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For obvious reasons we are used to associating caffeine with coffee; however, it is a substance found in other beverages and foods (such as some teas, soft drinks, energy drinks, and foods such as chocolate). The truth is that there are a long list of reasons why a person might decide to reduce their caffeine intake or even stop it completely and these have nothing to do with resolutions. Taking advantage of the fact that the beginning of the year is always the season to try to make changes in our lives regardless of the reason, if you decide to stop drinking coffee or stop drinking a caffeinated soda in the afternoon, you may experience some unpleasant side effects. Regardless of the form, an estimated 90% of the U.S. population consumes caffeine on a regular basis, a stimulant and ingredient that has been enjoyed for thousands of years. Beyond lower energy levels: Caffeine withdrawal can cause a wide range of symptoms. Here are some tips on how to manage caffeine withdrawal more bearable.
What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?
There are many things to say about caffeine, The first thing is that it tends to behave in the body like a drug. It is initially a substance found in certain plants, although it can also be produced artificially and added to food products. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system and a diuretic (a substance that helps the body eliminate fluids). The main problem around caffeine consumption is that it is a substance to which we can very easily become dependent.
According to the regular intake of caffeine that drives aA person in their daily life, stopping abruptly or even simply cutting back can cause a variety of physical and neurological symptoms. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that when talking about caffeine consumption it is not only about coffee; You should also take into account sodas, medications, teas and other foods with caffeine. And generally speaking, the more caffeine a person is used to consuming, the worse their withdrawal symptoms will be.
According to information released by the Cleveland Clinic, Among the main symptoms of caffeine withdrawal are: headaches, tiredness, trouble concentrating, nausea, muscle pain, irritability, and constipation. Depending on a person’s usual caffeine intake (including the time (s) of the day they usually consume it), Withdrawal symptoms generally begin 12 to 24 hours after you last had caffeine and tend to last two to nine days.
How to Manage Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms:
Not surprisingly, the quickest (and most obvious) way to get rid of caffeine withdrawal symptoms is to give your body what it wants: caffeine. Of course, this measure sounds quite reasonable if the abstinence was circumstantial, such as almost changes in work hours, travel, or an illness such as seasonal flu. But nevertheless, For those with the goal of reducing or eliminating their dependence on caffeine, it may seem like a completely counterintuitive measure.
Instead of thinking of caffeine in terms of being a “bad habit,” think of it more as the kinds of meds you can’t just stop taking and which you have to gradually decrease its consumption to reduce negative side effects. Therefore, it is advisable to reduce your caffeine consumption gradually and taking into account the following basic tips that will make the journey easier.
– Keep a daily caffeine log. The first and foremost thing is to determine how intense, moderate or mild is your caffeine consumption on a day-to-day basis. Keeping track of all the caffeinated foods and drinks you consume throughout the day is a critical initial step.
– Know all the sources of caffeine in your diet. Do not forget that caffeine is present in coffee, tea, soft drinks, energizers and liqueurs, as well as in chocolate and cocoa. It’s also present in fortified snacks, some energy bars, and even some pain relievers, such as Excerin and Midol.
– If you drink coffee, gradually reduce the number of cups you drink per day. If you drink four cups of coffee per day, you can cut down to one cup per day and then limit yourself to one cup per week, or substitute decaf coffee at first.
– Try coffee alternatives, such as black or green tea. Tea is a good ally to gradually reduce coffee consumption, provides energy and has less caffeine than coffee. An 8-ounce cup of black tea contains about 47 milligrams of caffeine, and a cup of green tea has about 25 milligrams per cup, compared to 75 to 165 milligrams in an 8-ounce cup of coffee.
– Anticipate caffeine cravings. Avoid situations that trigger caffeine cravings, especially during the first few weeks that your drinking habits change. Also, do not forget to have an action plan for when cravings occur, bet on drinking natural infusions, juices, consume plenty of water and perform breathing exercises.
Caffeine is commonly consumed as a psychoactive drug, therefore when consuming it it is normal to experience positive effects on mood and alertness. It is undeniable to say that people like these beneficial effects. However, when caffeine is consumed in excess it is associated with deterioration in health. According to a systematic review involving nearly 400 studies, looked at adverse health effects associated with caffeine consumption and among the main ones were: general toxicity, cardiovascular effects, damage to bones and calcium, effects on behavior, development and reproduction.
Researchers concluded that healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, the equivalent of four 8-ounce cups of coffee. In general, an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee can contain 75 to 165 milligrams of caffeine. Also, it’s important to note that despite caffeine recommendations that are based on specific milligram amounts, effects may vary from person to person. And each individual is able to tolerate different amounts of caffeine.
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