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Friday, June 10, 2016

Are You Hooked on Caffeine?

Can’t seem to function without a daily fix of coffee – maybe even three cups (or more) to get through your day?

In the right doses, caffeine has a host of health benefits, including improving cognitive function, fatigue, mood, and athletic performance. But drink too much and you’ll likely be dealing with disrupted heart rhythms, jitters, anxiety, headaches, and insomnia – all which can be detrimental to your recovery success.

Perhaps the biggest danger with caffeine addiction is how little it takes to get hooked. If you abruptly cut out caffeine after drinking just 100 milligrams a day (five to eight ounces of coffee, two cans of diet soda, or two or three cups of tea) you’ll likely experience the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Depressed mood
  • Nausea
  • Muscle pain 
Caffeine withdrawal is even recognized in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the handbook of psychiatric disorders used by mental health professionals.

5 Ways to Kick Your Caffeine Habit

It’s a hard habit to break, but overcoming caffeine addiction is possible. Start with these simple strategies.

  1. Establish your baseline for consumption. Count the number of caffeinated drinks you drink ordinarily – and then try to reduce that by two cups per week. 
  2. Taper off slowly. Quitting cold turkey is tough, so you’re best bet is to start by replacing one of your cups of coffee or soda or tea (however you get your fix) with an alternative – say decaf or water. You can even mix half calf with half decaf to ease the transition. 

  3. Load up on H2o. Consuming more water, whether it's hot or cold, can help keep your hands and mouth busy when you feel the urge to reach for another cup of Joe. Plus, staying hydrated will help minimize pesky withdrawal symptoms like low alertness and difficulty concentrating. 
  4. Get moving. Exercise can rev your energy just as much (if not more) than caffeine. It also helps beat the fatigue and irritability you’ll likely experience when trying to cut back your consumption. 
  5. Replace the ritual. Instead of waking up and b-lining it to the coffee maker, take some time to mediate or do a few yoga poses. These relaxation techniques will work double-duty: They’ll serve as a replacement activity and minimize the classical caffeine withdrawal symptoms of crankiness and lack of concentration. And they’ll do wonders for your recovery, too!

Healthy Living for Lasting Recovery
Have you beaten one addiction, only to find your life disrupted by a new compulsive behavior? At Complete Harmony, we utilize cutting-edge addiction treatment and holistic therapies to offer you the best chance for a lasting recovery. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.
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