Quitting Caffeine

Whether it comes in the form of a nonfat latte or a Mountain Dew, caffeine is the favored drug of millions. While it heightens alertness and can improve performance in everything from tests to marathon times, it also causes a wide range of side effects. Caffeine raises the user’s blood pressure and increases the risk for heart disease. Furthermore, it can deplete the mineral density of bones in consumers regardless of age or overall health. In rare cases, it can even lead to death from caffeine poisoning. It is the most commonly used drug in the world and it will be difficult quitting caffeine (and getting your clients to quit).

For those few who decide to quit caffeine, the going can be a bit rough for the first few days. Like any addictive drug, caffeine has got a list of ugly withdrawal symptoms. Quitters can expect drowsiness, irritability, nausea, vomiting and a hearty case of the blues. The sucker punch of caffeine withdrawal has to be the heinous headache, making quitting cold turkey a bleak endeavor rarely undertaken.


The best method for coming clean from caffeine is known as “caffeine fading”. Basically, the level of caffeine consumed is reduced gradually. A typical user drinks around two cups a day. Reducing that amount by a half a cup each day can ease the symptoms of addiction. Inside of a week, one can be free from the intense cravings and the myriad effects of caffeine. However, even this method is no guarantee against that ruthless headache.

The headache is a response to a sudden drop in blood pressure due to the absence of caffeine. It can last from one to five days. Aside from easing off of caffeine slowly, common analgesics can help to stave off the headache. Most analgesics, such as aspirin, contain a small caffeine dosage. It is a good idea to take two aspirin for the first few mornings, and to drink plenty of non-caffeinated beverages such as herb tea and water.

The other symptoms of caffeine withdrawal can be alleviated by getting a little exercise and a lot of sleep. It is also beneficial to let those around you know that you are quitting so that they can understand your condition, your sudden mood changes and offer support. You will have a tough time convincing your clients to quit caffeine altogether. Keep trying and keep supporting them through it.


The NFPT Team is your #FitFam of trainer professionals who make various contributions to the NFPT Blog according to timed news and events, or interests in writing to current topics respective to individual skillset, talent and/or professional recommendations.