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Caffeine Withdrawal

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If you wanna know about caffeine withdrawal here I’m gonna explain its brain effects, some side effects, which products contain it and more.

First of all, notice that caffeine is not coffee and that coffee is not caffeine. So, when I talk about caffeine I’m not talking about coffee because coffee has other components besides caffeine. Actually, the main components of coffee are polysaccharides and lipids, not caffeine.

There’s only 0.04% of caffeine on coffee brewed from grounds, prepared with tap water. Take that into consideration to have a greater perspective of all caffeine products and not only coffee.

In case you didn’t know, caffeine withdrawal is listed as a mental health condition.

People who regularly consume caffeine wake up every morning in caffeine withdrawal due to the night sleep without caffeine, which makes you think about the impact that it has on your life at a biological level.

Caffeine Withdrawal symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms usually start 12 to 24 hours after stopping caffeine consumption.

The list of symptoms include headaches, fatigue, irritability, depressed mood and difficulty concentrating.

Actually, one of the things I recommended for headaches or migraines is to avoid consuming caffeine products. You can read the whole article here: [a Migraine and Headache Natural Treatment].

Some people say that those symptoms aren’t produced by the caffeine, they say that the caffeine is the medication for those symptoms. So, all they need to do is to have their daily doses of caffeine.

In their mind, the morning grumpiness, fuzzy thinking, and sleepiness are signs of not getting their coffee yet.

If you ask me, don’t be a prisoner of coffee because that’s a toxic psychological relationship with your food.

Caffeine in the body

Ever wonder what the hell does the caffeine in the body? Well,… 45 minutes after you consume a caffeine product like coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into the blood and tissues.

It can take up to 12 hours before your body gets free of that caffeine. That’s why after you wake up you will feel the need for other doses of caffeine to silence the withdrawal effects.

Caffeine brain effects

Caffeine has a similar molecular structure than adenosine which is a neurotransmitter. Because of its chemical similarity, caffeine can bind to adenosine receptors in brain cells.

The normal process is that adenosine binds to its receptors in the brain with the purpose of slowing down the nerve cell activity and promote relaxation. But when caffeine takes the place of adenosine, it blocks the sleep-inducing actions of adenosine and speeds up nerve cell activity.

In other words, it produces the boost that we all know.

Where is caffeine found?

Sure, we all know the most obvious answer: Coffee. But there are other products that also contain caffeine that might be of common use for most of us. Here’s a list of few of them:

  • Energy drinks.
  • Caffeine-infused bottled water.
  • Breath Mints.
  • Chewing gum.
  • Ice cream.
  • Lotions.
  • Shaving cream.
  • Caffeine pills.
  • Weight-loss products.
  • Jellybeans.
  • Peanut Butter.
  • Caffeinated bath soap.
  • Body Scrubs.
  • Headache medications.
  • Dietary supplements.

You may not find caffeine as an explicit ingredient in most products so you can search for its other references like:

  • Guarana.
  • Kola nut.
  • Yerba mate.
  • Green tea extract.
  • Green coffee bean extract.

Caffeine side effects

Caffeine side effects can be bad or good depending on the context of the product.

The first variable that is very important is: where are you getting your caffeine doses? If it’s through natural products like artisan coffee without additives, then it’s great. Although it’s better to have moderation, not for your physical health necessarily but to avoid creating a dependency on coffee.

Here are a few caffeine side effects and correlations:

  • Boost your brain activity which can be a problem at night producing insomnia.
  • In the case of anxiety, headaches, depression, stress, it can make it worse.
  • Shorter sleep is associated with greater caffeine consumption.
  • Among adolescents, caffeine consumption has been linked to elevated blood pressure and sleep disturbances.
  • Among pregnant women, high caffeine intake is associated with risk of late miscarriages, stillbirths, and small-for-gestational-age infants.
  • Extreme side effects were observed in humans at caffeine intakes of 1 g (15 mg/kg body weigh), including restlessness, nervousness, and irritability, and progressing to delirium, emesis, neuromuscular tremors, and convulsions. Other symptoms included tachycardia and increased respiration.
  • Caffeine increases coronary blood flow.
  • The repeated administration of caffeine does not change its pharmacokinetics, but in many cases development of tolerance does occur.
  • Coffee (caffeine) promotes gastro-oesophageal reflux but is not associated with dyspepsia.
  • Caffeine overdose (rare cases) results in severe rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure.
  • A single shot of a caffeinated energy drink significantly raised systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, these elevations were not sustained with chronic consumption.
  • Caffeine at 4.5 mg/kg caused diuresis and decreased the threshold of sensation at the filling phase, with an increase in flow rate and voided volume. (in patients with overactive bladder symptoms)
  • High caffeine intake, but not lower levels, are associated with a modest increase in the incidence of frequent urgency incontinence.

