How to Quit Caffeine Without Withdrawal

how to quit caffeine without withdrawal

Introduction

 Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world.1 Many people don’t think much about throwing back their morning cup of joe.  Coffee tastes good, and it can make you feel good by increasing energy and mood.  So many of us rely on caffeine to get our days started.  But is this an ideal ritual for health?


     What exactly is happening when we drink our favorite caffeinated beverage?  And is caffeine good or bad for you?  In this article, we are going to discuss many caffeine related topics.  However, our main focus is going to be on the health effects of caffeine, and how to quit caffeine without withdrawal.  Spoiler alert, caffeine can be fine in moderation, but there are many healthier alternatives.

How Does Caffeine Work?

Before we dive into the negative effects of caffeine and why we think you should choose healthier alternatives, we want to discuss how caffeine elicits its effects.  First and foremost, caffeine is what’s called a Central Nervous System Stimulant.  This basically means that caffeine has a stimulatory effect on our nervous system.


     The way that this works is through a chemical in our bodies called adenosine.  Caffeine binds to adenosine receptors in our brain.  When this happens, adenosine is unable to bind to these receptors.  Adenosine typically binds to its receptors and increases relaxation and sleepiness.  Because caffeine doesn’t allow adenosine to attach to and activate its receptors, it reduces sleepiness through this mechanism.


     This is not the healthiest process, especially on a daily basis.  You want your adenosine activity to increase as the day goes on, being strongest in the evening.  This is one of the many processes that the body utilizes in order to regulate its circadian rhythm.  If you continuously block adenosine binding, you will have a difficult time sleeping at night.


     This is also why it is very important to at least cut off your caffeine consumption by a certain time each day.  For most people, cutting caffeine by noon is effective.  If you are drinking caffeine much past this time, it is very likely that you are negatively affecting your sleep.

Negative Effects of Caffeine

The truth about caffeine is that while safe in moderation, regular use of caffeine can have some negative health effects.  For instance, caffeine elevates cortisol secretion.

2 Cortisol is a hormone that your body releases in response to stress.  This means that caffeine raises your stress response and consequently can increase anxiety.


      Just like caffeine, cortisol is fine in moderation, and actually essential to life.  Without cortisol your body and mind would have no drive to wake up and get going in the morning.  There is a normal, cyclical nature to the levels of cortisol in our bodies.  What we want to avoid, however, is breaking this cycle with extended periods of increased cortisol.  Drinking too much caffeine, or on too regular of a basis, could possibly elevate cortisol to unhealthy levels.


     In addition to increased cortisol production, caffeine also has a negative affect on sleep as discussed earlier in our “How does caffeine work?” section.  We will be writing a few articles regarding sleep in the future, suffice to say it is crucial to good overall health.


     Lowering the amount or frequency that one consumes caffeine may relieve some of these negative effects.  However, today we want to focus on how to quit caffeine and avoid these negative side effects.  We will go over several techniques that will help you to lower your dependence on caffeine and even replace it with much healthier options that will improve your health.

Getting Started by Understanding your own Consumption

If we want to figure out how to quit caffeine without withdrawal, we want to take a look at our current caffeine consumption and come up with a game plan.  Take an audit of all of the caffeine that you consume on a daily and weekly basis.  While most people immediately think of coffee and energy drinks, there are other sources of caffeine to look out for as well.  Keep in mind that many teas, sodas, candies, and coffee-flavored foods and drinks also contain significant levels of caffeine.


     Once you have a list put together of your regular caffeine intake, add up the amount of caffeine that you typically consume in a day.  You can find exact amounts of caffeine contained in several foods and beverages here.  When you determine your daily caffeine intake, it’s time to do a little math.


     The goal here is to get to 0mg caffeine in 4 weeks from whatever point you are starting at.  By reducing your caffeine consumption by 20% a week, you can kick the habit by the end of the month!  For example, if your total caffeine adds up to 300mg, the following would be your taper schedule and how you can expect to feel.

How to Quit Caffeine Without Withdrawal

Tapering Down Caffeine – Example 300mg/Day


Week 1: 225mg Caffeine per Day


     This will be the first week that you are reducing your intake.  You may notice extra caffeine cravings during this time, as your body is used to keeping an equilibrium.  Resist these urges, and instead make sure you are getting everything you need for general health and energy.  We highly recommend trying our Myco-Rise blend throughout this journey.  It combines Cacao extract, Theobromine, Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract, and Cordyceps to give you the energy you need without the crash or interrupted sleep.


     Another good recommendation is to make sure you are eating whole natural foods, staying hydrated, and exercising.  While none of these approaches are specific to caffeine, they are all healthy practices that will increase your energy and overall health. Another great option would be using our NAD Nasal Spray.


Week 2: 150mg Caffeine per Day


  You got through your first week, nice job!  For many people, this will be a difficult, yet rewarding stage in their caffeine-free journey.  Since you are starting your halfway point, you may start to experience mild symptoms of lower caffeine.  Although we are going very slowly with this protocol, those who are sensitive to caffeine’s effects, or who have been using caffeine heavily and/or for a long time, symptoms may occur.


