink caffeine because it releases an acid into your system. The caffeine can take effect in as short a time as 15 minutes, but take at least seven hours for the hype to end and at least 10 for the caffeine to be out of the bloodstream completely.
If you get your caffeine through coffee, the coffee itself (in addition to the caffeine) can do some damage. It can lead to stomach ulcers, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), insomnia, muscle tension, heartburn, and indigestion.
Symptoms of Caffeine Addiction
There a couple of things you want to look out for in case think you do have a caffeine addiction. These symptoms can also be added to the list of cons of caffeine. Dehydration, abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), headache, shaky hands, restless/sleep nights (can include waking up repeatedly during the night), and high blood pressure.
Home Remedies for a Caffeine Addiction
People always have reason to quit an addiction. So whether you are trying to quit for a loved one, for your own health, or because your doctor told you to, here are a few ways to completely quit or make it easier at the very least.
This is a good way to break the addiction with the migraines from withdrawal. So, say you normally have two cups of coffee a day, try cutting it down by a fourth or third every two or three days. You do it like this with any amount you usually have.
So, this method is more painful the weaning method. This one lets you feel the full force of the withdrawal symptoms. It is a faster detox than the weaning, but the headaches can be almost crippling if the addiction is bad enough. It can also make quitting more difficult because you want relief from the withdrawal.
You want to try going for this method if you have a long weekend or a work/school vacation so you can just laze around the house if your headaches or other symptoms.
Green tea is fantastic for cleaning your body of toxins. So, if you are you taking the weaning approach, replace the loss of coffee black tea with the same amount of green tea. If you take the cold turkey approach, try drinking green tea regularly so that you can get through the detox that much faster.
If you are trying to quit caffeine, try drinking wheatgrass instead. As strange as it sounds, wheatgrass has been found to give you energy like caffeine does, but without the sudden crash, you can get. The wheatgrass gives you an energy boost because it has iron, chlorophyll, vitamins A and C and E, and magnesium. Wheatgrass is also used by a number of holistic doctors to help a person go through detox whether from caffeine or dropping alcohol.
Whether or not this really works on a scientific basis or is purely placebo is unknown, but whichever it is, it helps. The yerba mate is extremely low in caffeine and can increase your efficiency and creativity while giving you energy without the sharp crash that the end of a caffeine hype can.
Change the Drink
One of the reasons that people become so addicted to caffeine is the atmosphere and sounds that a cafe provides for work and studying. This is not something you have to give up if you stop drinking caffeine. You can still enjoy a warm drink at a cafe. Get a hot cocoa or a kind of tea. Try a steamer or maybe some hot cider.
Carbs can sometimes be helpful, but for this, you want to be a little careful. When getting breakfast before work or school, get a breakfast that is low in carbs, but high in fiber and protein. The carbs in the food can tire you out because it takes energy to break the carbs into sugars. If you eat protein and fiber, you will be full for longer and it will not take nearly as long for the energy to get into your system.
If your favorite coffee drink is a latte, there are ways that you can get the enjoyable feeling of warmed milked flowing down your throat without the caffeine. Instead of a latte, you can get lattes made with different kinds of tea. If tea lattes are not your thing, that is not an issue either. You can try some hot chocolate (careful of the high sugar content), or hot vanilla almond milk.
Taking 20-minute power naps around half past two in the afternoon (or whenever in the afternoon you find yourself able) is the best thing you can do to replenish your energy with a coffee drink or other pick-me-up.
If you have a desk job, you are most likely sitting around for most of the day. If that is the case, then you should get up and take a walk every now again. Being in one place too long, in one position, can make you tired. So after every hour or hour and a half, take a walk around the office, go to the drinking fountain, go to the bathroom, whatever. Just get moving to wake yourself up again.
If you are weaning off of the caffeine, set little milestones for yourself. Little things like skipping a coffee after work, or the mid-morning shot of espresso. And then reward yourself with a snack or little treat after each one. If you hit every milestone of that week, then go bowling or watch a movie with a friend or significant other.
When cutting back, you do not want to get a little surprise. So when you are buying a canned or bottled drink, read in the ingredients label to make sure that there is nothing in it that can give your system a little shock.
If you like the flavor of coffee and do not want to miss that, then enjoy some decaf coffee. Or even better yet, there are herbal teas that you can get that taste like coffee but are caffeine free because they are herbal. Not only that but also, if you are weaning off, then start decreasing the number of regular coffee grounds and replace that amount with decaf.
There are teas that can give you energy without the caffeine because they have antioxidants and other compounds in them. Some these teas like these include holy basil leaf, lion’s mane mushroom, ginseng, Rhodiola, ashwagandha, and wild outs seeds.
Breaking a caffeine addiction be hard and can take different people different amounts of time. So it might be a while before you see or feel a difference with the weaning, but you should stay patient. Remind yourself of all the good that it is going to do you to quit.
Keep hydrated. Water can help to flush the caffeine out of your system faster, can soothe headaches, and make you more alert.
The taste and scent of peppermint are calming for headaches and upset stomachs. If you are having trouble with either one, try chewing some gum, sucking on a mint, drinking some mint tea, or you get essential oils rubs that you roll onto your wrists and neck that can help as well.
Putting half a lemon in a water bottle and drinking it throughout the day or putting half a lemon in a cup of water for a night and then downing it first thing in the morning has been shown to help energize people without the caffeine.
Taking an over the counter painkiller by following the instructions on the bottle can do amazing things for the headaches you are likely to suffer from.
While it does not seem that caffeine is a dangerous or mood altering drug, getting support from family and or friends can be quite motivational. Not only that, some people, when quitting caffeine, get easily snappy and irritable so it might not be a bad idea to tell them before you start trying to quit so they do not think that you are mad at them for something.
In no way will you feel like doing this, but it will help you. It can help to get out some of the muscle tension that the excess coffee causes and it can help you to be tired at bedtime so you can get some actual sleep and maybe not suffer from insomnia as badly.
Meditate Before Bed
This another thing that can help to get tired after a long day without caffeine. Just in a quiet spot for a while, do some yoga, follow along with a guided meditation for a while, whatever you find works for you.
Before deciding which way is going to work best for you, find a couple blogs about people talking about their experiences with quitting caffeine. Compare and contrast which you think would work best for and go at it.
If you find that the one you thought was going to work did not, do not be discouraged. Try the other method instead. You can do this.