Does the promise of a cup of coffee help get you out of bed in the morning? It’s how many of us can happily face the day and luckily, there are health benefits to the buzzy brew, like a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. But that caffeine habit does come with downsides, too. For one, our brains adapt over time and we need to drink more to get the same buzz, according to Dr. Lindsay Standeven, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
And because of that, your one cup may turn into multiple mugs daily and too much caffeine can give you jitters, anxiety, gastro issues or trouble sleeping. But quitting coffee - even just temporarily - can help ease anxiety and promote better sleep. It can be a challenging habit to break, but these expert tips can help you do a caffeine reset right.
- Track your caffeine intake - Not just how many coffees you’re drinking, but the other foods and drinks that contain caffeine, like black tea, energy drinks and dark chocolate. The FDA considers 400 milligrams - about four cups of brewed coffee - a safe amount of caffeine for adults to drink daily.
- Swap in a new routine to replace your coffee - Part of the appeal of coffee is the ritual of it, so trading your usual coffee for something else can make it easier. Hot tea and decaf can do the trick and if you find yourself yawning mid-afternoon and craving your caffeine fix, try a small snack with carbs and protein.
- Don’t quit cold turkey - To soften the blow, Dr. Laura Juliano, a professor of psychology and caffeine researcher at American University, suggests decreasing your caffeine gradually, by 25% a week.
- Fill up on fiber - Keep your system running regularly by increasing your water intake and aiming for 25 grams of fiber a day, recommends dietitian Gillian Culbertson. She says that a hot beverage in the morning - even just hot water - “can stimulate your system.”
- Find a caffeine-free natural afternoon boost - If you can, move your workout to the middle of the day to boost adrenaline, which enhances concentration and mood.
- Be prepared for withdrawals - Side effects like headaches, fatigue and flu-like symptoms can be expected and will peak on the second to third day after stopping. But they should go away within a week, so hang in there.
Source: Women's Health