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.


Reduced Desire For Coffee

I recently finished reading Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes (after watching a movie named Fathead), it trashes the typical advice given on nutrition through a review of virtually all of the important nutrition research done over the past 100 years.

Anyway, I decided to switch to a diet of low to no carbs, and maybe it was cutting out the coffee creamer, but my desire for coffee dropped dramatically at the same time. Other posters below seem to mention its easier to go off coffee after cutting out sugar from your diet, perhaps cutting out most carbs makes it even easier.

Just thought I'd let others know that it (cutting out carbs from my diet) has reduced my desire for coffee significantly, and today I'm going to try and stop completely. I have felt more sluggish, achy, and tired from reduced intake prior to today, so it's hard to say if the withdrawal symptoms will be as intense as usual or not, and whether cravings for caffeine will be as strong as usual during withdrawal.

Hardest thing I ever did...

I decided I HAD to quit coffee,(4-5 cups a day) and for the most part, eliminate caffeine. No joke. It's been about 7 months. I've had a few slip ups, and I do drink ice tea. But the deal with coffee was that it's very acidic and it was causing my hands and knees and joints to stiffen up--at the young age of 42. Once I stopped, the stiffness went away. Symptoms: headache, foggy headed, crabby, tired and just felt like I was hungover. Durning my withdrawal, I took Excedrin migrane, which helped with the headache and had a few mg. of caffiene.

Coffee was also messing with my adrenals. It was a cycle of being drained, drank coffee to boost up, then get drained, and then need coffee to boost up. Funny thing is the coffee was causing the drain and the boost. It was an unnatural, nervous system jolt that was wreaking havoc with my body.

I still miss my coffee. I use Tecchino when I miss the am routine. But I'm glad I did it. It takes longer to wake up in the morning, but I feel my natural energy coming back, I don't have the adrenal drain and my joints don't ache!

After SEVEN freaking months

After SEVEN freaking months you are still recovering??!

Day 3

I had my teeth whitened and was advised to not drink coffee or tea for 24 hours. Because of withdrawal, I went out and got a Mountain Dew in the early evening, figuring the light color of it wouldn't stain my teeth. Then, since I already had a head start on eliminating coffee and tea, I decided to try and kick the habit once and for all. I am finding it to be very hard, much harder than I thought it would be. And yes, no more Mt. Dew, either, or chocolate. Of course, I have the resentment -- being mad for having to give up things I really like. Why can't things that SUCK be the things we have to give up? Anyway ... I am on Day 3 and am fairly miserable. I can't concentrate. my kidneys ache, I am irritable. Another thing I am finding is that (typical of an addict) my addiction is now attempting to find a substitute for the caffeine. My SUGAR cravings are incredible. Cookies, candy. I want them BAD. I'll hang in there, but I feel pretty bad. Hope things get better soon. It's also difficult making people understand the experience of withdrawal. The non-addict tries to "get it," but I don't think they are really able to. I read one guy in here saying "just moderate ... use your intelligence." It's not like that for an addict ... it's all or nothing.

Me too !

Hi ! I've just come across your web page while researching caffeine withdrawal.
For the second time this month, I missed my coffee in the morning because I was running late for work. No big deal I thought, I'll just not have coffee today. Well, by 12 noon, a headache started to develop, which grew steadliy stronger becoming inpossible to ignore. By 2pm, I made my way into the breakroom, seeking out the left over carafe of coffee from the night before. In my desperation, I reheated the old brew, added milk & sugar and drank up. Headache became unbearable and I felt cold, sweaty & nauseas.
By 4 pm, I was completely worthless at my job, running to the bathroom in anticipation of barf. I took Naproxen Sodium (Aleve), the only pain releiver in my purse. Did nothing.
At 5 pm , I got into the car with my ride home. We travelled less then a mile and I said, "Pull over, I'm gonna throw up." , which I then did.
As I said , this instance is complete repeat of onethat happened three weeks ago, so I decide to see if it really was because of coffee.
Afterwards, I slept for three hours and now I feel fine.

how do u feel now? i have

how do u feel now? i have been having them for the past 4 days, the sypmtoms lessen in intensity everyday, but still prettty bad. Never taking caffeine again

Caffeine withdrawal is same as Meth comedown.

I've been off coffee for the last 3 days and I've had major mood swings, headaches, and neck pain.

This stuff is definitely just as bad as meth-amphetamine. I had comedowns from meth before and they are very similar to this coffee withdrawal.

A quick word on my habit

At this time of the year I take a month off from alcohol & caffeine. Alcohol is nothing more than resisting the occasional "I would like a glass of wine with this meal" desire, but caffeine makes me pay. I'll have a headache for 5 days minimum. And truthfully, I am kind of fatigued feeling but the headache is the big ticket item. I do not take aspirin because many brands contain caffeine. Plus, I like to remind myself that my coffee addiction carries consequences. This year it hasn't been so bad. I split my coffee 1:2-caffeine: decfinated. Maybe after this sobriety I will go 1:3.. or maybe 4. I still love the taste so I do not want to give it up. BTW, I drink only coffee decaffeinated by water and not th chemical process. Ask around if this interests you. And also, remember that decaffeinated coffee is not 100% caffeine-free. It has about 10-15% of the caffeine still in it.

Decaf is great if you want to

Decaf is great if you want to kick your habit. Drinking coffee without the caffeine can help to break the link between drinking coffee and the kick. It should be noted, however, that the methods used to decaffeinate coffee are very envrionmentally damaging and energy consumptive. It depends on your moral bent whether you consider this an acceptable price to pay to get your decaf.

RE: A quick word on my habit

Decaf does have a trace amount of caffeine but nowhere near 10-15% of it's original level. In the United States federal regulations require that in order to label coffee as "decaffeinated" that coffee must have had its caffeine level reduced by no less than 97.5 percent

Comment viewing options

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