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.


Two weeks

I quit two weeks ago and I am exhausted.  I can handle that but now I have this back / leg pain that is actually frightening me.  I also thought about having a cup to see if it helped, but I am trying to hang in there! Good luck !

1 week without Caffeine

So far I have been off Caffeine for a week.  I have experienced any withdrawl symptoms....yet.  When do the symptoms start?  I have been a soda Drinker for as long as I can remember, so I thought at 32 it was a great time to leave the soda behind!  Im doing it slowly, I was drinking Dr Pepper like crazy, then when I decided to quit Caffeine I switched to Sprite to start...Starting my second week I'm switching to Sprite Zero...then hopefully by the 3rd week on I'll be water only...I hope everyone has a great success with kicking this Caffeine Habit!

5 Months

I've been off of caffeine for 5 months and I am still feeling good.   It takes a lot of willpower to quit caffeine.   If you were drinking a lot of caffeine like I did, it will take about a good 3 months for the withdrawal symptoms to go away.  I don't have any withdrawals symptoms anymore.   Hang in there!

I have been searching for

I have been searching for someone that has made it through all of the withdrawal symptoms to get a good idea of how much longer I need to persevere. Three months does sound about right. I was drinking 2-3 energy drinks a day for at least two years. I have been off of energy drinks for just over a month now and I still feel so fatigued and drained of energy. And the headaches are still there, but not as bad. I feel so much better than I did 2 weeks into it though; I found it really difficult to get out of bed and go to work even after 9 hrs of sleep. So everyone, your unexpected long-lasting withdrawal symptoms are normal and we all have to go through them. It does get better but just takes some time.
         I learned that as a result of drinking so much caffeine and the other things in energy drinks we have really stunted or temporarily damaged our adrenalin glands. That is why we don't have energy and once our adrenalin glands heal and stabilize our natural energy is back! I went to my local health store and talked to a professional about what I could take to help me. I was told to take the following to aid my adrenalin and also increase my focus: Pantothenic acid and this mix I bought from Gaia herbs called Adrenal health (it includes Rhiodiola root, holy basil leaf, ashwangandha root, and schisandra berry). I bought an all-natural energy supplement to help me until the withdrawals start to alleviate - you can buy it online or at your local store. I bought Pure Hawaiian spirulina pacifica which boost energy and the immune system. 
         Boosting your immune system really helps as well. I have been taking echinacea, golden root seal, vitamin C pills, and this extremely powerful liquid nutrient combo called Sea Energy Power Max (Can buy at www.superiornutritionandhealth.com). I have also been eating sooooo health as well as drinking a lot of water and powerade zeros. I have been drinking green tea, which has a little bit of caffeine, every now and then when I get really irritable and sluggish at work (twice a week max....I cannot afford to back peddle). 
         I take a lot of nutrients and supplements to help me in this endeavor and they really do help a lot. I am starting to feel my natural energy shining through. Since day one I have had to work 40 hrs a week at a job where I can not afford to be lazy. In fact I have to really be on top of my game. Despite this setback I have managed to get a promotion. The supplements, positive thinking, good music, plenty of water, the serenity prayer, gentle exercising even when its the last thing you want to do, and talking to others online with the same struggles really help. I also felt a lot better once I knew exactly what I was dealing with and about how long I can expect it. Stay strong and stay away from that stuff. It can only get better....at least after like week 2 or 3. It really can be an underlining cause behind your death if you keep abusing it for years and years. Best of luck everyone!!!!!!!!

Nausea after caffeine dose timing change?

I have drank one cup of coffee every morning when waking up for probably 5+ years. Last week, my coffee machine started acting up and broke.  So while I was researching a new one, I'd wait until I got to work and have a latte or soda.  Around the same time, I noticed I was getting nauseated, especially in social situations, for example when someone would come into my office.  If I was alone I'd feel fine for the most part, but it seemed when I was in meetings or events, I'd be feeling very sick to my stomach, but never threw up. 
At first, I thought I was just sick, but the nausea seemed more and more to be connected to these social situations.  I know people change, but it seems odd I would develop social anxiety essentially overnight in my 30s when I've never felt anything like it before. I started thinking of changes in diet made in the last week, and remembered I haven't been having my morning coffee.  I usually get something later in the day. 
It seems possible these events are connected, has anyone ever experienced anything like this?  I definitely haven't gone off caffeine, but perhaps delaying the dose by a few hours has thrown me off?  Now I'm considering giving it up altogether after reading some of these threads on this site...

