How to go caffeine Free
If you're asking yourself:
Is going caffeine free worth it?
Should I go caffeine free?
What happens when I go caffeine free?
Chances are you're on a similar journey to the one I was on 15 years ago. I was a coffee addict, at least 6 cups a day! I was a teacher in those days and mother to a young child, juggling the joys of working full time, fitting every club and hobby into an already packed schedule as well as trying to maintain my health and fitness and I spent a lot of time feeling frazzled.
Can you relate?
I started to question what effect caffeine had on me being someone who has also suffered terribly at the wrong time of month I was curious what a stimulants role was having on my hormones.
Why go caffeine free
- Fewer headaches
- Increased mood balance
How caffeine impacts your hormones
A study conducted by Taibah university of medical science observed 350 women’s coffee drinking habits and found that habitual caffeine consumption can be linked to nearly all menstrual cycle disturbances, such as irregular cycles and period pain.
The reason for this is that caffeine raises your cortisol and adrenalin in the body. Which in turn affect your hormones. Cortisol interacts with gonadotropin releasing hormone (the hormone that initiates the start of your cycle) and the thyroid hormone. Women are sensitive to the release of cortisol which adds stress the body.
200mg of caffeine (about 2 cups of coffee) has the ability to interact with your oestrogen, either raising or lowering it. Caffeine has a strong interaction with the liver and oestrogen is metabolised in the liver. Depending on your ethnicity and genetic will depend weather caffeine raises or lowers your oestrogen levels.
Most experts agree on a daily caffeine amount for men but not for women. They have yet to agree a suitable amount, for men its 400mg per day. Its suggested 200mg per day for women dropping lower if you are trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
Typically, it can take 4-6 hours for your body to metabolise half of your caffeine intake. That means if you had a coffee after 4pm and went to bed at 10pm half of your consumption would still be in your system.
What happens when you go caffeine free
When I decided to go caffeine free it was for a 28-day detox cleanse, one of these online Facebook groups to help you cleanse your way into the new year. Little did I know what an initial shock to my system would be or what a turning point to my love of herbs it would ignite.
These are just some of the symptoms I experienced in the first week, and I promise it doesn’t last much passed that from my experience.
- Surging head aches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Very disturbed sleep and vivid dreams
- Upset stomach
- Flu like symptoms
- Shakes and jitters
- Really moody!
How to cope with going caffeine free
- Cut back slowly
- Drink lots of water
- Get out into the fresh air
- Drink herbal tea instead
- Do the challenge with a friend so you have someone to talk to.
Caffeine in tea vs coffee
When giving up caffeine you may want to consider that most tea has caffeine in, but it’s not the same as coffee’s caffeine. There is an average 95mg caffeine per serving of coffee and just 11mg per cup of tea! And although tea is lower in caffeine it is rich in L-theanine. L-theanine is a powerful antioxidant that also stimulates your brain. More importantly L-theanine helps to slow the body's absorption of caffeine. This allows the body to process the caffeine more effectively and results in a longer lasting energy boost. And unlike coffee, L-theanine provides an anti-stress element by increasing your brains alpha waves. Meaning you shouldn't get the jitters, headaches or upset tummies.
Caffeine free alternatives
- Herbal tea
- Fresh juice
Which caffeine free tea is best
Mother Cuppa Energise blend is a perfect caffeine free herbal tea alternative, this is the blend I created when on this journey. The adaptogens in the Ashwagandha gave me a balanced energy that was sustainable. The beetroot gave me the fuel efficiency I needed to boost my day when I hit a slump or was going to exercise. And the schisandra berries are suggested to be beneficial on the heart, lunch and kidneys helping to stave off fatigue.