Guide to cutting down on caffeine and putting the taper in motion P5 – Final part to series

If you’ve followed along with this series for the past couple of weeks (okay, it’s been months, longer than anticipated but i promise to do better next time), then props to you! And chances are, you probably don’t remember me mentioning the tapering method of quitting coffee, but not to worry as I’ve linked it here.

Today, I’ll be sharing a breakdown guide in case you’ve chosen to taper off your caffeine cravings. And though i can’t promise that it’ll be a speedy route or journey, it is the more effective option as it still allows you to indulge, just not as aggressively, and will ultimately help you adjust to lower levels of caffeine, in the process. And if you’re willing – to quit caffeine altogether.

P.s. this is the final post of the series, so if you would like to stay in the loop for the next series, hint **it’ll be on all things wellness tea**

Guide to effectively tapering your coffee consumption

When it comes to gradually reducing how much caffeine you consume, it’s important to look at your habits. Obviously, if coffee is your only vice, then it of course, makes sense to focus your reduction here. But if you love a choccie too, then it may be worth looking to cut down there also.

  1. Ask yourself if you want change your habits, and if you’re ready to do so, then consider the tips mentioned below.
  2. Take a look at your caffeine habits. If you have, say, 3 coffees in a day and 2 chocolate bars, with the odd energy drink throughout the day, it’s best you take note of how much caffeine you’re getting.
  3. Since we’re talking about coffee here, we’ll stick to this.It’s recommended you reduce by 1/3 cup over a period of time. By brewing your coffee a little weaker, you’ll still be getting your fix, 300mg is the recommended daily amount; about 3 mugs of filter coffee.
  4. Avoiding caffeine after 3pm has also been suggested, because as mentioned in an earlier post it can take between 7-9 hours for caffeine to leave the bloodstream.
  5. Staying hydrated
  6. Keep on the lookout for coffee alternatives, which we discussed here. For more tips, you can visit the US Health News suggestions

the best time to start was yesterday, the second best time to start is now

-Unknown

It’s been fun doing this series, and i hope you enjoyed reading as much as I’ve enjoyed researching and sharing my findings. If you’ve been read part 1 to 5, you’re the real MVP, and I appreciate you! Till the next series, which will begin in August (but the introduction to the next series will be up on 20th July)

Sign up below to be receive an inbox reminder for the upcoming series on all things wellness tea related. If you have any burning questions, then drop it here

From me tea you!

Hi, I’m Bola. A writer and tea enthusiast. In June 2019, I decided to take my avid tea drinking that bit more seriously and Bola Talks Tea was born. The place where i document all things storytelling, tea and intentional living.

Looking to quit the coffee? Well here are 7 caffeine withdrawal Symptoms to expect – Bola Talks tea P4

As I shared in the introductory post to this series, I mentioned talking to multiple people (of varying ages and lifestyles) asking about their experience with quitting coffee, (some of whom still continue to drink the beverage following their intermittent quit).

To remove a part of your daily routine that you’ve gotten so familiar with, no doubt can be a challenge, but in the long run, if reducing your caffeine intake is something you want to do, then it’s best to be know what to expect, which is why today I’ll be sharing with you the 7 most common withdrawal symptoms of quitting coffee.

7 most common caffeine withdrawal symptoms:

Having spoken with a number of people who have experienced their own caffeine withdrawal symptoms, below I’ve listed the 7 most common symptoms they all shared.

1. Headaches

When headaches are more than a pain - Harvard Health
A man grimacing while experiencing a pounding headache

One of the earliest symptoms you may experience from cutting down on coffee is a pounding headache. This is due to the increase of blood flow to the brain, which caffeine often reduces. So as your body readjusts to its regular and natural rate of blood flow, headaches will be one of the few inconveniences.

2. Lethargy/Fatigue

13 Tips For Beating The Tiredness Out Of You
Man sleeping at the table after eating

Depending on coffee for an energy boost; be it in the morning or midday, creates a dependence and a fix to the energy slump. So, naturally eliminating coffee from the routine will of course mean the slump remains.

3. Irregular sleep patterns

Like the point above, the fatigue you experience is similar to the effects of a detox, as your body re-calibrates to it’s natural rhythm.

4. Irritability

As the slogan goes, ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’, but in this case it’s easy to feel like you’re not yourself without your daily caffeine dose, so as you strive to be your best caffeine-free self, be it permanently or temporarily, expect a bout of irritability along the way.

