Decided to Ditch Caffeine? 5 Common Withdrawal Symptoms You May Experience
Dr. Simran Saini | Updated: July 14, 2017 13:51 IST
Excessive consumption of caffeine has been a hot topic of debate for long now. Coffee, tea and energy drinks are some of the most addictive drinks that contain caffeine. For most of us, it is a part of our daily routine even though we often find ourselves struggling to break the habit, sometimes more and rarely less.
“Caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system, and regular use of caffeine does cause mild physical dependence,” states WebMD. After reviewing decades of studies, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore recognized caffeine withdrawal syndrome as a disorder after reviewing decades of studies. They concluded that the higher the caffeine intake, the more severe will the withdrawal effects be.
(Caffeine compared: from coke and coffee to aspirin and chocolate)
Delhi-based Dr. Simran Saini throws the spotlight on the most common withdrawal symptoms you’re likely to experience, especially if you consume caffeine more than twice a day.
1. You may feel a bit sluggish. During the initial days you may be a bit lethargic, drowsy or weak. You might feel tired even you’ve slept and eaten well. This is because your body misses the adrenaline rush which is stimulated by consumption of caffeine.
(Coffee O'Clock: What is the Best Time to Drink Coffee?)2. Headaches are one of the most common symptoms. A caffeine headache usually starts behind the eyes and then moves up the front of the head. Scientifically, caffeine constricts blood vessels in the brain and decreases circulation. When you miss your morning cup, the sudden increased circulation may cause headaches.
3. You may experience mild mood swings, irritability, and lack of concentration and in severe cases depression or anxiety. For some, a caffeine dose may actually help in boosting productivity and performance and the lack of it may make you anxious.
4. Caffeine tends to stimulate bowel and hence you may feel constipated.
5. Some people may also experience flu-like symptoms with muscle aches, stuffy nose, stiffness or sinus.
(Are You a Coffee Addict? Check for Caffeine Use Disorder)
These symptoms are usually felt between 12 to 24 hours of stopping caffeine intake and may last for about a week. Therefore, it’s best to gradually reduce consumption instead of completely cutting off. Just because caffeine withdrawal can produce these symptoms that doesn't mean it's dangerous but avoid making an abrupt decision. Your body will take some time to get used to the lack of caffeine and return to the natural rhythm. Catch up on some extra sleep to fight fatigue or grogginess. You can even go for a daily morning run or pick up any other physical activity to boost your energy without the dependence on caffeine.
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