This post is a followup of yesterday’s discussion of caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Today’s discussion is about my caffeine treatment plan, which reduced my morning coffee from 3 cups to 1 cup while minimizing my coffee withdrawal symptoms.
Create your caffeine withdrawal plan
Creating a caffeine withdrawal treatment plan is all about slowly getting rid of your reliance on caffeine without triggering severe caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely get rid of the withdrawal symptoms until your body becomes accustom to waking up without coffee again. At 3 cups coffee a day (450 mg), if I quit drinking coffee cold turkey or even switching to decaf, I am going to suffer severe caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
Instead, I modeled my caffeine withdrawal treatment plan after the smoking cessation patch concept, where I give myself 3 steps to slowly wean myself off of coffee. In a smoking cessation patch program, it usually allows for nicotine chewing gum as needed when the cravings are overwhelming. In my caffeine reduction plan, black tea is my nicotine chewing gum. You need to drink 3 cups of black tea to get the same caffeine amount as one cup of brewed coffee.
Step 1: Replace 1st cup of brewed coffee with 1 cup of instant coffee.
Drink 1 cup of black tea as needed.
Coffee addicts know that instant coffee just do not taste as good as dripped coffee and it is not as strong either. However, since I still have 2 cups of brewed coffee, I do not feel as deprived of good coffee. 2 cups of brewed coffee and 1 cup of instant coffee gives me 360 mg of caffeine.
I reduced my caffeine intake by 90 mg a day. I kept this up for about 2 weeks. The caffeine withdrawal headaches were painful the first week and I didn’t feel completely awake during the first half of the week. I sometimes sip black tea to on those days when I need to be a little more alert for meetings.
Step 2: Replace 2nd cup of dripped coffee with 1 cup of instant coffee.
Once again, drink tea as needed.
1 cup of dripped coffee and 2 cups of instant coffee gives me 270 mg of caffeine. I kept this up for about 2 weeks. And yes, I did have an occasional cup of green tea. This step reduced my caffeine by another 90 mg.
At this point, my caffeine withdrawal symptoms are actually tolerable. I feel it, but it is make me return to my former coffee addiction.
Step 3: Eliminate the instant coffee, one cup at a time.
1 cup of dripped coffee and 1 cup of instant coffee gives me 210 mg of caffeine. It only took 1 week this time for me to get use this because Step 3 only requires a reduction of 60 mg of caffeine. I barely even have caffeine withdrawal headaches.
A week later, I drop the 2nd cup of instant coffee. So it took me 6 weeks to reduce my daily coffee from 3 cups to 1 cup with tolerable caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
At this point, I can at least wait until I get to work and have coffee at my desk. Prior to starting my caffeine reduction plan, I needed a cup of coffee in order to get my eyes open to apply my make-up in the morning. I don’t want to have that kind of dependency on any substance ever again.
I wish you better luck with your coffee reduction plan. I hope you are as success as me in trying to reduce your caffeine level.
Until next time and thanks for reading Small Steps to Health. If you like what you are reading please share this with your friends.
Like what you are reading? How about subscribing? It's free!