Signs of Caffeine Withdrawal + Alternatives to Coffee


Do you get really bad headaches in the morning or late afternoons and the only way to cure them is to drink some coffee or a caffeinated drink? What about feeling extremely grumpy before your first cup of joe? You might be experiencing caffeine withdrawals and these are only a few of the symptoms. Caffeine withdrawal can happen when you stop drinking caffeine abruptly or when you “crash” from the caffeine you previously drank (this can happen if you have 3+ caffeinated drinks per day).

Symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Decreased Mood
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Tremors

When I took a substance abuse and addition class in college I was baffled when I found out that caffeine is considered a drug. Caffeine is addictive and considered a substance due to its “mind alternating” abilities. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and signals adrenaline to be released from the adrenal glands which is why we get an energy rush when consumed. Basically, your body is going into fight or flight mode from the effects of caffeine but there is no threat. Prolonged use of caffeine can stimulate your adrenal glands so much that it can cause adrenal fatigue which causes extreme tiredness that sleep can not reverse. If you would like to read more about adrenal fatigue click here! It is best to stick to no more than two cups of caffeinated drinks per day if you want to prevent caffeine withdrawal and adrenal fatigue.

Alternatives to Coffee:

  • Switch to drinking green tea or herbal tea- still has caffeine but a significantly lower amount and has plenty of health benefits
  • Yerba Mate tea is another great option for getting that caffeine buzz without the crash that leaves you itching for another cup-this tea is naturally caffeinated from the leaves of a South American Holly Tree
  • Coconut Water- full of electrolytes that assist with hydration which in the end gives you more energy
  • Sparkling Water
  • Hot Apple Cider- great replacement for a hot beverage in the morning + has great health benefits such as improving digestion & can speed up the metabolism,
  • Take a B12 supplement- this will increase your energy naturally by providing your body with vitamins
  • Drink more water- being hydrated is a great way to maintain your energy, being dehydrated can cause fatigue especially in the Summer.


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