How Long Does Caffeine Withdrawal Last: Quitting is Not Easy
Caffeine, like nicotine, is addicting. This explains why there are many people who are showing different withdrawal symptoms once they are not able to have their coffee. This is not a matter to be laughed at. This is a serious concern. This is a situation that is experienced by at least 50% of coffee drinkers.
In some instances, you might associate your behavior changes with other matters, such as stress and environmental factors, but in reality, it could be because you are cutting down coffee. If you want to know how long does caffeine withdrawal last, keep on reading. We will also discuss the symptoms of withdrawal, letting you know how serious of a situation it is.
What Is Caffeine Withdrawal
Before anything else, it is important to first have an understanding of the problem. It is a given fact that drinking coffee can have a number of benefits. The latter, however, will only be true if coffee is consumed in moderation. It is recommended that every individual should not consume more than 400 mg of caffeine in a day.
This means that you should not be drinking more than four cups of coffee. If you exceed the limit, there is a high likelihood that you will be experiencing a variety of withdrawal symptoms, which will be further discussed later. The problem is exacerbated by a number of conditions, such as pregnancy.
If you abstain from your caffeine fix, even if you just lessen your caffeine intake by at least 100 mg a day, there is a high likelihood that you will be suffering from withdrawal. This is because coffee is a stimulant. There are various chemicals that make it addictive.
If you abruptly take it out of your lifestyle, there are problems that can be apparent. The American Psychiatric Association even classifies this withdrawal as a mental disorder, which is pretty much more than enough to give you an idea of how much of a problem it could possibly be.
How Long Does Caffeine Withdrawal Last
Now, we will go to the most important part of the discussion. There is no universal answer to the question. To play it safe – it depends. This will depend on a variety of factors, such as individual health condition, lifestyle, and how much coffee you actually take before withdrawing.
In most instances, the withdrawal symptoms will last only up to 48 hours. Still, this is too much of a burden for many people, especially if withdrawal symptoms include headache and other painful episodes. However, if you are a heavy drinker, which means that you are almost dependent with coffee and you cannot last a day without it, the withdrawal symptoms can last for one to two weeks.
What Are The Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal
Aside from knowing how long does caffeine withdrawal last, it is also important to take a look at the specific symptoms. Once you begin experiencing most of these situations, you must know that it is caffeine to be blamed:
- Headache: This is one of the most common symptoms that are experienced as soon as you withdraw from caffeine intake. More often than not, you will feel it starting behind the eye and moving to the front of your head.
- Anxiety: This can happen when you had too much of caffeine, but also common for people who just withdrew from drinking coffee. Drinking coffee can stimulate the brain, which would explain why you are more active in a variety of social situations, much like how you are when you had alcohol. Without coffee, on the other hand, there is no stimulation, and hence, you might end up being anxious and reserved.
- Cravings: There can be uncontrollable cravings upon withdrawal. This is especially the case if you have already developed a dependence on caffeine. This is also one of the hardest to resolve as you will most likely be looking for an alternative fix.
- Depression: One of the benefits of drinking coffee is that it gives you an emotional boost. Therefore, it is pretty much common to experience mood changes when you are withdrawing, which can lead into depressive episodes.
- Grogginess: Many people who drink coffee will surely know how beneficial it is when it comes to being alert and awake. It is just natural to feel groggy if you try to have it withdrawn from your system
- Poor Concentration: Coffee is also known for being able to improve your concentration. With this, if you try to take it out of your habit, there is a strong chance that you will have difficulty in focusing in a specific task.
So, just to reiterate, if you are asking about how long does caffeine withdrawal last, the answer is that it varies. Individual physiology, frequency of drinking, amount of coffee consumed, and dependency are just some of the things that will have an impact on the length of withdrawal. Generally speaking, however, it can be anywhere from 48 hours to four weeks.