Breaking the Caffeine Cycle: Why It’s Healthy to Cut Back

A coffee cup next to the title 'Ways Caffeine Affects Your Body and How to Tackle Giving It Up'

While many of us rely on that morning cup of coffee or afternoon soda to boost our energy level, the truth is that a regular dose of caffeine can do more harm than good. The good news is that with health education about the effects of caffeine on the body and strategies for quitting, it might be easier than you think to drop the habit.

The Impact of Caffeine

Caffeine is technically a drug, and as with other drugs, the body can develop a tolerance. When we drink coffee, it limits the effects of adenosine, a naturally occurring substance in the brain that makes us feel tired. Over time, the brain produces more adenosine to make up the deficit, meaning the awakening effects of caffeine are less noticeable. Caffeine can also cause unpleasant physical effects, such as heartburn, acid reflux, upset stomach, ulcers, increased blood pressure, and increased risk for osteoporosis.

Breaking the Cycle

You may choose to forego your morning cup if you’re noticing negative effects. If you have a tolerance to caffeine, you can opt to either taper your regular intake slowly or quit cold turkey. For tapering, cut intake in half for a few days, then in half again until you’re no longer consuming caffeine. If you choose to stop consuming caffeine immediately, the withdrawal effects—including headaches, irritability, anxiousness, and drowsiness—typically fade in about a week.

For guidance on caffeine, substance use, and other health education topics, trust Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group. Our physicians offer classes, events, and outreach programs designed to improve the overall health of the high desert community.