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 7 of My Caffeine Detox

It is Day 7, and since I've tried to get off of caffeine before, I knew what to expect. The longest I've been caffeine-free was two years. Best, healthiest two years to-date.

My side effects are numerous and last over a week, maybe two. Headache is gone, but the body aches are numerous and keep me from sleeping. For the lower back pain (kidneys and adrenals), I wear a support belt for part of the day - one of the exercise rubber wide belts. It supports my innards while they are purging the demon.

Honestly, it makes me smile when folks write that there's nothing wrong with caffeine. Research the correlations of various illnesses for women and caffeine intake. Research caffeine among those who are not defending it for any reason. As far as the one blog that said only addictive personalities have problems with it, that writer either is in deep denial or doesn't know many people. Look at this society and learn what the average consumer drinks. I guess they all have addictive personalities?

I didn't start drinking coffee until my 30's, so it wasn't something I grew up enjoying. But since it (like food, drinking, and other behaviors) is such a societally-reinforced behavior, coffee is everywhere. And a social thing - "let's meet for coffee" is a commonly heard statement.

Honestly? You'll laugh when I tell you how much I drink daily, because it is minimal. Yet, I have the most horrific side effects when detoxing that you'd think I drink a ton. You know the small mugs? On most days, I drank a third of coffee. On other days, at most, a half of a small mug. Unreal! I'm hoping this is the last day of the body aches.

My guess about why our legs, back, etc. hurt is that substances are stored throughout the body. When it is no longer being provided, and our body is used to it, our organs, nerves, and muscles re-adapt to having to function without it. Especially my kidneys and adrenal glands (located on top of each kidney) just ache beyond reason.

Keep up the good fight. You will sleep better, think better, and eventually have the energy that you no longer do. It is not gone forever. Remember to eat right and get good protein. Exercise.

Hooray for us! And, no, it is not because we are "addictive personalities." And those who say there is nothing wrong with caffeine are justifying their own usage.

Thanks Jesse for posting

Thanks Jesse for posting that. I am on day 8 of no caffeine. The first 3 days were a living hell. Even though I had weaned myself to one excedrin a day taking that final step of no excedrin sent me in to flu symptoms. Vomiting all night, migraine, body and neck pains. I tried lessening the symptoms with my migraine medicine but that didn't help at all. I had attempted no caffeine two times before and couldn't make it through a full month without going back to it. I'm determined to make it this time. I'm still really headachey and have a lot of muscle soreness. How long did it take you to overcome the aches and pains or do you still have them?

how I kicked the habit

I thought I'd share how I managed to quit drinking coffee. Hopefully it will help someone out! I haven't had a chance to read the whole thread, so I hope I'm not repeating something that has already been suggested.

I'm in my late thirties, and have been drinking coffee regularly since high school. During the last few years, I started drinking up to two pots of coffee per day (I blame grad school and having kids). I tried to quit multiple times, usually cold turkey, and the withdrawal symptoms were debilitating . . . I was not able to function. I tried tapering too, but I had a hard time regulation how much coffee I was drinking, so the taper wasn't "smooth," and I failed.

A better tapering-off method was what finally helped. I bought three bags off coffee beans (this will work with ground coffee too) . . . one regular, the other two decaf. When I made my coffee in the morning, I would take two scoops of beans from the regular bag, and use that for my coffee. I would then place two scoops of decaf beans into the regular-bean bag, and then shake the bag to mix the beans. I repeated this every day, such that the regular beans were slowly diluted by the decaf beans.

When the decaf beans were gone, I went ahead and finished the "regular-bean" bag (which should now be mostly, if not all, decaf). The change is amazing. It takes a week or so to fully recover, but I have tons of energy now, and when I wake up in the morning I actually feel like I got some sleep.

I'm in my late thirties also

I'm in my late thirties also and have a story similar to yours. But I'm still addicted and wake up every morning drained even if I've had several days off in a row from work where I can sleep all I want. Yeah, cold turkey or tapering off are both hard in their own ways.
I was wondering..do you sleep less now or more? It's a concern as I sometimes have to get up real early..

I havent gone off caffeine in

I havent gone off caffeine in years. After I had some panic attacks last year I maybe went off for 2 weeks. I developed anxiety and some depression last year and I think caffeine had a major part in that. At that time I was drinking close to 500mg of caffeine a day!

Anyway I use workout energy supplements (which contain caffeine and other stimulants), but they havent done much for me lately (I hadnt used them in months before trying again recently). So I decided I needed to take a break from stimulants. I thought back to how caffeine used to make me feel super awake and excited and stuff, but now it just like gets me through the day. In the morning if I dont drink any coffee or anything I feel completely drained.

Last week I went 6 days without anything, but then I broke and had coffee/energy drinks for the last 4 days. Now I swore I would start again and go for a full month. I hate this depressing feeling of ZERO energy all day.

I had the headache and I've

I had the headache and I've been taking a ton of naps - all of which I can deal with, but now I'm getting the "flu-like" symptoms and its miserable. The nausea is the worste part. I've been using mass-quantities of water to fend off the other symptoms, but I can't stand water when my stomach is upset, so the cravings are 10 times worse now. I'm on my 7th day and they say you're officially "no longer addicted" on the 9th day. I can't wait for the next two days to be over!

caffiene withdrawal

I feel like I got hit by a car and headaches and leg and but pains its really weird I didnt think I was so hooked

Caffeine side effects

I have a question - I had a headache after day 1 of quitting caffeine, however for 4 days straight I have had constant pain in my thigh muscles. Has anyone else experienced this? it is very strange. Any help is much appreciated.

Constant pain in my thigh muscles

IMG! Yes, I went off tea (not coffeee) on Monday. It is Thurs and my thighs are still killing me. Fiesrt 2 days was a headache with the thigh aches. Feels like I ran a marathon. I decided to go off off even green tea, because I was addicted to it (I guess that isn't bad). I guess it depends on you level of caffeine tolerance, some people can gussle the stuff all day at Starbucks and I'm dying from weaning off of grean tea. Took Advil for the pain, woke we up at nite with a deep pain in my hips and thighs. Hope that helps!

Yes... I have been "cold

Yes... I have been "cold turkey" for 2 weeks now. I drank a TON of coffee... Starbucks... I mean like at least a pot a day if not more.... I love it and miss it.

My headaches were excruciating....my body aches- almost laughable how the changed each day- but my hamstring muscles ached like I ran a marathon... weird? Why? So yes- your thighs can hurt!

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