Caffeine Addiction: Signs and Solutions

153411973Many people enjoy caffeine for its mood-altering stimulation. In fact, caffeine is the world’s most common type of mood altering drug. In small quantities, caffeine can be a safe way to boost your energy level. However, if you’ve become overly dependent upon your daily caffeine intake, especially if you consume large quantities per day, you may have a caffeine addiction.

How Much is Too Much?

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system by keeping you alert and lessening your level of fatigue. For this reason, many people drink coffee in the morning before starting their daily routine. Caffeine is found in many drinks, like tea, coffee, soda and energy drinks. While moderate coffee consumption is considered anything under three regular cups per day, some coffee drinkers find that they drink to excess. Those who drink more than 10 cups per day often experience physical symptoms like anxiety, tremors and insomnia. Additionally, those who try to stop their caffeine intake often find themselves suffering from real withdrawal.

What Does Caffeine Withdrawal Look Like?

It’s recommended that you don’t cut your coffee habit overnight, especially if you’ve been drinking many cups per day. Caffeine withdrawal can be quite debilitating, and it often includes:

• Depression and irritability
• Headache
• Fatigue
• Difficulty concentrating
• Flu-like symptoms

These withdrawal symptoms can last for one to two days. If you have experienced these symptoms and still have not been able to cut back on your coffee consumption, you may have become addicted to this popular stimulant. This is especially true if you’ve been advised by a medical professional to cut back on coffee but haven’t been able to do so.

How Can I Break the Habit?

Luckily, there are certain steps you can take to reduce or stop your consumption of caffeine. Combine caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Brew your tea for shorter amounts of time. Add extra milk to your coffee to decrease the strength. Drink soft drinks without caffeine. If you haven’t been able to cut back on your own, you might want to contact an addiction specialist. The World Health Organization recognizes caffeine addiction as a disorder, and treatment programs designed specifically for caffeine addiction are beginning to emerge.

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