Try to imagine life without coffee. No java scent tickling your nose each morning as you open your eyes, no rich and full-bodied flavor in your mouth as you sip that drink and officially wake up for the day. No espresso, no latte, no cappuccino, not even instant coffee crystals. Starting tomorrow, coffee is out of the equation.
If you can't picture this scenario, you're not alone. Millions of people in the US are coffee addicts - or, more appropriately, hooked on the caffeine that comes in your cup of joe. And while it is typically recommended that people wean themselves off coffee if they decide for whatever reason - whiter teeth, pregnancy or whatever else might be in play - to give up the habit, it is possible to cut down on the process of going through caffeine withdrawal cold turkey.
When in doubt, hydrate. It's advice that works when you're talking about increasing your fitness output, striving for clearer skin or quitting smoking - and it works just as well when it comes to giving up caffeine. Water helps to cleanse your system and combats jitters. So if you're starting to really crave a cup of coffee, take a long pull off your water bottle. You'll feel better in no time.
Two common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal are feeling sluggish and headaches. When your body starts to protest the lack of coffee in your system, perform 20 jumping jacks or go for a run. The increased flow of blood to your body and your brain will help wake you up and flush out that sense of irritability. Not only will you not need the coffee as badly, your body will be improving each time you give it a fitness boost.
Have Headache Medication Ready
Caffeine withdrawal headaches can be intense - that's just reality. Be prepared by having headache medication on hand if the pain sets in. Remind yourself in the moment that this is the worst of the experience - most of the headaches, jitters and nausea that can come with caffeine withdrawal pass within the first two days.
If you are feeling run down, listen to your body and let it rest. By getting a full eight hours of sleep each night, you will be able to tackle overcoming your addiction with your full strength. As an added bonus, penciling in an extra hour of sleep or an early evening nap will allow you be unconscious as your body battles through its withdrawal process.
Accept Moments of Weakness
If you've gone a week without coffee and slip up, imbibing in a small latte during a moment of weakness, don't think of yourself as back at the start. You are addicted to a drug - a legal yet powerful drug - and recovery will be an ongoing process. Take it day by day, acknowledge your bad days, but begin each day confident in your abilities to overcome.
Caffeine withdrawal often brings jittery hands and irritability that sends an addict back for more java. Learn how to curb those withdrawal symptoms.
The history of caffeine demonstrates that humans have long depended on a daily pick-me-up.