Caffeine, most popularly found in coffee, tea, and soda, is a natural stimulant for the brain and central nervous system. Oftentimes, caffeine consumers will develop a tolerance to caffeine, needing more and more caffeine to feel its energizing effects. People can develop a caffeine dependence by consuming it everyday and feeling they cannot function without it.
People who have caffeine dependency can begin to reduce their caffeine intake. Below are some practical and effective strategies for reducing caffeine consumption:
- Cut back gradually by portioning out smaller caffeinated drinks less frequently throughout the day
- Hydrate as much as possible
- Water down caffeinated drinks
- Combine caffeinated drinks with non-caffeinated drinks (EX: half caffeinated coffee and half decaf coffee)
- Focus on maintaining a healthy sleep schedule
- Try coffee and tea alternatives, like caffeine-free herbal tea or dandelion root coffee
The process of reducing caffeine intake is difficult. Those attempting to treat caffeine dependency should be aware of potential withdrawal symptoms:
- Increased anxiety and depression
- Difficulty concentrating
- Tremors in hands, usually lasting two to nine days
- Flu-like symptoms
Though caffeine dependency can feel overwhelming, there is a wealth of resources for those looking to reduce caffeine consumption. Caffeine-dependent individuals can explore the option of treatment armed with the knowledge of treatment strategies and possible withdrawal symptoms.