     It is important to stick with the regimen, and continue to support your overall health during this time.  Your sleep should start to improve as your caffeine levels drop off and your adenosine is able to bind to its receptors.


Week 3: 75mg Caffeine per Day


     At this stage in the game, the side effects of caffeine should be largely subsiding.  However, some of the negative effects of withdrawal may start to pop up.  Don’t be surprised if you start to have headaches or anxiety at this stage in the game.  These withdrawal symptoms are only temporary and well worth pushing through.


     It may be helpful to add CBD into the regimen this week.  CBD has been shown in studies to be a promising remedy for withdrawal from many drugs.  It can be super helpful for kicking addictions, and for reducing the effects of quitting cigarettes, opiates, caffeine, and much more.  Our Elevate tincture would be a great option for all day symptom relief, and is great at lifting mood.


Week 4: 0mg Caffeine per Day


     When you get to your fourth week, you will down to 0mg of caffeine.  However, this does not mean that you no longer have any caffeine in your system. The half-life of caffeine is around 5 hours, depending on the individual.  It takes 5 half-lives to eliminate a drug from your system.  Therefore, it takes around 25 hours to eliminate the remainder of the caffeine.


Week 1: 225mg Caffeine per Day


     This will be the first week that you are reducing your intake.  You may notice extra caffeine cravings during this time, as your body is used to keeping an equilibrium.  Resist these urges, and instead make sure you are getting everything you need for general health and energy.  We highly recommend trying our Myco-Rise blend throughout this journey.  It combines Cacao extract, Theobromine, Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract, and Cordyceps to give you the energy you need without the crash or interrupted sleep.


     Another good recommendation is to make sure you are eating whole natural foods, staying hydrated, and exercising.  While none of these approaches are specific to caffeine, they are all healthy practices that will increase your energy and overall health. Another great option would be using our NAD Nasal Spray.


Week 2: 150mg Caffeine per Day


  You got through your first week, nice job!  For many people, this will be a difficult, yet rewarding stage in their caffeine-free journey.  Since you are starting your halfway point, you may start to experience mild symptoms of lower caffeine.  Although we are going very slowly with this protocol, those who are sensitive to caffeine’s effects, or who have been using caffeine heavily and/or for a long time, symptoms may occur.


     It is important to stick with the regimen, and continue to support your overall health during this time.  Your sleep should start to improve as your caffeine levels drop off and your adenosine is able to bind to its receptors.


Week 3: 75mg Caffeine per Day


     At this stage in the game, the side effects of caffeine should be largely subsiding.  However, some of the negative effects of withdrawal may start to pop up.  Don’t be surprised if you start to have headaches or anxiety at this stage in the game.  These withdrawal symptoms are only temporary and well worth pushing through.


     It may be helpful to add CBD into the regimen this week.  CBD has been shown in studies to be a promising remedy for withdrawal from many drugs.  It can be super helpful for kicking addictions, and for reducing the effects of quitting cigarettes, opiates, caffeine, and much more.  Our Elevate tincture would be a great option for all day symptom relief, and is great at lifting mood.


Week 4: 0mg Caffeine per Day


     When you get to your fourth week, you will down to 0mg of caffeine.  However, this does not mean that you no longer have any caffeine in your system. The half-life of caffeine is around 5 hours, depending on the individual.  It takes 5 half-lives to eliminate a drug from your system.  Therefore, it takes around 25 hours to eliminate the remainder of the caffeine.

Conclusion: You’re Free!

     Once you are free of caffeine, you are not necessarily out of the woods just yet regarding symptoms.  The time that it takes your brain to recover and change back to the way it was before depends on your duration and intensity of use.  Some people may not feel back to normal for another couple of weeks.  The most common lingering symptoms are typically difficulty concentrating, low energy levels, and sometimes headaches.


     During this time, it is very important that you continue to stay hydrated, eat well, and exercise regularly.  While scientists haven’t determined the exact amount of time that it takes your brain to reset from caffeine, two weeks is a fairly safe estimate.  We are talking about two weeks past when you have been consuming no caffeine.  So, your week 4 in this protocol would count as week 1 in that regard.  Seven days after you finish this taper, we would expect your brain to have recovered from the regular caffeine usage.


     After you have successfully finished your caffeine taper, it is important that you focus on regenerating your energy levels in healthy ways.  Continuing to consume the right mushrooms and herbs can be very supportive during this process.  Whole foods that have been minimally processed are highly recommended.



  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9889511/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2249754/#:~:text=In%20the%20present%20study%2C%20caffeine,prolonged%20effect%20in%20the%20men.
  3. https://www.caffeineinformer.com/the-caffeine-database
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11283304/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20164566/#:~:text=Abstract,cells%20of%20all%20brain%20areas.

Reading next

caffeine vs theobromine

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.