How To Stop Drinking Coffee (without Nasty Headaches)


If you’ve spent any time with me at all, you probably know that I drink a lot of coffee and I really enjoy it. However, I’ve reached many points in my young life where I’ve overdone it.

Caffeine tolerance builds quickly (like within a few days), so it’s easy to find yourself drinking more and more coffee until your adrenal system feels broken.

Strategies for Cutting Out Caffeine

Substitute Decaf Coffee

I’ve found that the easiest way to cut out caffeine is not to quit drinking coffee entirely, but to substitute decaf coffee for your regular caffeinated brew. When I drink decaf in the mornings I realize that my coffee habit is not entirely based on my need for caffeine.

Decaf coffee allows you to feel like you’re still getting your delicious morning joe, while giving your body a break from caffeine.

Decaf coffee is widely available, whether you use a Keurig, drip brewer, espresso machine or instant coffee.

I like these Starbucks VIA instant coffee packets. You can carry them with you in case you need a coffee on the go, without having to choose whether to go decaf or regular.

Gradually Decrease Your Caffeine Consumption

You can minimize the withdrawal you experience by slowly decreasing your caffeine consumption over the course of a few weeks or months. In fact, the slower you decrease your intake, the less likely you are to experience withdrawal from caffeine.

  • Week 1: Start where you’re at. 4 cups of coffee per day for example.
  • Week 2: 3 cups of coffee per day
  • Week 3: 2 cups of coffee per day
  • Week 4: 1 cup of coffee per day
  • Week 5: 2 cups of decaf coffee per day
  • Week 6: 1 cup of decaf coffee per day

Boom! Hopefully after these 6 weeks you’ll have comfortably and effortlessly weaned yourself off of coffee.

Quit Caffeine Cold Turkey

Quitting cold turkey (whether its cigarettes or caffeine) is another way that works for some people. Rather than tapering your intake, you just stop drinking coffee altogether.

Quitting Caffeine Cold Turkey

This can be more effective because if you don’t drink coffee at all, you’re not giving yourself a chance to slip up and have a few more cups than you’re supposed to.

Find An Alternative Morning Drink

Companies are popping up all the time as more people look for alternatives to coffee or tea to perk them up in the morning. Rather than just switching for a lower caffeine version of coffee or tea, you can try these alternatives instead.

  • MUD\WTR: MUD\WTR® is a mushroom coffee alternative made with organic ingredients lauded by cultures young and old for their health and performance benefits. With a fraction of the caffeine found in coffee, you get vitality and immunity without the jitters and crash.
  • Four Sigmatic Chaga Elixir: This is a formula that combines 1500 mg Chaga extract with rose hips (for all the vitamin C), Eleuthero, and mint. You can use the elixir on its own, or add it into coffee, tea, or smoothies.
  • Apothékary Mind Over Matter: This triple mushroom blend naturally reduces anxiety, brain fog, and overall stress. Stay cognitively sharp all day everyday, and keep your Mind Over Matter. 
  • Rasa Original Adatogenic Coffee Alternative: Rasa is a delicious, healthy coffee substitute made from adaptogenic herbs. Enjoy the taste of the top-rated coffee alternative with natural, balanced energy. This herbal adaptogenic coffee is the perfect coffee replacement without caffeine or gluten.

Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep

Often when I’m not feeling rested, I’ll rely on caffeine to jolt me awake and to keep me from feeling tired throughout the day.

One of the best ways to minimize your dependence on caffeine is to focus on getting enough quality sleep at night.

Try Changing Your Environment or Cut Out Caffeine on Vacation

A lot of people’s caffeine habit starts as an occasional coffee, and then makes its way into an every day habit. If you have a schedule of when you have your first coffee every day before work, you may need to break that schedule to cut out the caffeinated drink.

One strategy you can try is to go on vacation and cut out caffeine while traveling. Since you’re in a new place, you may have a totally different schedule and stopping for coffee may not even be an option.

Keep Track of How Cutting Out Caffeine Improves Your Life

You may be able to keep yourself on track while quitting if you document the positive aspects of cutting out caffeine. If you feel like you’re struggling, just keep a running list of all the benefits of quitting caffeine, and how it makes you feel better.

Let People Know That You’re Quitting Caffeine

Once you make a public declaration that you are taking a certain action, it can be easier to stay on track. People generally want to align with claims that they have made, so this psychological trick can help keep you on track.

Avoid High Carbohydrate Meals

While carbohydrates are a source of energy, eating carb-heavy meals can crash your energy levels while you digest the food. While you’re cutting back or quitting caffeine, one way to keep your energy levels high is to opt for high-protein meals. These will keep your energy levels from crashing after eating, and can provide sustained consistent energy levels for hours after eating.

What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking Coffee?

Caffeine withdrawal is real. If you’ve been consuming caffeinated drinks every day for decades, your body is bound to have a response when you suddenly cut it out overnight.

Is It Good To Stop Drinking Coffee?

Coffee has a long list of benefits, but the effects of long-term caffeine use may overshadow many of those benefits. If you’re like me, you may have gone through some periods in your life when you were very obviously drinking too much coffee, or relying too much on caffeine.

You may find that coffee is no longer perking you up, and you’re just drinking it because you’ll feel terrible without it. If this is the case, cutting out coffee for awhile can be helpful for allowing your caffeine tolerance to reset.

Short Term & Long Term Effects of Caffeine Use

  • Confusion due to overstimulation of the brain
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Muscle Aches
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fertility Issues
  • Increased Risk of Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy Issues
  • Increased Urination
  • Anxiety
  • Jitters
  • Increased Blood Pressure

How Long Does It Take To Detox from Coffee?

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms vary from case to case, but typically you’ll stop having issues after about a week. If you stop your caffeine intake abruptly, you may feel withdrawal effects within 24 hours after stopping.

Reasons To Cut Out Caffeine

  • Caffeine can increase anxiety
  • Caffeine makes you jittery
  • Caffeine disrupts your sleep
  • Caffeine can cause digestive issues

Published by stewofkc

I write stuff in Kansas City.

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