How Caffeine Can Turn Into an Addiction, Ways to Beat It

How Caffeine Can Turn Into an Addiction, Ways to Beat It

How to beat Caffeine Addiction

Changing times have changed working patterns as well. Gone are the days when the working hours were fixed and you could just punch your way out at a designated time and flee your workplace like a bat out of hell. But the concept of ‘Flexible Timings’, crazy work schedules and absurd targets have been taking a toll on the people. So when the time arrives for one to seriously settle down and get to work, it’s no small wonder that most of us first arm ourselves with a mug of steaming tea or coffee.

Almost every day you are starting your work with a brew, a drink which contains caffeine, a stimulant that blocks adenosine receptors, which are associated with bringing about tiredness and decreased concentration.

Caffeine is found in many beverages and not just in coffee or tea alone. Soft drinks or sodas also contain caffeine, which is disguised by the makers as a ‘flavouring agent’. Also, it is caffeine that has made energy drinks very popular, as it alleviates feelings of fatigue and replaces it with a new found energy and heightened cognition through an adrenaline rush.

While that sure does sound good, it is the very thing makes caffeine addictive. People can get so addicted to caffeine that they do not even realize that they are addicted to it. Nevertheless, here are some ways to can check if you’re addicted to caffeine:

  • Withdrawal symptoms including headaches, irritability, lethargy and fatigue when you skip the brew are an indication of addiction.
  • Increased dependence on energy drinks or reaching for a cuppa frequently also means you’re hooked to it.
  • Other symptoms of addiction also include anxiety, difficulty in concentrating on things and depression.

However, given that the withdrawal symptoms of caffeine addiction are less harmful and easy to beat than alcohol or drug addiction, medical experts cut the drug some slack. Here’s how you can beat the addiction:
  • Grin and bear it! Withdrawal symptoms, though uncomfortable, usually disappear in a short span of time, two weeks to be precise, if you really behave well.
  • Drink lots of water, especially in the first few days to help your body adjust better with the absence of caffeine.
  • Going without that one cup for a while helps your brain restore the levels of adenosine in the cells and reset everything else, effectively ending the addiction.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad