How To Taper Down From Caffeine Use

Anyone that knows me can attest that I am always carrying a coffee.  I have been habitually drinking coffee now since I was around 20, so almost 25 years.  Even though some coffee is good for you, I know I drink entirely too much.  I have had anxieties on and off since I was a kid, and as much as I try to convince myself otherwise, my caffeine over-consumption certainly is not helping.  So, here I am at the beginning of my coffee taper in hopes that when I do need an occasional boost from coffee it will have a real affect instead of having almost no affect since I drink so much.

According to Muth (2013), this 5 step taper will do the trick (pp. 46-47). It is a rather straight forward and common sense approach to kicking the caffeine habit.

  1. Pick a two week period of your life with rather low stress.  The caffeine reduction may cause tiredness, so when you feel tired go to bed and do not add stimulants.  Aim for about 7-8 hours of sleep at night (All things we should be doing anyway).
  2. Try to tally total caffeine consumption throughout the day.  Try not to rely too heavily on labels and do your homework as to what the drinks really contain.
  3. Replace 1 caffeine beverage with a caffeine free alternative each day.  Maintain this caffeine level for 1 week, and the following week substitute it by one more.  Keep doing this every week until your total caffeine intake per day is less than 100mg. 
  4. Maintain your caffeine levels less than 100mg per day.  This is the level at which dependency is less likely to happen.  Try going cold turkey for three days at this point, if you get a caffeine headache at this point that means the baseline dose is not low enough so reduce to a 25mg maintenance dose  Or, you may choose to deal with the headache and after a few days you will have kicked the habit entirely.
  5. Try not to be in crisis mode.  We do not need a cup of coffee or your favorite caffeinated beverage every-time the going gets rough. Pick your spots for your caffeine ingestion so that you may get the maximal benefits with the least amount of caffeine dose.

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Muth, N. D. (2013). ACE FITNESS NUTRITION MANUAL. Retrieved from .