Giving Up Caffeine? 5 Ways to Avoid That Headache.

Giving up caffeine can be tough especially if you are habituated to your daily dose in a routine that might include a morning cranial, jump-start coffee and afternoon diet soda pick-me-up.

When you decide time is right however,  to give your body a rest, to be kind to your adrenal glands, replenish lost sleep and move back to your normal circadian rhythms…….here are 5 tips to help you avoid the lethargy and dreaded caffeine headache.

  1. Start by switching to decaff. Cutting your caffeine intake in this way gives you time to regroup and examine your options. If like me you are addicted habitually as well as physically to caffeine then you will need to find alternatives to what has become a default behaviour. Switching to decaff is a great first step to take while doing this. take the time to approach your regular coffee place with fresh eyes, check out the menu for non-caffeinated options, herbal tea choices and milk steamers and find yourself an alternative to that first cup of coffee in the morning to have on hand in your kitchen cupboard.
  2. Start the day with lemon water. Whilst not replacing the flavour of coffee, beginning a new healthy habit of starting the day with lemon water is a great way to break from ingesting coffee first thing in the morning. Lemon water hydrates and flushes the liver to support the elimination of caffeine, primes the stomach and provides a good dose of vitamin C and potassium. Knowing you are being good to yourself at the start of the day leaves you better able to stick to your caffeine-kicking resolution.
  3. Get creative. Start investigating unusual alternatives to coffee. I created a new ritual for myself by brewing a cup of Chaga Mushroom Latte each day. This made me less likely to feel that I was denying myself or ‘missing out’. Try powdered Maca in a cup of warm almond milk with 1/2 tsp of raw honey. The Peruvian root Maca is an adaptogen which will support the health or your adrenal glands rather than initiating burn-out like caffeine.  After initially making my morning cup of joe a decaff, I also switched to herbal tea in the afternoon; choosing Dandelion Root Tea, a powerful liver detoxifier with a coffee-ish taste and Liquorish Tea which supports tired adrenal glands. Both Chaga, Maca, the dandelion based coffee replacer Dandy Blend and  a range of herbal teas are a available at good health food stores. 
  4. Stay hydrated and honour your sleep. It is really important flush your system free of toxins by staying hydrated all day long. Carry a water bottle, drink that herbal tea and make a big batch of Chia Fresca to sip on throughout the day. Also when ever possible take a nap if you need one. Your body will be re-adjusting back to it’s non-caffeine regulated, natural rhythm and in this case, sleep is absolutely the best medicine.
  5. Supplement. Help your body out by providing it with the nutrition it needs to get the job done! Vitamin C has been shown in clinical trails to decrease withdrawal symptoms, so load your diet with berries, peppers,broccoli, citrus fruits, parsley and kiwi fruit. You could also take 1000mg of buffered vitamin C each morning. Excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar in the diet have been shown to deplete the B group of vitamins in the body. Planning meals that include wild salmon fillet, asparagus, lentils parsley, beets and romaine lettuce will replace lost nutrition and support your brain and nervous system health. Taking a B vitamin complex each morning will add in additional nutrition.

Taking steps forward to support your best health by breaking-up with a caffeine is a time to celebrate your good intentions, support your body in the detoxification process, get curious about your alternatives and go easy on yourself if your slip-up. 

If you would like to take a detailed look at your diet and health and identify those foods that may be helping or hindering you daily by disrupting hormones, spiking blood sugars or creating stress, please to not hesitate to contact me.

Legal Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace medical advice or diagnosis from your family practitioner, specialist or medical doctor. The recipes advice and articles consist of nutritional and lifestyle advice as the sharing of information to support a healthier body.

Louise Innes

Author: Louise Innes

Louise Innes is a holistic nutritionist who resides in Calgary, Alberta. Her balanced take on nutrition brings a refreshing perspective to the world of food.

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