Caffeine Reduction BlogReducing Your Caffeine Intake

By: The Biggest Loser Resort

The Biggest Loser Resort supports guests in establishing a “clean slate” through mild detoxification and elimination of unhealthy components in their diets. Caffeine is metabolized in the major detoxification organ called the liver, it can make it difficult for the body to regulate the normal detoxification process. In addition to interfering with the detoxification process, caffeine can have other negative effects such sleeplessness, increased stress hormones, and impact on digestion.

Caffeine increases heart rate as well as the force in which the heart contracts, it can be dangerous for those with underlying heart conditions especially when coupled with strenuous physical activity.

Experts say that moderate caffeine consumption is fine for healthy adults. However, for those seeking to lose weight, caffeine can have a negative impact. The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heart burn, GERD and dysbiosis or imbalances in gut flora. A component of the neurotransmitter serotonin seen in the urine tends to be elevated in coffee drinkers, which means you may be at risk for lower levels of serotonin synthesis in the brain. Serotonin is necessary for normal sleep, bowel function, mood, and energy levels.

So now that’s the scary stuff is out of the way!! You may ask yourself, how do I go about stopping or reducing the amount of caffeine consumed without driving everyone crazy? Everybody leads busy lives so a cup of coffee, and then another, and then one or two keeps you going throughout the day. So cutting down is definitely a big deal and the side effects associated with the come down can be unpleasant for you and those around you. Everyone is different, so depending on your physical make-up people may experience a variety of side effects ranging from headaches, insomnia, irritability, constipation, and dizziness. There are a couple of different methods to cut down with varying levels of withdrawal.

Caffeine HeadachesCold Turkey – With this method a person simply ceases to consume caffeine. This is fastest way to detox from caffeine and you get a real feel of caffeine’s influence on your body functions. The downsides are the withdrawal can produce severe caffeine withdrawal symptoms putting you out of regular commission for up to 3 days and can lead to a loss in productivity.

This method is the most difficult and there is a higher tendency to give up. If you choose the cold turkey method it’s important that you know what to expect and prepare in advance for the debilitating withdrawal symptoms that can follow. Here’s how:

    1. Plan so the first couple days of detox fall on a weekend or work holiday.
    2. Have pain relievers on hand and avoid driving.
    3. Have plenty of food on hand to avoid the need to drive anywhere for food.
    4. Prepare some meals in advance like soup or other easy to digest foods.
    5. Talk with family members about what you are about to do, what they can expect, and how they can help.
    6. Inform your co-workers and/or your boss about your caffeine detox.
    7. The method of preparation is relative to the amount of caffeine you’ve been consuming. Those who had been consuming large amounts of caffeine should prepare more than those detoxing from smaller daily amounts.

Caffeine FreeWeaning Method – With this method, instead of quitting caffeine all at once, you gradually reduce the amount of caffeine you are consuming daily. We recommend stepping down the dose about 50mg less every two days until the zero daily caffeine amount is achieved. This can be achieved by just drinking less of your typical caffeinated beverage or by drinking a less caffeinated alternative.

The weaning method can take longer to detox as opposed to cold turkey depending on the amount of caffeine consumed. You will need to track your caffeine intake and checking what’s being consumed and how much because many items contain caffeine that you may not be aware of.

The withdrawal symptoms with this method are much less severe and most people can continue to function and be productive, this method is less shocking to the system and there are mild to none caffeine headache to deal with. Here’s how to implement the weaning method:

    1. Coffee should be reduced by a 1/4 of a cup each day or reduce from a 16 fl. oz. to a 12 fl. oz. cup, then 8 fl. oz. etc. of take-out coffee (however, use the same brand throughout).
    2. Energy Drinks can be reduced by about half a can every two days.
    3. Soda can be reduced by cutting back a can every two days or by a half a bottle if drinking a 16 fl.oz. size.
    4. Tea can be reduced by cutting back 1 cup every two days.

Either one of these caffeine detox methods will work, but you will need to decide which one will have the least impact on your lifestyle and which one is likely to be the most successful given the unique circumstances involved. Once you quit or reduce your caffeine intake you will feel some noticeable benefits like improved memory function and, obviously, greater levels of alertness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *