If you are worried about the effects of caffeine on your mind and body, you may want to cut down on your consumption or even completely detox from caffeine. While the method of detox can vary among individuals, a caffeine detox should begin with identifying all sources of caffeine in your diet. After identifying your caffeine sources and investigating caffeine alternatives, you can then begin to decrease the amount of caffeine you consume. During this time, you may need to manage caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Eventually, after you detox from caffeine, you may want to add caffeine to your diet again, but in smaller amounts.
Many people are unaware of all the sources of caffeine in their diet. Most people realize that coffee, tea, and colas contain caffeine, but don't think about the caffeine in chocolate, cocoa, or chocolate-flavored cereals and baked goods. Some over-the-counter pain relievers and cold remedies contain caffeine, as do some weight loss, herbal, and body building supplements. By paying attention to what you eat and drink as well as the supplements and medications you take, you can identify and begin to reduce or eliminate these sources as you detox from caffeine.
To reduce caffeine in your diet, swap out some high-caffeine items for something with less caffeine or no caffeine at all. For example, if you drink a lot of coffee every day, you could switch to half-caffeine coffee and then eventually to decaf, though you should keep in mind that even decaf coffee has some caffeine in it. Another option is to switch from coffee to tea. While tea has caffeine, the amount of caffeine in a cup of tea is typically one-half to one-third that of a cup of coffee. Another option is to drink herbal teas and tisanes, such as rooibos, but be careful of some herbals, such as mate, that contain caffeine.
While you detox from caffeine, you may experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms. These can include headaches, irritability, and a shorter attention span. Fortunately, these symptoms tend to peak at about 24 to 48 hours after you begin your detox. They can be mitigated by drinking lots of water, eating food that is high in fiber, and, if necessary, taking an over-the-counter painkiller that doesn't contain caffeine to treat headache symptoms. Eventually, you will begin to feel better as you detox from caffeine and your body begins to heal from its dependency.