5. Drowsiness

This goes without saying, but the sleep deprivation and the ongoing irregularity of slumber may have you feeling sleepy in the day and awake in the night, so it’s good to know that drowsiness is among the withdrawal symptoms.

6. Brain fog

5 Reasons You Have Brain Fog. - Ancestral Health
A suit with a cloud for a head

Brain fog or lack of concentration was reported as one of the most difficult symptoms to deal with because in the case of work, not being able to bring their A-game was a concern, however given that it is a short term effect, you may just have to soldier through it.

7. Flu-like symptoms

As if all the other symptoms weren’t enough, some people shared that they felt like they had the flu. However, this is more likely to be the case for those who consume large quantities of caffeine. Mind you though, the caffeine may be from coffee, but it could also be down to other foods too.

How long the caffeine withdrawal symptoms last?

Given that caffeine has between 4 and 6 hours in our bodies, hence the need for a pick-me-up, it can take from a few days or weeks for the symptoms to subside.

Is there anything you did to help to help?

You’re probably wondering if there are any solutions to the withdrawal symptoms mentioned above. And luckily, this is one of the questions I asked the people who i spoke to; if there was anything in particular that made the symptoms any bit more bearable.

And a few of things they mentioned are:

1. Staying hydrated: Though it seems like a no-brainer, apparently making a conscious effort to drink your H20 can help.

2.Finding other ways to energise yourself: Teas, green juices and the like were recommended as alternative pick me ups, or non-caffeinated coffee substitutes.

3. Taking pain relievers: In case the headaches, body aches or any other pain presents itself, this may help. OF course, i’m not a doctor, but this only a suggestion.

4. Chewing gum: obviously this isn’t recommended in the morning, but for a pick me up, or a quick sugar boost throughout the day, this can help keep your mind off the caffeine-free re-calibration.

Over on the caffeine informer, they go into depth on all things caffeine-related.

Let me know below, have you ever tried a caffeine detox or complete removal? If so, I’d love to hear more about your experience, so feel free to share it below.

If you enjoyed this post, then why not subscribe or leave a like below?

That’s all from me today folks,

Difference between quitting coffee and quitting caffeine (you’ll be surprised to know…) P3

Is a life caffeine-free really a life well lived? This is the question we’ll be unpacking today and to be quite honest, I’m quite excited to share my findings with y’all. In part 1 of this series, we went over the reasons to consider quitting coffee, but today, we’re throwing it’s addictive substance into the mix.

Now I know it’s easy to think as coffee and caffeine as being one in the same, which in a sense they are because caffeine is a naturally occurring substance in the beans, however the subject of living caffeine free is where the focus will be today.

What does it mean to live caffeine-free?

In the world of dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free, is it really necessary that we add yet another no go to the land of the free form? When I learnt of this style of living, I wondered the same thing.

Not to worry though, as it turns out, that living caffeine-free refers to the lifestyle where you choose to eliminate all sources of caffeine, which isn’t includes, but isn’t limited to coffee, tea, chocolate, and other foods/drinks that contain the substance.

Foods containing caffeine Drinks with caffeine
Chocolate (milk, white and dark)Energy drinks
Ice creamCoffee/Espresso
Cocoa beans and other cocoa based treated (e.g. choc cookies, Energy drinks like red bull
Energy/power barsSoda
Tea (I know, right!)
A table of food/drink sources containing caffeine

Benefits of living caffeine-free

While i could go on by comparing and contrasting the benefits of living free of each of these, I decided that its better to focus on caffeine this time around as I touched on the benefits of quitting coffee in an earlier post.

So the claimed benefits of living caffeine free are as follows:

1. Reduced anxiety

As we’ve established, excessive consumption of caffeine is what gives rise to the side efects and experienced, and anxiety happens to be one of them. By eliminating the substance, this may be benefit you experience.

2. Improved skin

The interference of caffeine with your collagen production and synthesis in your skin can often give a premature aged look. Living caffeine-free can potentially slow the rate of this interference, thus giving you a more youthful look.

3. Lower blood pressure

In addition to the other areas that caffeine takes its toll on (sleep, concentration, mood), the nervous system is also one of them and research has shown that it creates a spike.. Though researchers are yet fully understand why this may be, at the MayoClinic, they suggest, based on research, that it may be due to the interference of blood flowing through the arteries.

