Are you the type of person who can’t get through the day without a dose of caffeine? Many of us crave the instant boost and energy it gives us throughout the day, and think we cannot function without it. According to the FDA, 80 percent of U.S. adults consume caffeine each day, with an individual intake of 200 mg. This means that the average American is drinking at least two cups of coffee, or four cans of soda per day. While caffeine can increase productivity and help with concentration, it can have some downsides that should be considered if you are consuming more than four cups per day.
- Insomnia – Caffeine stays in the system for at least 8 hours so your afternoon soda or cup of brew can lead to trouble falling asleep, and staying asleep. Using caffeine to help with sleep deprivation can also lead to vicious cycle of not getting the recommend 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Headaches – Many people are dependent on caffeine, so it is common to experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches if they skip their daily dose of caffeine.
- Stress – Even a small amount of caffeine can trigger a stress response, which raises adrenaline levels and cause shakiness. Americans are addicted to adrenaline rushes, hence the reason so many of us crave the daily rush.
- Dehydration – Coffee is a diuretic, which means that it increases urine output. It causes you to lose more water than normal when consumed. Many people do not drink enough water when consuming their coffee, which can lead to dehydration, headaches, and tiredness.
- Not Healthy – Many people drink soda to get their caffeine fix which is loaded with sugar. It is also rare that people drink their coffee black and end up adding heavy cream and sugar, which can add hundreds of extra calories to their diet.
How to wean yourself off caffeine
- Decrease the amount by one cup per week. Going completely cold turkey can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as headaches so slowly decrease the amount of caffeine you consume each week. Track how many cups you are drinking each day to stay mindful of your intake.
- Switch to Decaf. Decaffeinated coffee does still contains anywhere from 8 to 13 milligrams of caffeine, allowing you to enjoy your morning brew without the withdrawal symptoms. This is about tenth as much caffeine as in a regular cup of Joe, and will gradually help you to rid yourself of caffeine cravings.
- Try Green Juice: Start your day with a vegetable juice for a healthy and natural way to get energy from fruits and vegetables. As a bonus, you can easily get your recommended 8 servings of fruits and vegetables before breakfast!