Caffeine withdrawals SUCK.
Sure, they’re no match for smack withdrawals with the projectile missiles coming out of both ends.
And they’re not as bad as alcohol withdrawals where you’re in constant danger of a stroke.
But they do suck.
Caffeine is a drug. A socially acceptable drug but a drug nonetheless.
When you abuse drugs, you’re gonna eventually run into a brick wall: tolerance followed by difficulty getting off the drug.
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms (as I’m sure you’re aware) include these nasties:
- Headaches (man, I HATE those pounding headaches)
- Sleepiness (well, duh)
- Brain fog
How bad your symptoms are depends on two things:
- How bad your habit is
- How you break your dependence
Let’s lift the hood on my own caffeine addiction.
A typical day’s caffeine consumption often involves:
- 1-2 cups of black Butter Blend Coffee (Japanese stuff – beautiful!)
- An energy drink right before the gym (usually Sugar Free Red Bull or Monster)
- 1-2 big old iced latte things from a nearby cafe
- Sometimes black tea with milk and sugar
- Countless cups of green tea
The other day, I got this baby free from the convenience store and added that too the mix:
Not the worst caffeine dependence, but definitely a strong dependence.
What would happen if I stopped cold turkey?
I would be pretty useless for at least a week.
So we’re not gonna do that. My method involves easing out of the dependence.
We’ll get to my method in a second but why would we even want to quit caffeine?
- Money: With the cash saved from quitting caffeine for a year, I could splash out on a nice little holiday. I could purchase some very high quality heroin and disappear to Bermuda.
- Borrowing energy: Caffeine doesn’t give you energy. It just borrows it from Future-You. You’re gonna pay the price.
- Needing a “kickstart”: Actually, since starting Wim’s course, this isn’t a problem for me anymore. I can even delay my morning caffeine fix for an hour or two and be productive almost immediately after waking. But I know that’s not the case for many people.
- Reduced effectiveness: We don’t want to stay away from caffeine forever. But we DO want it to actually be effective again. If we stay away from caffeine for a few months, it will give our receptors a chance to freshen up. Then, when we drink coffee or tea again it will actually do what it’s supposed to. Yay! Caffeine virginity again!
So what’s the method?
How do we quit caffeine without withdrawals?
I’m gonna tell you my NEW & UPDATED method. I did a variation of this method a while back with a shorter taper and no lifestyle “hacks” and managed to ease out of caffeine dependence with minimal discomfort. I had a small headache the first day and then mild brain fog the next few days.
But this time I don’t want no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. And I want to keep the same insane level of productivity I’ve been enjoying the past couple of months.
HOW TO QUIT CAFFEINE WITHOUT WITHDRAWALS 2.0
This method is going to focus on these three elements:
- A well-planned taper schedule
- A breathing, exercise, and diet routine
- Lots and lots of sweaty, acrobatic sex (just kidding)
You’re just going to have the “minimal effective dose” of caffeine here.
That means you will have as much as you need to avoid headaches and other withdrawal symptoms.
No iced latte because you want to feel manic for 20 minutes. No coffee with lunch because it’s “sociable”. No Red Bull before the gym because you think you “need it”.
Just enough to keep the headaches at bay. For me, that’s gonna be a cup of black coffee in the morning. Maybe a second one in the afternoon.
Also, keep it simple.
No sugary crap. No energy drinks stuffed with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Black coffee or black tea.
Now we’re gonna really start getting out of this mess.
You know that coffee/tea I said you can have in the afternoon?
Switch it with green tea.
Green tea still has a little bit of caffeine but not too much. It’s also carefully balanced with l-theanine and filled with antioxidants. It will help you wean off your addiction and also keep you healthy.
My top recommendations for green tea are:
- Gyokuro: This is an energetic green tea.
- Sencha: This is a relaxing green tea.
- Matcha: This is a godly green tea.
Matcha is perfect because it makes you feel like everything is wonderful in the universe. It’s also great when you’re missing the ritualistic aspects of coffee or other tea. You can buy a little matcha set with a bowl and a whisk and learn how to make it. It’s very, very satisfying.
If you’re a coffee drinker, you need to switch your morning coffee to black tea or yerba mate.
If you’re a black tea drinker, switch to yerba mate or green tea.
Yerba mate is a phenomenal drink. It gives you a cognitive boost without feeling jittery and without the crash because it theobromine (the stuff in chocolate) and theophylline in addition to caffeine.
If you can’t get hold of yerba mate or you just want to make things less complicated, switch to green tea regardless.
So now you’re having one green tea in the morning and one green tea in the afternoon.
Remove one of those green teas.
You must CHOOSE!
No, seriously, it’s not that hard at this stage. In fact, it’s pretty darn easy. You’ll be fine.
Now you’re drinking just one green tea, either in the morning or the afternoon.
At this point you’re super safe and you have effectively ended your caffeine dependence without withdrawals.
But we need to take the final leap.
Cut out that one green tea and replace it (if you want) with herbal tea. My preference is camomile.
Now you’ve successfully tapered off your caffeine without any withdrawals.
A good taper will do a lot of the work.
But we want to make it SUPER EASY for ourselves.
We want literally ZERO withdrawals.
That’s why we’re also going to follow this…
BREATHING, DIET & EXERCISE ROUTINE:
For breathing, we’re going to follow the Wim Hof Method.
I wrote about this in these two articles:
- Wim Hof Method Review (5 weeks in and life is great)
- How Writers Can Improve Their Writing With The Wim Hof Method (Review)
The Wim Hof Method is a breathing, cold water therapy, and stretching routine that has massively boosted my well-being.
If you can’t afford the actual course (although you should be able to if you’re quitting caffeine), just follow the breathing outlined in the video below and do a hot-cold contrast shower every day (30 seconds hot and 30 seconds cold). Then do a yoga routine.
In addition to this, we’re also going to drink A LOT of water.
2 litres upon waking and then consistently throughout the day. Drink, drink, drink!
If you can make green juices, even better! Buy a ton of vegetables, juice them up, and drink them every day.
On top of this, I also suggest taking the following two supplements because they are adaptogens and they help you adapt to stress:
I wrote about these more in-depth here:
During this period, you want to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. I suggest alternating through the following list:
- 1st day – Cardio: bike, running, swimming, dancing, walking.
- 2nd day – Weightlifting: bench press, squat, pull-ups.
- 3rd day – Stretching: yoga, pilates.
- 4th day – Repeat cycle.
And that, my friends…
Is how we are gonna…
QUIT CAFFEINE WITH NO WITHDRAWALS!