Caffeine is the
most widely used psychoactive substance in the world.1 Many people
don’t think much about throwing back their morning cup of joe. Coffee tastes good, and it can make you feel
good by increasing energy and mood. So
many of us rely on caffeine to get our days started. But is this an ideal ritual for health?
exactly is happening when we drink our favorite caffeinated beverage? And is caffeine good or bad for you? In this article, we are going to discuss many
caffeine related topics. However, our
main focus is going to be on the health effects of caffeine, and what you can
do to drop the habit. Spoiler alert, caffeine
can be fine in moderation, but there are many healthier alternatives.
Does Caffeine Work?
dive into the negative effects of caffeine and why we think you should choose
healthier alternatives, we want to discuss how caffeine elicits its
effects. First and foremost, caffeine is
what’s called a Central Nervous System Stimulant. This basically means that caffeine has a stimulatory
effect on our nervous system.
that this works is through a chemical in our bodies called adenosine. Caffeine binds to adenosine receptors in our
brain. When this happens, adenosine is
unable to bind to these receptors.
Adenosine typically binds to its receptors and increases relaxation and
sleepiness. Because caffeine doesn’t allow
adenosine to attach to and activate its receptors, it reduces sleepiness through
This is not
the healthiest process, especially on a daily basis. You want your adenosine activity to increase
as the day goes on, being strongest in the evening. This is one of the many processes that the
body utilizes in order to regulate its circadian rythym. If you continuously block adenosine binding,
you will have a difficult time sleeping at night.
also why it is very important to at least cut off your caffeine consumption by
a certain time each day. For most
people, cutting caffeine by noon is effective.
If you are drinking caffeine much past this time, it is very likely that
you are negatively affecting your sleep.
Effects of Caffeine
about caffeine is that while safe in moderation, regular use of caffeine can
have some negative health effects. For
instance, caffeine elevates cortisol secretion.2 Cortisol is a
hormone that your body releases in response to stress. This means that caffeine raises your stress
response and consequently can increase anxiety.
Just like caffeine, cortisol is fine in
moderation, and actually essential to life.
Without cortisol your body and mind would have no drive to wake up and get
going in the morning. There is a normal,
cyclical nature to the levels of cortisol in our bodies. What we want to avoid, however, is breaking
this cycle with extended periods of increased cortisol. Drinking too much caffeine, or on too regular
of a basis, could possibly elevate cortisol to unhealthy levels.
to increased cortisol production, caffeine also has a negative affect on sleep
as discussed earlier in our “How does caffeine work?” section. We will be writing a few articles regarding
sleep in the future, suffice to say it is crucial to good overall health.
the amount or frequency that one consumes caffeine may relieve some of these
negative effects. However, today we want
to focus on how to quit caffeine and avoid these negative side effects. We will go over several techniques that will
help you to lower your dependance on caffeine and even replace it with much
healthier options that will improve your health.
Started by Understanding your own Consumption
want to take a look at our current caffeine consumption and come up with a game
plan. Take an audit of all of the
caffeine that you consume on a daily and weekly basis. While most people immediately think of coffee
and energy drinks, there are other sources of caffeine to look out for as well. Keep in mind that many teas, sodas, candies,
and coffee-flavored foods and drinks also contain significant levels of
have a list put together of your regular caffeine intake, add up the amount of
caffeine that you typically consume in a day.
You can find exact amounts of caffeine contained in several foods and
beverages here. When you determine your daily caffeine
intake, it’s time to do a little math.
here is to get to 0mg caffeine in 4 weeks from whatever point you are starting
at. By reducing your caffeine
consumption by 20% a week, you can kick the habit by the end of the month! For example, if your total caffeine adds up
to 300mg, the following would be your taper schedule and how you can expect to
Down Caffeine – Example 300mg/Day
Week 1: 225mg Caffeine per Day
be the first week that you are reducing your intake. You may notice extra caffeine cravings during
this time, as your body is used to keeping an equilibrium. Resist these urges, and instead make sure you
are getting everything you need for general health and energy. We highly recommend trying our Myco-Rise
blend throughout this journey. It
combines Cacao extract, Theobromine, Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract, and
Cordyceps to give you the energy you need without the crash or interrupted
good recommendation is to make sure you are eating whole natural foods, staying
hydrated, and exercising. While none of
these approaches are specific to caffeine, they are all healthy practices that
will increase your energy and overall health.
Week 2: 150mg Caffeine per Day
through your first week, nice job! For
many people, this will be a difficult, yet rewarding stage in their
caffeine-free journey. Since you are starting
your halfway point, you may start to experience mild symptoms of lower caffeine.
Although we are going very slowly with
this protocol, those who are sensitive to caffeine’s effects, or who have been
using caffeine heavily and/or for a long time, symptoms may occur.
important to stick with the regimen, and continue to support your overall health
during this time. Your sleep should
start to improve as your caffeine levels drop off and your adenosine is able to
bind to its receptors.
Week 3: 75mg Caffeine per Day
stage in the game, the side effects of caffeine should be largely
subsiding. However, some of the negative
effects of withdrawal may start to pop up.
Don’t be surprised if you start to have headaches or anxiety at this
stage in the game. These withdrawal
symptoms are only temporary and well worth pushing through.
It may be
helpful to add CBD into the regimen this week.
CBD has been shown in studies to be a promising remedy for withdrawal
from many drugs. It can be super helpful
for kicking addictions, and for reducing the effects of quitting cigarettes,
opiates, caffeine, and much more. Our Elevate
tincture would be a great option for all day symptom relief, and is great at
Week 4: 0mg Caffeine per Day
get to your fourth week, you will down to 0mg of caffeine. However, this does not mean that you no
longer have any caffeine in your system. The half-life of caffeine is around 5
hours, depending on the individual. It
takes 5 half-lives to eliminate a drug from your system. Therefore, it takes around 25 hours to
eliminate the remainder of the caffeine.
are free of caffeine, you are not necessarily out of the woods just yet
regarding symptoms. The time that it
takes your brain to recover and change back to the way it was before depends on
your duration and intensity of use. Some
people may not feel back to normal for another couple of weeks. The most common lingering symptoms are
typically difficulty concentrating, low energy levels, and sometimes headaches.
time, it is very important that you continue to stay hydrated, eat well, and exercise
regularly. While scientists haven’t determined
the exact amount of time that it takes your brain to reset from caffeine, two
weeks is a fairly safe estimate. We are
talking about two weeks past when you have been consuming no caffeine. So, your week 4 in this protocol would count
as week 1 in that regard. Seven days
after you finish this taper, we would expect your brain to have recovered from
the regular caffeine usage.
have successfully finished your caffeine taper, it is important that you focus
on regenerating your energy levels in healthy ways. Continuing to consume the right mushrooms and
herbs can be very supportive during this process. Whole foods that have been minimally
processed are highly recommended.