The Horribleness of Caffeine Withdrawal

The past couple months I got into a routine. Wake up, coffee, workout/work, then do the other, have espresso/protein mix, have a coffee drink at work, and then tea at night. It was a lot of caffeine. Well on Monday I did the math to see just how much I was consuming.

I was consuming at at least the recommended daily amount which, according the the Mayo Clinic, is 400mg. However, I was waking up with headaches and I was getting exhausted unless I had coffee in my hand. I was up all night because of the caffeine in my system etc, etc. It was a never ending cycle.img_20170210_132739867.jpg

I decided to quit almost cold turkey with caffeine, except for tea and chocolate on Monday. It’s now been six days and the withdrawals are finally going down. There were some things I knew would happen like the headaches. But it was so much worse than I thought. Some of these I found out online are quite common and others are just things I noticed with myself.

  • Headaches
    I had a pounding headache the entire week. A pounding, stabbing pain behind my eyes which generally went away when I was laying down or doing nothing. Nothing really got rid of it. Every once in a while I would have some pain relievers but it didn’t help that much so I gave up on it.
  • Muscle Soreness/ Grogginess/ Sore Throat
    I didn’t even know this was a thing but for a single day (when I thankfully didn’t work) I had the worst sore throat and muscle soreness so I just curled up and read all day and I woke up fine the next morning. It said on the website linked above that it happens, but it was just so weird.
  • Worse Sleep
    This is the opposite of what I was expecting. I was hoping to be sleeping soundly but all I’ve gotten was really weird dreams when I normally don’t dream at all, and I’ve been up until one or two and waking up at weird times. And a lot.
  • Food Cravings
    During this time I was eternally hungry. It wasn’t even specific foods all the time, though I did have a lot of peanuts and chocolate. I haven’t found online anywhere that this is normal so that may have just been a me thing.

There have been upsides though. I’m going through all of my tea that has been sitting around for ages, drinking more water and I’ve been saving money because even with my discount at work, the cost of coffee still adds up. Now that the withdrawals are starting to go down (knock on wood) I’ve become more productive, reading more, planning more posts, etc.

When the withdrawals are done I’ll obviously treat myself to coffee sometimes but I hope I don’t get to the point where I am basically surviving off of caffeine and getting headaches first thing in the morning again.

Disclaimer: I am by no means a medical professional and this is all just in my experience.



6 thoughts on “The Horribleness of Caffeine Withdrawal

  1. Liz Whitehouse says:

    I hate caffeine withdrawal, it is the worst thing in the world. I have gone cold turkey twice, and the headaches, urgh they are the worst! No one tells you quite how bad it will be, but walking round effectively having the worst self-inflicted flu is horrendous. Well done for sticking through it!

    I probably should cut down the amount I drink, because I know realistically I am both addicted and consuming over the daily limit. I am kidding myself it will be easier to cut back in the summer though…


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