4. Healthy hormone balance

While a healthy hormone balance is necessary for both males and females, there is additional emphasis on women to maintain a healthy regulation of the balance,

5. Relief from caffeine dependence

As I touched on earlier, caffeine is a substance found in a number of foods and drinks, not coffee alone, and with this being the case this created a dependency of sorts on this stimulant (or to use the scientific term, psychoactive substance) to give us that boost of energy when we need it. this explains why, unintentionally why chocolate, ice cream etc. are our go-to treats. Though we may attriubute this to being down to the sugar craving, what if it is really a caffeine craving?

Of course, when it comes to changing or wanting to form new habits, it’s best to make an informed decision. And given that we’ve already been over the reasons to give up coffee, it’s only right we take it a step further and detail the potential benefits too, right?

2020-06-30T19:00:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

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Upload of part 4 of ‘Wean Off Coffee’ Series

If you found this as interesting as i did in compiling the facts then drop a comment below. And if you want to be reminded when I upload then, leave your email below.

If you enjoyed this post, then leave a like or comment below. And to receive notifications of updates and for part 4 (which will be up this Friday)

Till then, happy sipping TEAsers,

Bola

FURTHER READING

If you’d like to read up on more, evidence-based content, these sources are READILY available:

By the Better Health Gov Australia

By the Medlife blog

The Impact of Coffee on Health. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.

The livestrong team

By the list

By the NCBI

Introducing the ‘Wean Off Coffee’ (WOC) series

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about how broad the world of tea is,. And you may be thinking, “what’s this got to do with coffee’? Well, I’m glad you asked because i asked myself the same question. And as I started thinking about the similarities they bear, it was the fact that though they both contain caffeine, it’s how their effects and levels, differ that caught my attention.

french tea GIF, drinking tea

The caffeine in tea and Coffee:

As a fellow tea drinker, if I’m in the mood for a calming or restful drink late in the evening, i can always reach for a chamomile (which isn’t really a tea, it’s a tisane but we won’t be getting into that today), or a silver needle white tea which is rather low in caffeine, meaning i wont have to worry about a caffeine-related sleep disruption.

i don't know idk GIF by VH1

However, when i thought about tea’s stronger distant cousin, I struggled to think of and find the alternative/low caffeine options (other than the decaf options, of course). But i wasn;t about to leave things like that, i did what any other curious beverage drinker would do, and off to Google galore I went.

happy homer simpson GIF

Advice from a friend:

In good will, I will spare you the lengthy details, but what I will do is share with you what I’ve learnt. And not only from Google, but from journals, articles, and speaking to caffeine-free converts and coffee drinkers who’ve changed their caffeine ways.

Often, when we think of the world of coffee, it’s pretty much an unspoken code that the coffee is full of abundance niche, and from this i too can assert there is much to learn.

And speaking honestly, I want to use this series as a way of sharing more about the teas out there, not just the kind that tea lovers adore, but the kind that coffee lovers too can substitute from time to time, for their coffee, or if they’re brave enough completely.

Other documenting their experience:

google GIF

Now back to weaning off coffee. If there’s been a challenge I’ve seen multiple content creators who try cutting out coffee for a number of days, or months. And a quick search on YouTube, Google or Instagram will quickly reveal, there are a lot of people who have given this a go.

From Matt D’avella’s experiment:

To Buzzfeed:

Thumbnail of a man drinking coffee from a small mug, with a background of coffee beans scattered on the top.

And Better ideas

If you’re in the mood for evaluating your relationship with coffee, then take a look at this article from the Well and Good team.

What you can expect:

From this series, here’s a few things you can expect over the coming weeks:

-The difference between quitting coffee and quitting caffeine

-Different methods of reducing your coffee consumption along with,

-Substitutes for coffee, which are similar in taste, but diffferent in substance. I am aware that the rustic coffee flavour is difficult to emulate, but what’s the harm in giving them a try?

-Alternatives to coffee, some which include caffeine-filled drinks and non-caffeinated alike

-The benefits of living a caffeine free lifestyle (Including the benefits)

-There will also be a bonus part, so feel free to leave suggestions below of what you’d like to see.

