At first blush, caffeine seems harmless enough. After all, this common substance is found everywhere, from your morning cup of coffee and your favorite soft drink to that delicious chocolate bar. But even though caffeine is everywhere, it is not necessarily good for you. Caffeine can be habit forming, and potentially dangerous as well. If you have high blood pressure, for instance, all that extra caffeine could push your blood pressure up even further, increasing your odds of suffering a life-altering heart attack or stroke. Caffeine can also be addictive, and you can suffer real physical problems, including severe headaches, when cutting it out of your diet.
Unfortunately, weaning yourself off of caffeine can be a difficult process, especially if you are a heavy consumer of coffee and other caffeinated beverages. In order to be successful, you need to have a solid strategy in place for overcoming the cravings that could otherwise wreck your well intentioned plan.
Make Smart Substitutions
Consuming large quantities of caffeine is a habit, much the same way that morning cigarette is for smokers. If you are to make it through day one without any caffeine, you need to start making smart substitutions and changes in your daily routine. You can start with something as simple as substitution decaffeinated coffee for the full test variety when you start your day. Continue to make those substitutions as you drink coffee throughout the day, and soon you will lower your blood levels of caffeine and help to wean your body off the stuff.
It may be helpful to take a few over the counter pain pills when you start weaning yourself off caffeine. Removing caffeine from your daily diet will have an impact on your blood vessels, especially those in your head. When those blood vessels contract, you can end up with a wicked headache. In fact, a withdrawal headache is one of the classic symptoms indicating that you need to lower your caffeine consumption. Taking a few pain pills before you start weaning your body off caffeine can reduce your discomfort and increase our chances of seeing the change through to the end.
Watch for Hidden Caffeine
While your morning coffee might be the most obvious source of caffeine, chances are it is not your only source. Making it through the day without caffeine means looking for less obvious sources of this ubiquitous drug. If you enjoy soft drinks on a regular basis, you are probably consuming more caffeine than you might guess. Substituting caffeine free soft drinks for the regular variety is a good way to lower your caffeine consumption and wean your body off this popular stimulant.
Even your favorite candy bar can be a source of caffeine, so you will need to monitor your consumption carefully. When you shop for your favorite chocolate, check the label for the caffeine content and choose the candy with the lowest possible amount of the substance. The caffeine content of chocolate is low compared to coffee and even soft drinks, but it can still be a concern as you try to break free of your caffeine habit.
As with so many other habits, that first day without caffeine is likely to be the most difficult. Keep telling yourself that if you can make it through that first day the remainder of the days will be that much easier.