What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?

Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. When caffeine intake is reduced, the body becomes oversensitive to adenosine. In response to this oversensitiveness, blood pressure drops dramatically, causing an excess of blood in the head (though not necessarily on the brain), leading to a headache.

This headache, well known among coffee drinkers, usually lasts from one to five days, and can be alleviated with analgesics such as aspirin. It is also alleviated with caffeine intake (in fact several analgesics contain caffeine dosages).

Often, people who are reducing caffeine intake report being irritable, unable to work, nervous, restless, and feeling sleepy, as well as having a headache. In extreme cases, nausea and vomiting has also been reported.


Caffeine and Health. J. E. James, Academic Press, 1991. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research Volume 158. G. A. Spiller, Ed. Alan R. Liss Inc, 1984.


Day 10: Feeling Better

Hey all:

It's Day 10 and I'm feeling a lot better. I'm glad I got through that hump and have passed another milestone. Only problem is my mind is tricking me into thinking I can start again. Not just with coffee but other foods I shouldn't have since I have pre diabetes. appetite is a little better but I could also attribute that to taking zinc supplements again. Anyhow, the best way so far that I've come to tackle this is to pray. Then tell myself that I have a choice when faced with temptation. I'll be going to a luncheon in an hour so pray for me.

Okay, I'll check in again soon.

And thank you for everyone who have posted here. :)

Enjoy your weekend :)

good resources

Allen Carr's books on giving up smoking are very relevant.

Also Kelly McGonigal's insight that if you hear and observe a temptation going on inside yourself (rather than ignore/fight it), and do not construct a narrative around it ('I am....'), much better able to succeed.

Day 5: No appetite and nauseated

Hello all:

I'm back off the caffeine wagon. But I virtually have no appetite and am scared of losing weight since I'm already underweight. Anyone can relate to having no appetite during withdrawal. I've read some testimonials that said that the person lost weight during withdrawal.

Im doing cold turkey to cause there was little hope at all with cutting down. Days 1-3 were easier this time around because I have supplemented with Vitamin D which I'm deficient in. I also do a multi and vitamin B12. I also walk for 30 min a day to relieve pre diabetes and depression.

But days 4 and 5 I've lost my appetite and am nauseated after I eat.

That is completely normal. I

That is completely normal. I had almost all of the symptoms when I tried to get off of caffeine almost 2 years ago. It basically felt like I had the flu. I didn't want to do anything, move, or even eat. The only thing I ate for about a week straight was eggs & rice. It was the only thing that helped settle my stomach. It is basically just like fried rice without the fried part. I make rice then put one or two scrambled eggs in it, then I put in some soy sauce and a little bit of teriyaki sauce. Another thing that really helped me was putting my feet in a hot bath and drinking some ice water with lemon in it. It really helped calm me down and helped with all of my emotions. The last thing that really helped me was reading this forum. I think I read all of the posts! I feel I should give back and help others on the site trying to get off of caffeine. It is so hard but you can do it! You will eventually get to a point to where you don't crave caffeine anymore because you don't like the way it makes you feel. I probably only drink it about once a month, if that, and then I wish I didn't because I don't like the emotions I feel and my lack of focus. I am able to do so much more than I ever thought I could! I feel like a kid again, like I can do anything I set my mind to. Other people's opinions of me don't effect me anymore. I actually find I am more empathetic than I used to be and I rarely gossip. It becomes increasingly more obvious to me that I am different than I used to be, it can be hard at times to relate to other people because I don't have the problems they do. When I got off of caffeine I was just out of college working a crappy job and depressed. I got off of it and now I have ridiculous focus and amounts of energy. I am back in college, working on getting into grad school, working at a better job in my field, and training for a 5k with my spouse. Life is so much better without caffeine. If you can believe in yourself instead of caffeine, or any other drug, you will be so much freer to do whatever it is that you have been wanting to do! Good luck, I wish you the best :)

Wow! Just what I needed

Thank you so much! Your testimony couldn't be more perfect. The empathy, less prone to gossip and all are right on target with where I'm at on Day 8. And I'm looking forward to the energy and focus to get back into grad school. God Bless you for this!

I'm sorry, there should have

I'm sorry, there should have been a "?" After, "Anyone can relate to having no appetite during withdrawal."

End of Week 1

I’m caffeine free for a week at the end of today : no coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate etc. I stopped cold turkey as that’s the only way that seems to work for me. It has been pretty unpleasant and sadly the unpleasantness continues. I expected the first 2-3 days to be rough but for things to be pretty much OK after that. They were rough as I expected – headaches, mental fogginess and a desire to sleep the main problems. However since the 4th day the headaches have continued (although milder) but have been joined by muscle aches, particularly my back and legs and a general anxiety. Rather than being desperate to sleep I am struggling to sleep at all. I don’t know if my reaction to caffeine is abnormal – maybe I’m allergic to it or something – and so it affects me in a way that it doesn’t affect “normal” people. For me it’s a serious drug that impacts my life in a major way, the strength of the withdrawal shows this. I gave up smoking many years ago and although time may have distorted my memory, I don’t remember it being anything like as hard as this.

Anyway, I’ll keep plugging on a day at a time and things will hopefully improve soon. My life has to be improved by removing a substance that makes me feel like this.

Rob, Have you tried MSM? I

Rob, Have you tried MSM? I used Doctor's Best MSM 1000mg capsules during my last "quit" and felt it was much easier. I only took one a day but I am a small woman (115lbs) so you might need more. MSM and lots of water really made a difference for me. After two days of sips of coffee I simply drank a big glass of water whenever symptoms appeared. I mostly just had headache, irritability, and sleepiness. The MSM is easy to find on line on Amazon or Iherb but I have also seen it in Publix and I think Kroger as well. Hope you see improvements soon.

when you said you were going

when you said you were going to write the week off, I thought you were going to stay off work, so I do admire your stamina, and I hope it goes as well and as quickly as it has before.

Caffeine withdrawal is a bitch

Well, I’m on day 2 of stopping caffeine cold turkey (again) and it’s hard. I’m at work but I’ve done very little for the last 2 days and can’t imagine I’ll get much done tomorrow either. I don’t mind though – I figure the increase in productivity through being able to think and focus more clearly will easily offset a couple of lost days. My head hurts, I can’t think, my leg muscles ache and keep spasming and most of all I just want to sleep. I'm getting very annoyed very easily too. Having done this a few times I know Day 2 tends to be the worst in terms of acute withdrawal – tomorrow should be more like Day 1, then from Day 4 onwards things should get progressively better (and easier).

I hope I’ve learned my lesson this time – caffeine and I just don’t mix. I don’t know why, despite the vast majority of people seeming to be able to use it with impunity, it screws me up royally. I think I’m far better off without it, I just need to stay away, a day at a time.

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