If any of the things mentioned above are of any interest to you, then why not sign up below to be notified of each post within the series? (i’ll be posting every Friday this month, so sign up to stay in the know)

Till part 1, which will be up next week Mon,

Happy Sipping,

Bola

Not willing to compromise on taste? Here are 5 coffee substitutes (Which are also caffeine-free) P2 of WOC series

This, is the story of Sam has been drinking coffee since she started freshman year of college, though she initially refused to join the bandwagon, the demand of deadlines caused her to give in. It’s been 5 years and though she’s finished university, the habit of coffee is one she’s not been able to leave behind. And her single cup as a energy source for pulling all-nighters has upgraded to multiple a day. Leaving her exhausted in the absenc of her daily dose(s).

*FYI: Sam doesn’t actually exist, she was actually created for the purpose of this post.

Perhaps your relationship with coffee started in a similar manner, or perhaps the overwhelming workload of work and/or life has got you reaching for this energy stimulant. And if the side effects, as mentioned in part 1, and as seen here, are similar to your own experience, theI hope the list of caffeine-free substitutes to coffee.

the bone of contention

If the idea of quitting coffee altogether is too daunting and you cant quite stomach the idea of going ‘cold turkey’ (check out the last post here for more on this), not to worry.. Or perhaps, you’re not yet willing to compromise on the full-bodied, robust flavour but you’re all in for cutting down on the coffee caffeine, then you’re in luck, because this post is for you!

Having to give up something you’re so used to and love is hard, and I’m not here to make your life harder but smooth. (I had to!).

Spilling the (roasted) beans

There’s no point in wasting anymore time, so without further ado, we’ll dive right in! (you coming or what?)

First things first, I must say that the beverages I am about to mention are not the real thing, and while some bear the name of ‘herbal coffee’, this may give off a pseudo effect that you are drinking the ‘c’ culprit, but be warned, though they may be similar, there are no coffee beans in the beverages I am about mention.

*Oh and very quickly, i just want to mention, all the following substitutes are caffeine free and instant:

5 Caffeine-free Coffee Substitutes

1. Whole Earth Alternative (Decaf)

Whole Earth Foods Organic NoCaf 100g

This is one of the substitutes i have tried myself, and though they also offer a non-decaf option, I’ve only tried the decaf version.

This could be your preference if:

You want something quick, weak and warm. It does have a slight roasted flavour to it, and while it can’t compare to the taste of coffee, it is great for soothing the craving of a warm beverage.

2. Prewett’s Roasted Chicory drink

Prewetts Roasted Chicory Drink 100g | Holland & Barrett

Compared to the above, this one has the upper hand for 3 main reasons, the ‘strength’, scent and flavour. Granted, this may be because the chicory is roasted, but I can say that the difference in taste is clear. Aso, this one isn’t

try this if:

3. Teecino Herbal Coffee

Amazon.com : Teeccino Organic Java Medium Roast Mediterranean ...

That’s right, Teecino (like cappuccino but minus the coffee). While I haven’t had the chance to try this one yet, there are plenty of reviews out there which many are a fan of, I’ve listed below the review of two different people.

4. Lima Yannoh Instant Vanilla

YANNOH® INSTANT VANILLA | Lima Food

This might be for you if:

If you’re after a milder in taste, but a strong scent (without the depth or bitter end to it, then you might prefer this. This is also a caffeine-free and is made up of chicory, grains and acorns, Also, this does already have sugar in, but unlike these other substitutes, this one froths at the top once you add hot water (and milk – optional) to the granules.

5. Instant Dandelion Coffee 500g

Symingtons Instant Dandelion Coffee 500 g

So this substitute is made of a dandelion (root), an Eastern medicine which many former coffee-lovers have switched to, and wellness expert and nutritionist, Robyn Youkilis thoughts on this, then you can read it here.

This might be for you if:

This is hailed for its caffeine-free, and herbal medicinal, namely for gut health as it has probiotic properties.

Click here for more on dandelion, which is apparently the next coffee, (or matcha for the tea drinkers out there).

If you enjoyed this post, or you missed the previous part to this series, then click here (insert link) to get caught up. And if you want to receive a notification for the next post then join below to stay in the know!

2020-05-29T18:29:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

Part 3 upload

See you next Friday for part 3, till then

Happy Sipping TEAsers,

Bola

P.S. If you want to read p1, you can find it here (*insert link)