A cup of coffee is many people’s preferred way to start the day, but did you know that caffeine is one of the most addictive substances on earth, and that coffee consumption can decrease the amount of oxygen going to your brain? Kicking this substance out of your daily routine is a great step toward leading a healthy lifestyle. 

Is your coffee something you want or something you need?

Caffeine has very limited positive benefits, and when we have too much it can damage our health. If you’re unsure if you’ve become dependent on caffeine, simply cut out your coffee for a day or two and see how your body reacts. That will be a clear indicator on how hooked you are.

Some symptoms you may experience if you are dependent on caffeine include headaches, anxiety, feeling jittery or shaky, insomnia, irritability, and dehydration — just to name a few. It’s important to check your intake, determine your level of want vs. need, and make adjustments to protect your health.

Anytime we become physically dependent on something is when we should consider cutting back or perhaps quitting altogether.

Cutting (or even quitting) your caffeine intake doesn’t have to mean brutal headaches or other withdrawal symptoms that will keep you from living your best life. But before you look to curb your caffeine intake, it’s important to know the daily recommended dose of caffeine so you understand where your intake falls on the spectrum.

The FDA recommends a maximum intake of 400mg of caffeine per day. But what exactly does 400mg of caffeine look like? Medical News Today provides an informative breakdown that illustrates how much caffeine is found in different drinks:

  • One 8-ounce cup of coffee — 95 to 200 mg
  • One 12-ounce can of cola — 35 to 45 mg
  • One 8-ounce energy drink — 70 to 150 mg
  • One 8-ounce cup of tea — 14 to 60 mg

It is also important to remember that caffeine can be found in foods such as chocolate and other snacks, so if you’re trying to adjust your intake, be sure to check food labels as well. The best amount of caffeine is 0. Always make sure to read your labels!

5 Ways to Curb (or Cut) Your Caffeine Intake

Dependency on caffeine — or any substance, for that matter — can put you at risk for serious health challenges, so addressing caffeine intake is critical to protect your health and help you live your best life. Our team at Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy put together this list of five ways that you can better manage your caffeine intake to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Decrease caffeine consumption gradually. 

This is very important! If your body has become used to having a certain amount of caffeine every day, don’t quit or cut a large amount of that immediately. This will lead to headaches and other uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Here’s an example: If you are currently having five coffees per day, try four coffees during week one; three coffees during week two; and so on. Tapering down the intake — rather than stopping abruptly — will make the transition less intense on your body. 

Switch it up. 

Try swapping your cup of joe for another option, such as an herbal or green tea, at other points in your day as you are tapering down. 

Consider going decaf. 

This may sound wild if you consider yourself a coffee addict but sometimes the need for coffee is more psychological than physical. Replace your regular coffee with decaf to see if the simple act of drinking the coffee paired with the smell of coffee has the placebo effect you need to push throughout the day,

Drink water first. 

Having a glass of water is a great trick for when we ‘think’ we need a coffee. Drink a full glass of water first and then reevaluate your need/desire for coffee.

Opt for a smoothie instead. 

A smoothie with the correct vegetables and fruits will give you many more nutrients than a coffee and as a result, lead to healthy and sustainable energy. Next time you reach for a coffee, make a smoothie instead and evaluate how you feel. 

Stay healthy with the support of medical professionals.

Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy is available to help all individuals around New York’s Capital Region be and feel their healthiest — in a comfortable, drug-free, and manageable way. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give our office a call at (518) 869-3884.