Once I realized I couldn’t function without my morning cup of coffee, I knew I needed to change.
I’d become addicted.
83% of Americans drink coffee and the average caffeine consumption is around 200mg of caffeine a day.
That’s equivalent to two cups of coffee or four 12 oz soft drinks. But some of you drink much more. (Like you, I have been guilty.)
This is because a quick Venti Starbucks or your morning Dunkin Donuts stop will give you close to 400mg of caffeine in one single drink.
Like you, I'd abused caffeine long enough. It was time for a change.
Ultimately, it was about freedom. What is freedom when you have the restriction of needing external substances to function?
And I was the definition of physically dependent on caffeine. But it may be something very different for you--whether it's the added anxiety or feelings of too much stress.
Learn this simple swap to radically transform your day.
First, How You Become Addicted to Caffeine
It’s easy to gradually develop a greater and greater tolerance for caffeine. And before you know it, you’re going to need to consume more and more caffeine to feel remotely the same effects.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry. You’re not alone. I was in the same boat. Millions of Americans are too.
A general guideline for caffeine consumption is no more than 600mg of caffeine a day, so you can see how easily to can max out your daily caffeine limit before lunchtime.
Caffeine affects everyone differently and can cause headaches, increased blood pressure, nervousness, dehydration, and “jitters” or that common shaky feeling, as well as, problems sleeping or insomnia.
Here’s the catch - we drink caffeine to make it through the afternoon. But then sleep suffers. So we need even more caffeine the next day to stay awake.
It’s a viscous cycle.
And there’s no greater peace of mind than heading into your afternoon with boundless energy - naturally.
Benefits Of Reducing Your Caffeine
You may want to avoid or reduce your caffeine intake for other reasons as well.
Many people have medical reasons like naturally high blood pressure or anxiety.
Sleep quality is also a major reason. Since caffeine stays in your system for up to 10 hours, if you have a sleep disorder, you should seriously consider avoiding or reducing your caffeine intake.
A Tip For Cutting Back On Caffeine
If you want to get your day started without a caffeine overdose, try substituting a cup of tea instead.
You may be thinking that it won’t do anything. My tolerance is way to high...
But all great habits start with one tiny action. And as the saying goes, "nothing changes if nothing changes."
Or you can alternating a cup of coffee with a cup of tea instead of the full swap.
But beware - the last thing you want to do is go cut caffeine cold turkey.
Caffeine is a drug and like any dependency, you’ll go through unpleasant withdrawals. Splitting Headaches are just one of the symptoms.
The reason swapping your cup of joe or energy drink for tea works is because you’ll cut your caffeine more than half.
It’s about 75% the normal amount you would consume or 30-40 mg total caffeine.
So you’ll still feel awake, but without the irritability of going 0 mg caffeine.
Also, the less time you steep your tea, the less caffeine it will have. So you can try this method as the week’s progress to reduce your caffeine intake even further.
Finally, drink lots of water, stretch, and move.
All of these activities help keep you alert during the day without reaching for another Monster or Cold Brew with 400 mg caffeine.
But, you may be wondering...
Is It Worth Cutting Out Caffeine?
I’ve been cutting out caffeine by swapping my coffee for matcha tea for the last 30 days. And this has been my experience.
My productivity is higher because I’m literally not worried about getting my afternoon fix. It takes time to grab a coffee, not to mention the mental bandwidth thinking about when I'll be able to have it in my day.
To me, that's true freedom and one less distraction...
My sleep quality is through the roof. My afternoon pick-me-up was killing me. I’d feel so tired at 2 pm. Guzzle more coffee and then feel "tired but wired" trying to lay in bed and sleep.
I'd be starring at the ceiling regretting that last cup (remember, it's in your system for up to 10 hrs and the more caffeine the worse).
Now, I feel amazing. I fall asleep faster and feel more rested when I wake up. There's just not as much need for caffeine anymore.
I’ve begun to notice I'm showing up more patient and less reactive in my day. It’s like my system has been reset.
After all, more caffeine is like running from a tiger. Adrenaline pumps, palms get sweaty, pupils dilate. Heartbeat elevates.
The one goal is survival in this state.
So I no longer feel the anxiety and overwhelm afterward. Just more alert with tea, but a whole lot more calm.
Now, my caffeine tolerance isn’t so high. One matcha tea gives me tons of energy, when before, I wouldn’t feel near as much.
Mentally, I’m in a better state.
Getting out of fight or flight mode by cutting caffeine has brought a lot more clarity to my day too.
And I can honestly say I wish I would have cut my caffeine back sooner.
You don’t know until you know…which means getting to the other side of caffeine addiction.
I’m not saying you should cut out coffee forever. Nor do you have to give up caffeine completely.
I’m encouraging you to take a caffeine break.
And hopefully this trick helps you do it without the headaches.
What do you think - are you up for the challenge of finally making this the year you cut back your caffeine?
At least, try if for 30 days - consider what you have to lose by not doing it.