Five ways to curb your caffeine addiction

·3-min read

Whether you prefer an espresso or hot cup of tea, many of us can't face the day without caffeine.

While moderate consumption is classified as safe, relying on caffeine too much can be harmful to your health, with the effects ranging from increased blood pressure to sleep disturbances. But it's not impossible to curb your caffeine addiction, with Martin Preston, founder at private rehabilitation centre Delamere (delamere.com), sharing his top tips for cutting back on all of those cappuccinos.

Decrease consumption gradually

To avoid major withdrawal symptoms, it's wise to reduce caffeine consumption gradually.

"Instead of filling your morning cup of coffee to the top, perhaps try filling it a third of the way up and see how you feel for the rest of the day," he advised. "Similarly, instead of ordering your usual large cup of coffee, order a small. Gradually reducing your consumption will help lessen symptoms such as headaches, irritability and nausea."

Know what products have caffeine

Before ordering a tiramisu or espresso martini, it might be a good idea to consider how much caffeine you've already had over the course of the day.

"It can be easy to simply forget you are consuming caffeine at times. That said, mindlessly consuming products will only fuel your caffeine addiction and it's, therefore, important to know the ingredients of the food and drinks you are consuming," said Martin. "As well as your normal cup of coffee, be aware that sodas, energy drinks, chocolate, and even chewing gum have caffeine in them. While you may not want to cut these out of your diet completely, simply knowing these products contain caffeine is one of the first steps to curbing your addiction."

Try alternatives

You may want to try alternative products to curb your caffeine addiction.

"Why not switch your morning cup of coffee to a cup of green tea?" the expert questioned. "Not only does green tea contain half the amount of caffeine as brewed coffee, but this drink also contains many health benefits, such as improved brain function and increased prevention of Type 2 diabetes. If you're feeling brave, you may want to try switching your morning cup to water or juice."

Switch to decaf

If you drink caffeine products for the taste, try switching to decaf.

"From decaf teas, coffees and sodas, there are so many alternatives that will make you forget that you are not drinking caffeine. This may even create a placebo effect where your body feels just as awake and alert. If you're not ready to fully make the switch, try using the tea shortcut where you brew your usual cup of tea for a shorter amount of time to reduce the amount of caffeine in it," he explained.

Drink more water

When it comes to water intake, health experts generally recommend you need to drink about two litres of water a day.

"If you find you are not drinking water, this may be a sign that you need to cut down on your caffeine intake," added Martin. "A top tip is to get a transparent water bottle that has time markings on it - this will give you a realistic idea of how much water you should drink within a set period of time."

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