Do you have a caffeine addiction? Maybe you do or Maybe you don't, but if you have any of these three symptoms, then maybe you should take a closer look at just how much caffeine you consume.
Although we think coffee when we think caffeine, it is in soft drinks, tea, or over the counter medications, and of course coffee. You could be consuming more than you think.
Here are three tips to help you decide if you may have a caffeine addiction:
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1. Do you get a killer headache if you sleep in on the weekend?
This is because you have missed your usual dose of caffeine, which is usually that early morning coffee before work, and the one on the way to work. Actually if you normally have one every couple of hours, you could already be behind by a couple of coffees by 10 am!. One of the symptoms of caffeine addiction, or actually a symptoms of not having it, is a killer headache.
2. Do you feel jittery and jumpy all the time?
But yet strangely tired? This is a weird combination of nerves on high alert fed by the caffeine and a brain that wants to go to sleep! So, drinking those strong cups of coffee late at night in the hopes of burning the midnight oil, are counter productive! Having coffee when you are really tired, may temporarily perk you up, but in reality you are now "wide awake tired" Anyone who has drank many coffees while under pressure burning the midnight oil to get a project done will tell you about that feeling. Where your body is twitchy and your brain is tired and you won't be able to sleep but yet not clear enough for thinking straight.
3. Do you feel horrible if you miss or delay that first coffee in the morning.
Or any of your scheduled coffees or pops? That you need to "top up your levels" just to get through the day? You feel your self slumping about a couple of hours after your last coffee or pop, and start your search for the next one. This becomes such a habit that many people don't realize just how much caffeine they are taking in.
If you can have a cup of coffee in the morning, or the odd pop during the day, and a take it or leave it attitude, meaning you don't get any headaches, or jitters or mood swings, then you are not addicted to caffeine. You can enjoy a leisurely coffee or pop, with no fear of caffeine addiction..
But if you can't get through your day without caffeine, that you would actually feel physically sick and tired if you did not "top up your levels", then you may need to consider the fact that you have a caffeine addiction.
So, the first thing to do, is to see just how much you are consuming. Each person is different. You may be able to tolerate a cup of coffee a day, and be fine, but add any more than that and you start with the jitters, mood swings and more.
But you need to track it for a few days. You tend to mindlessly grab caffeine, in the form of coffee or pop. So track it.
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Here are a few ways to slowly lose your caffeine addiction:
1. Gradually switch your full cup of coffee for a latte, or half milk and half coffee. Do this for a few days, then gradually change the coffee for decaf. Or you can purchase reduced caffeine coffee that is 50% less to get started and gradually get used to it.
2. If you get your caffeine addiction from pop, then it is time to switch pops. Find a different flavor that is caffeine free for at least one of the breaks you have. It may be better to switch the flavor of the pop totally rather than trying to get the flavor you like in a decaffeinated form, that may not taste as good to you. So switch up at least one pop for a few days.
3. Start having decaf for every other coffee that you get. If you keep track of your consumption, you should be able to do this. Do this for a few days.
4. Switch to tea for some of your coffee breaks. This does not mean brew tea so strong you could stand a spoon up in it! Make at least 2 cups from one tea bag.
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If you slowly make some changes to your coffee and pop consumption, over a couple of weeks you should be able to level out your mood swings and jitters gradually, and avoid the side effects of really bad headaches. If you really consume a lot of coffee then you need to give each step a few days or more. The same with pop. Pop you may feel it as well not just because of the caffeine addiction but the sugar as well.
If you really need that carbonation from a pop, then trying drinking a flavored soda water. This way you get rid of caffeine and sugar!
You can slowly turn your caffeine addiction around, but if you really have trouble with it, and can't tolerate the side effects of caffeine, then you should see a doctor about the caffeine addiction.
With lives as busy as they are, and trying to fit more and more into each day, it can be easy to just grab that extra cup of coffee to get through the day. With all the fancy coffee stores out there now, such as Starbucks, there is no end to the types of coffee you can get, some are stronger than others, and we are super sizing the cups.
It is easy to have just one too many meetings at the local Starbucks, and end up getting used to having coffee at every meeting in a huge bowl of a mug!.
It may start out innocently, but then gradually builds. So in order to deal with a caffeine addiction we not only need to cut back on the coffee and pop, but we need to create a calmer lifestyle, so that we don't need these crutches to get through the day. After all, caffeine is a drug that hides behind a cup of full bodied coffee. It can be a simple treat or a necessity to get through the day. Which is it for you?