How to Survive the Day Without Caffeine
Caffeine is one of the most widely used stimulants in the world today. It is found commonly in coffee, tea and some soft drinks. However this substance can also be found in energy drinks, some painkillers, other types of medication and even processed foodstuffs. Many people can’t function normally without that early morning cup of coffee and, very often, many more cups of coffee during the day. Although coffee is generally regarded as the primary source of caffeine for most people, different caffeine-containing beverages are used in the same way by others.
The medical implications of caffeine are often disputed, especially when it comes to moderate use. Many people, though, are concerned about the effects of caffeine on their health, especially on their sleeping patterns, and would like to stop using the substance. Is it possible to survive a day without caffeine – especially if you are a regular and fairly heavy user?
If you are concerned that caffeine use may be interfering in your life and daily activities, the best solution is to cut caffeine out of your diet. Many substitutes to coffee are available, from obvious ones like decaffeinated coffee and herbal tea to less obvious options like fruit juice or even iced water.
Some people are able to give up coffee or other caffeine-containing drinks cold turkey but for most this is not easy. Once the body is accustomed to the stimulatory effects of caffeine, suddenly halting the intake is likely to cause side effects such as headaches, nausea or worse. A simple way to reduce the unpleasant effects is to reduce caffeine intake in stages. This allows the body to adjust to the change more gradually.
A good rule of thumb is to reduce by 25% per week. For example: if you want to switch from regular coffee to decaffeinated and you drink on average four cups of coffee per day, then in week one you would drink three cups of regular coffee a day and one of decaf, in week two switch to two cups of each per day and in week three one cup of regular and three cups of decaf daily.
Other substitutes can also be introduced. Fruit juice is an especially good option as, aside from the caffeine, some people also crave the sugar usually added to coffee. The natural fruit sugars in unsweetened juice help to satisfy this craving as well as providing other health benefits. Using a mixture of decaffeinated coffee, herbal tea, fruit juice and iced water makes a practical and tasty way to survive every day without caffeine.
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