Whether because you want to trim your spending on coffee drinks — cutting back on caffeine can be challenging.
Some studies have pointed out that daily intake of 100 mg of caffeine (about one cup of coffee) can result in physical dependence. Instant decrease in caffeine may cause withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, irritability and nervousness. Fortunately, these symptoms are usually mild and resolve after a few days.
To change your caffeine habit more gradually, try these tips:
- Keep tabs. Start paying attention to how much caffeine you’re getting from foods and beverages. It may be more than you think. Read labels carefully. Even then, your estimate may be a little low because not all foods or drinks list caffeine. Chocolate, which has a small amount, doesn’t.
- Cut back. But do it gradually. For example, drink one fewer can of soda or drink a smaller cup of coffee each day. Or avoid drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day. This will help your body get used to the lower levels of caffeine and lessen potential withdrawal effects.
- Go decaf. Most decaffeinated beverages look and taste the same as their caffeinated counterparts.
- Shorten the brew time or go herbal. When making tea, brew it for less time. This cuts down on its caffeine content. Or choose herbal teas that don’t have caffeine.
- Check the bottle. Some over-the-counter pain relievers contain caffeine — as much as 130 mg of caffeine in one dose. Look for caffeine-free pain relievers instead.
If you’re like most adults, caffeine is a part of your daily routine. And most often it doesn’t pose a health problem. But be mindful of those situations in which you need to curtail your caffeine habit.