Caffeine is a mild stimulant that is found naturally occurring in plants, namely coffee, cocoa beans, and tea leaves. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and cocoa beverages.
Most people use caffeinated products to overcome fatigue and keep mentally alert.
Caffeine may cause a temporary rise in blood pressure and it does have a mild diuretic effect. Sensitivity to caffeine varies and excessive intake may cause anxiety or insomnia. Certain groups of people should discuss their caffeine intake with their physician such as those with a history of high blood pressure, heart attack or women who are pregnant or nursing.
Green tea, matcha or dandelion root faux coffee blends can also help with weaning off too much caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to be protective in neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's. As is often the rule, moderation is key and to be sure one isn’t exhausting adrenal glands by running on caffeine fumes alone.
To reduce your caffeine intake consider the following tips:
- To avoid headaches and drowsiness cut back gradually. Don’t worry, these symptoms should disappear within a day or two of reducing your intake.
- If decreasing this habit seems to difficult, try mixing half regular and half decaffeinated coffee.
- Missing that warm comforting routine of sipping a hot beverage in the morning? Try swapping out coffee for decaffeinated tea or herbal tea.
- If soda is your weakness try to find other beverage alternatives that you enjoy. For some people, drinking soda is a mindless habit and it ends up being their primary source of hydration.
- Try reaching for flavored waters, seltzer water, or just plain bottled water instead.
- Always read nutrition labels. Caffeine will be listed in the ingredient list.