Updated: Nov 21, 2019
“I’m so addicted to coffee.”
You might have heard it from your co-worker, who was acting a bit snippy before having their cup of coffee, or you’ve said it yourself, because you wanted an excuse for your morning mood. But, as you will now learn, caffeine addiction is not really a thing.
Addiction versus “physical dependency”
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system [link to blog] by interfering with the signalling pathway in your neurons that make you sleepy. The more coffee you drink, and the more regularly, the more you get used to the effect it has on your body and the more you will need to achieve the same state of non-sleepiness. Which might sound as an addiction, but it does not stimulate any reward pathways in your brain - like addictive substances such as drugs do.
So rather, you can become “physically dependent” on caffeine. This means that suddenly cutting out all caffeine consumption will probably be unpleasant. “Withdrawal” symptoms might make you feel headachy or nauseated, or mess with your sleep leaving you tired during the day. But it won’t really affect your life much more than making you irritable for a while.
Getting rid of your caffeine dependency
While going cold turkey can be uncomfortable, slowly reducing your intake of caffeine will help you overcome any mild dependence you may have. So if you are worried about being unpleasant and moody in the mornings from lack of coffee, or if too much coffee is stopping you from getting a good night’s sleep, try drinking a little bit less caffeine.
There is no need to stop drinking caffeinated drinks altogether though. Decaf versions of some teas and coffees are available, but now you can use the Decaf Pouch to reduce the caffeine in all your favorite drinks! The Decaf Pouch can provide you with a delicious cup of decaf in 3-4 minutes, but conversely, if you just want to slightly reduce your consumption, you can use the pouch for shorter periods of time and just make a cup of half-caf -- to help keep the jitters down.
Written by Valerie Bentivegna