In all honesty, the thought of giving up a daily cup of jo in the morning sends a quiver of fear around the Muscle Food office.
Like so many others, we enjoy a hit of caffeine to get us going in the morning, and then there’s the 3 pm slump…
Well, let’s just say, if we didn’t indulge our caffeine craving at this time of the day there may not be as many delicious meats and treats on our site for you to enjoy!
OK, that’s a blatant exaggeration, but it’s true when we say that some of us simply don’t feel human until we’ve tasted that bitter, yet sweet deliciousness of java.
Now, before we go any further, we are not saying you MUST give up your caffeine hit. In fact, it’s probably healthier than you realise, but, like anything, it’s easy to overdo it a bit.
So, if you suspect you’re drinking too much coffee or other caffeinated beverages and want to give it a chop, here’s what you can expect to happen…
A caffeine headache is a curious affair. It doesn’t quite feel like any other kind of headache. Not quite migraine status, but not so small a gust of fresh air can remedy.
You get them when you drink too much caffeine, BUT you also get them when you quit caffeine.
The reason for this is that caffeine is a drug that instantly boosts adrenaline production, dopamine and other hormones that act as natural stimulants.
When you quit it, instead of all those feel good chemicals rushing through your blood, you end up with a flood of adenosine – the tiredness hormone – resulting in that pesky headache.
To cut your chances of this, don’t go cold turkey. Instead, cut your intake by a little bit every couple of days by eliminating half a cup here, or going half and half with decaf and you’ll have yourself weaned in no time without taking shares out in paracetamol.
Under the Weather
Is that a cold you’re getting? Nope – it’s caffeine withdrawal. When you quit caffeine (especially if you go cold turkey) you could end up feeling sick, low, anxious, dizzy and sluggish.
Oh, and then there’s the insomnia you may face, mood swings and irritability.
It’s enough to make you rethink this whole thing – right? Well, the good news is these symptoms only last a couple of days to about 2 weeks (depending on your current intake).
This is a definite perk to cutting down on your caffeine intake especially if you like your coffee black.
You see coffee (and pretty much everything else that contains caffeine) is super acidic and can erode your tooth enamel.
It also stains your teeth really easily with every sip, so by cutting back or quitting for good, not only will you stop dousing your pearly whites in acid, but you could end up with a whiter smile than Simon Cowell*.
*Or not, he uses a LOT of whiteners…
Concentr…oh look a bird
Caffeine is a stimulant. When you drink it, your body is flooded with chemicals that make you feel perky and zoned in on a task.
Remove it and you may just find your concentration starts to seriously slacken and productivity at work… well, what productivity?
The good news is this symptom tends to only last about a week and you can counteract this by chewing minty gum – shown to help keep your brain alert.
Once those 7 days are up, you may even find your productivity increases – win!
You May Feel “Bunged” Up
Caffeine helps keep you regular by stimulating your colonic muscles. Cut it out and you might become a little backed up…
Counter this by upping your fibre intake, swap your coffee cup for a large glass of water and get a walk in on your lunch break to keep things moving.
So Totally Zen Man
Ever drank so much caffeine in a day you feel like your heart is fluttering, your legs won’t stop shaking and you talk at the speed of light?
If this is a regular thing, you might want to think about cutting back. Basically, your body is telling you, in a not so subtle way, that your nervous system is totally overstimulated, and your body and mind are actually in a state of stress.
Ditching the caffeine will reduce this stress and help you feel nice and calm.
If you don’t know by now then we’ll say it one last time – caffeine is a stimulant, and it hangs about in your blood stream for up to 6 hours post consumption.
So, if you’re accustomed to a brew after dinner or mug of your favourite black stuff at 8.30pm catching up on your favourite Netflix show, you will not sleep well… at all.
Cut back or quit completely, and you may find the land of nod isn’t so hard for you to find after all.