Cutting the Caffeine

Hey all, I’m still in sunny California, well at least for the moment so I have another great guest blogger, talking about something healthy. Quitting Caffeine, I’m not a caffeine drinker in fact I’m allergic so here is Maria with the low down:

Quitting Coffee: How I Cut Out Caffeine

Few of us can imagine starting our day without our cup of Joe. Fortunately, I’m not one of them. I’ve never
liked the taste of coffee – not even the tiniest few drops in a coffee-flavored cake or dessert. My weakness has
always been the diet soda. I can’t seem to get through my day without at least one bottle. On days that I’m really
struggling to keep up my energy levels, I might go through three or four bottles of diet Mountain Dew or some
other “Maxx” drink.

However, I started to notice that no matter how much caffeine I drank, I always needed more. I no longer reached
for a quick pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon on the occasional sluggish day. Instead, I couldn’t manage to
get through a day without that bubbly jolt.

After some research, I found that caffeine can actually contribute to a decline in energy levels by overtaxing your
adrenal system. Caffeine triggers the same fight-or-flight response as stress does, but there is no corresponding
physical reaction. Instead, your body surges with adrenaline and cortisol while you type away at your desk for the
rest of the afternoon. It creates a hormonal imbalance that can contribute to weight gain and an eventual drop in
energy even greater than the one you initially felt when you reached for the caffeine.

Start Slowly

Unless you want to live with blinding headaches and act like a raging maniac to everyone you know for the next
three weeks, don’t go cold turkey. Your degree of symptoms will depend in large part on the amount of caffeine
you were used to drinking and your own body. Because I have no self-control whatsoever and am unable to
give myself a little without taking a lot, I decided to cut out all caffeine and never look back. As a result, I was a
miserable wretch for nearly the next month.

To avoid my fate, try cutting back your caffeine intake a little at a time. Switch to half regular, half decaf. Or try
cutting back on the number of cups you have each day. Little by little, you can reduce your intake to zero, and
you’ll minimize the withdrawal symptoms.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water will help mitigate your headaches and speed your recovery. When you’re feeling the urge to drink caffeine,
or when you are feeling sluggish, drinking plenty of water will help sate your cravings (I said plenty) and pick up
your energy levels. A quick walk will also help.

Get Plenty of Rest

Your body will be making plenty of adjustments now that it’s not propped up on stimulants all the time. Give
yourself a break and make sure your body gets plenty of recovery time by getting enough sleep each night. Take a
quick nap during the day if you need to, as well. After a few weeks, you’ll find that you are able to fall asleep more
quickly and sleep more restfully. Then you’ll start waking up feeling refreshed and find that you don’t have that
same need to rev up your energy.

Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where recently she’s been researching what it takes to earn a bachelors degree program from home via an online degree. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Optional Coffee Related Photo: (Public Domain License) http://www.pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=8426

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