How to Give Up Coffee Without Caffeine Withdrawal Headaches
When I decided to quit coffee recently, I was able to stop drinking it quite easily because I had the 3 things from my previous article on how to replace coffee with healthier alternatives in place.
Firstly, I knew I’d been addicted to caffeine for many years and admitted that to myself.
Any addictive substance is a problem because you don’t have control of it — it has control of you. Once you understand how caffeine addiction works you can start to do something positive about it.
Secondly, I had the motivation and momentum after researching all the ways caffeine damages your digestion and wellbeing in general.
And finally, I already had these 2 caffeine withdrawal remedies ready to use before I began. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend reading those articles to get the most out of this coffee replacement plan.
With those 3 things in place, I was able to stop drinking coffee that morning with minimal caffeine withdrawal symptoms and change to better alternatives.
If you are low-level java drinker, say one every second or third day, but not every day at the same time, you may be able to replace coffee ‘cold turkey’ with peppermint tea, teeccino or another alternative beverage you enjoy.
For most people though, the replacement plan ahead, using the recommended caffeine withdrawal remedies, will make things much easier, minimize headaches and help you give it up with a minimum of fuss.
How to Quit Coffee in 10 Steps
Here’s the 10 steps I used when giving up coffee to minimize caffeine withdrawal symptoms and make the whole process as painless as possible.
The most important principles are to preempt the desire for it and replace it with your healthy alternative, while supporting your body as it’s coming off caffeine.
Step 1: Choose in advance when you are going to stop and stick to it.
Ideally start on the weekend or another time when you have two days away from work or other situations where you may be under more stress or on automatic pilot. More important than this though is setting a date and making a firm decision that it’s definitely the day to start coffee replacement.
Step 2: Early in the morning, before you shower and definitely before you usually have a coffee, take ginseng extract. I used an extra strength panax ginseng tincture and I found it particularly good. In my experience capsules aren’t as effective as liquid extracts with this herb.
Step 3: Directly after showering, spray and rub in some magnesium oil. Your legs are a good place to start to check sensitivity.
If it feels okay then your back, belly and inner arms are even better for absorption and rubbing the oil in there will help to prevent caffeine withdrawal headaches.
It may sting a little at first (avoid sensitive areas) but it’s well worth it to get in your relaxing magnesium. This sensation diminishes as you use it over time. I rarely get any stinging these days.
Step 4: If you previously drank coffee with your breakfast, try having an energizing ginger tea, or the java tasting substitute teeccino instead. There are several other healthy coffee alternatives here.
Step 5: Have a nutritious breakfast, especially for the first few days of caffeine withdrawal.
Fruit can be a good start the day. Apples are both energizing and filling. Berries like organic blueberries, strawberries and raspberries taste great and are full of antioxidants. Avocados are another great breakfast food that will really fill you up and can help you lose weight with their thermogenic fats.
Step 6: Have another dose of energizing ginseng before lunch.
Most people find ginseng gives them energy and this can help replace the usual jolt of caffeine while improving detox while coming off coffee. If you are feeling a little rough remember to take it easy on yourself today.
Step 7: Match where you’d usually drink coffee with your replacement teeccino, herbal tea or green tea. Try and preempt it by having one a little before you would normally ‘feel like it’.
Importantly though, don’t start creating a new habit of drinking excessively more than you normally would. This is particularly relevant with green tea, since it still has some caffeine, though at significantly lower levels.
Think in advance where and when you previously drank coffee during the day and plan to have a cup of your alternative a little before if possible.
If you started with teeccino or green tea, perhaps your second cup could be a good time to try refreshing peppermint or another herbal tea. The first day might be a bit early for this for previously heavy drinkers, but try to work towards it after a couple of days.
8. Have plenty of water between and especially just before meals.
Water is really important for flushing out toxins and preventing brain fog and caffeine withdrawal headaches. Get a big glass and keep it beside you, filling it up regularly.
Step 9: Eat as healthy as you can for today and the next few days of caffeine withdrawal.
Coffee inhibits the absorption of nutrients in your food, minerals in particular, and your body will probably be crying out for them.
Lots of vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, high-quality protein and healthy fats are the order of the day. Eating like this has an energy all of its own and you’ll feel much better for it.
Step 10: Over the next few days, reduce any coffee substitutes with caffeine, such as green tea or the teeccino/coffee mix described below, down further each day. The aim is to have no caffeine in your replacement drinks or in anything else you’re drinking or eating.
Importantly, this includes colas loaded with caffeine, acids and excessive HFCS; jittery ‘energy drinks’; and even caffeine containing headache and pain relief tablets (many have it as an ingredient so check the label).
You need a week minimum of freedom from caffeine in all its forms to start breaking the addiction.
If you use green tea as your coffee replacement initially, reduce it down after a day or two and replace it with peppermint or ginger tea for at least a week. Alternatively, use a decaffeinated green tea.
For the teeccino and coffee mix explained ahead, set a date and reduce it down to no coffee, only teeccino in the cup.
At the end of that day, throw out or give away any remaining coffee in your house. This is an important step whatever replacement you’re using.
If you’re using the teeccino mix this may be a few days or a week later. However, if you’re using herbal or green teas for replacement it’s best to get any coffee out of the house as soon as possible to avoid temptation.
You’ve gone through this once, achieved what you set out to do, now it’s best to throw it out and not look back.
The Slow Reduction Method of Replacing Coffee
Heavy coffee drinkers often need a little extra help giving up caffeine rather than just quitting cold turkey.
With that in mind here’s an extra step to make quitting as simple as possible and minimize headaches and other withdrawal symptoms.
It’s a special slow reduction trick you can do with the java replacement teeccino that makes it especially good for previously heavy drinkers. Here’s how it works:
- For the first day of caffeine replacement you make up a cup of teeccino with half regular coffee. So however many scoops you to used to use, make half of that teeccino instead.
- On the following day reduce the amount further, say two fifths coffee and three fifths teeccino and so on, reducing a bit more each day.
- This may take a couple of days for light to moderate coffee users, or a week or more for heavy users. Regardless of how many days it takes, the end result is making up your cup of teeccino caffeine-free, with no coffee in it at all.
This slow reduction method can really help minimize withdrawal symptoms like headaches. It also customizes you to the taste of whichever teeccino flavor you’re using while maintaining the same drinking ritual.
The day you reach your no caffeine cup with this method is a good day to celebrate by throwing out or giving away the last of the coffee in your house.
The Benefits of Caffeine-Free
Once you’ve given up coffee, and replaced it with something better, you’ll usually find your health and sense of wellbeing improving. Over time your day to day energy will become calmer and more stable.
Feeling like this, most people wouldn’t want to go back to the constant low-level tension of a caffeine addiction ever again. I personally have no intention of doing so.
Next is a look at another big source of caffeine in many people’s diets, and an even more destructive one in terms of their wellness and wellbeing — caffeinated and acidic sodas and how they damage your digestive system.