Caffeine alergies and withdrawl

Caffeine allergies are directly related to many psychological diseases such as paranoia and schizophrenia.  But, my guess is your problem is from withdrawl. 
Coffee plants have been hyberdized for a few centuries for their high caffeine content.  So, most of todays plants are the strongest ever.  Conventional coffee is grown with many dangerous petro-chemicals, which through processing end up in your cup of morning jo.  I would suggest you switch to an organic or pesticide free brand in order to avoid these chemies, some of which are nervous system toxins. 
Never, ever drink coffee on an empty stomach.  Try not to eat red meat with your coffee.  These combinations will reduce the stress on your stomach acid balance, which directly control if enough amino acids get to your brain. 
The social situations I'm guessing are corelated with withdrawl or alergies to caffeine.  Its good you're trying to connect the two.  Here's a quote from a recent study summary I read: "Although the database is small and not completely consistent, it appears that patients with schizophrenia have high caffeine intakes."
Try gorging on some nice dark chocolate and see if you get the same reactions.  That's how you know if its the caffeine in general causing your problems or just the high caffeine coffee.  Eventually, most coffee drinkers will develope some sort of caffeine allergies whether they're aware or not. 
good luck.  I used to get headaches, nausea and vommitting if I stoped taking caffeine.  I was a heavy user for about 5 years.  And I loved the darkest most potent fresh roasted coffee available.  I'm glad I found the connection, god knows what part of body my idiot doc would've tried to cut out. 

You must be a doctor since

You must be a doctor since this is excellent advice and makes a lot of sense. I really appreciate your professional diagnosis. Oh, and doctor, it's hybridize, not hyberdize. Thanks. Take 2 and call me in the morning.

supplements to help withdrawal??

Hi all, I have enjoyed reading your posts....they are inspiring and give me hope that I can kick this addiction!  I am in my peri-menopausal years (oh, Joy!) and suffer from adrenal fatigue.  I know drinking coffee is a major culprit of my symptons and need to quit.  I have read on other sites that amino acid supplements help with caffeine withdrawal symptoms.  Does anyone have any experience of using supplements to help with the withdrawals?
Thanks in advance!!  Good luck to everyone out there!

Quit cold turkey on Easter Sunday

I went cold turkey on Easter Sunday sort of by accident -- forgot about drinking any coffee while getting ready for company. Woke up Sunday morning after not drinking a cup for nearly 24 hours, and then it was too late. Intense, horrific headache, total nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, crushing muscle pains and sensitive skin, nerves. I could not eat or drink or sit up for more than a few minutes at a time, couldn't walk straight, dry heaves, etc. until about 6 pm that day. I am nearly 60 years old, a life long addict to coffee. I've quit many times. But this time I realised that coffee is going to kill me if I don't stop. It's been 3 days now, going on the 4th. The headache and nausea are mostly gone, but have horrific muscle pains that are frightening me, I've never had them before. I would love to know what the biochemical or metabolic pathways are that are causing this. I also wish I knew what percentage of the population has this much sensitivity. I also do believe that quitting means you have to quit all forms of caffeine. No caffeine, period. Otherwise you just wind up on a treadmill of chugging tea or craving chocolate all day long.  Strange addiction. I wish all of you the very best success, hang in there, you can do it. I know the rewards are huge, as I did it once before, after about a month you begin to feel soooo great. Unfortunately I began to drink it again, just for the taste, thinking it was harmless. It is not. This is a powerful, powerful drug and you will become a slave to it. Take care.

Good luck to you.  And I

Good luck to you.  And I agree with you - quitting caffeine means all forms of it - tea, chocolate, etc.  And personally, I also believe that cold turkey is the only way to do this, horrible as it is.  This is an addiction and the only way to get over it is to plow through the withdrawal.  Denise

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.