Several researches have been done on the effects of caffeine, both the good and the bad. One of the most popular sources of caffeine comes from coffee. It is recommended that we drink one or two cups a day to enjoy its benefits without going overboard. However, in some cases, kicking the habit may be the best option for excessive drinkers. This, however, brings some unpleasant side effects.
Here are a few tips on how to deal with some of the effects of caffeine withdrawal:
1. Take baby steps. Quitting a habit doesn’t happen overnight. Depending on how much coffee you used to consume, the temptation to take one last sip of a steaming shot of espresso may be a little too much to handle especially for those who think quitting cold turkey is the best way to get immediate results. Depending on how many cups you take in a day, slowly reduce the number of cups and keep going until you no longer need it.
2. Use natural pain relievers or pharmaceuticals for headaches. The more caffeine you consume, the more painful the withdrawal symptoms are and that’s because the body has adapted to the effects of the habit. Molecules found in coffee alter adenosine, an important compound in our body which helps us sleep. During this process, dopamine, the “feel good” hormone, increases. Once we stop taking coffee, the body adjusts itself to restore its hormonal balance, but in turn, gives us headaches during this shift.
Thankfully, the withdrawal headaches are temporary; but depending on the level of coffee dependance, some people may experience more pain than others. To manage these headaches, use natural pain relievers like rubbing peppermint or lavender essential oil to the affected area or take some oral pain relievers.
3. Get some rest. Because coffee has certain effects on our dopamine levels, withdrawing from this habit may result in irritability and moodiness. This is normal as the body is slowly reverting back to its usual hormonal levels, however; during this time, it’s best to get some rest to help give the body time to heal.
4. Exercise. One natural way to get your dopamine level up and running is to exercise. Not only does it help release these hormones but it also brings several benefits like an enhanced immune system, better quality of sleep, and better mind and body performance.
Like most habits that we develop over time, learning to undo a habit requires discipline and a strong will. Even those with herculean strength of determination often struggle when it comes to detoxing from caffeine. While it may be hard at first, the benefits you’ll reap afterwards makes it all worth it.