Caffeine benefits

Before we start you should know that it was harder to find caffeine benefits since most sources are related to coffee business and make claims without the scientific sources. Yet I read each claim and tried to find which were true.

  • Caffeine increases alertness and reduces fatigue by changing the perception of fatigue. (but later come the rebound)
  • Caffeine improves your mood.
  • Coffee stimulates gallbladder contraction and colonic motor activity.
  • High-to-moderate users of caffeine have better short-memory than low users.
  • Caffeine enhanced consolidation of long-term memories in humans. (not conclusive)
  • Caffeine was identified as a stimulator of human hair growth in vitro. (not conclusive in vivo)
  • The reputed benefits of moderate caffeine consumption include improvements in physical endurance, cognitive function, particularly alertness and vigilance, mood and perception of fatigue.

Notice that most of this benefits don’t last long.

Caffeine allergy

Some people have a caffeine intolerance or allergy which means that after an hour approximately, they experience some of the common effects of allergy.

  • Hives, an itchy rash made up of many red bumps.
  • Swelling of the lips and tongue.
  • Itchy mouth, lips, and tongue.

If it’s a severe case of allergy then it can produce what is known as an anaphylactic shock which produces:

  • Severe facial swelling, including eyes, lips, face, and tongue.
  • Trouble breathing due to facial swelling.
  • Trouble speaking.
  • Wheezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Nausea, abdominal pain, or vomiting.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Dizziness.

This is due to the fact that the body consider caffeine as an invader so it has to eliminate it. But the response is so exaggerated that it can produce all the symptoms above.

Although, this is not common and relative easily preventable. You just have to avoid all caffeine products.

Caffeine and anxiety

If you feel a little bit stressed, depressed, or any other psychological distress then probably you shouldn’t be drinking too much coffee or any other caffeine based product.

That’s actually kind of obvious since caffeine boost brain activity. And when you are stressed, the last thing you need is to boost that overload of activity in your brain.

Is caffeine bad for you?

Caffeine has a greater tendency to be something bad for you than something good. But it’s very important to consider the source because it matters a lot.

In the case of coffee, you only have a 0.04% caffeine while you have a lot of other rich nutrients. So, in coffee, you can find a great harmony of nutrients.

Here’s not the place to explain if coffee is good or bad, but I can tell you that you can consume coffee in moderation when it’s made just with coffee bean and hot water. But please, do not depend on coffee to start your day.

Don’t use added sugar that is ultra-processed. That’s toxic.

That was it. This post was sponsored by Ulysses which is the app I used to write this article. You can get it for your iPhone or iPad by [clicking here] or for your Mac by [clicking here]. Enjoy.

By the way, I’m gonna upload some short tips in Instagram as [@lenusme] so follow me or contact me directly through [this chat].

Finally, don’t forget to stay healthy and to subscribe.

See you in the next post.


Source about Caffeine Withdrawal and more

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  • Adenosine | WebMD | [Link]
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  • Neuropsychiatric effects of caffeine | Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, Volume 11, Issue 6 November 2005, pp. 432-439 | [Link]
  • Effects of caffeine on human behavior | Food Chem Toxicol. 2002 Sep;40(9):1243-55 | [Link]
  • Caffeine Consumption and Sleep Quality in Australian Adults | Nutrients. 2016 Aug 4;8(8). pii: E479. doi: 10.3390/nu8080479 | [Link]
  • The “High” Risk of Energy Drinks | JAMA. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 Jan 25 | [Link]
  • Association of ambulatory blood pressure and dietary caffeine in adolescents | Am J Hypertens. 2005 Jan;18(1):116-20 | [Link]
  • High caffeine intake in adolescents: associations with difficulty sleeping and feeling tired in the morning | J Adolesc Health. 2006 Apr;38(4):451-3 | [Link]
  • Caffeine intake during pregnancy, late miscarriage and stillbirth | Eur J Epidemiol. 2010 Apr;25(4):275-80. doi: 10.1007/s10654-010-9443-7. Epub 2010 Mar 21 | [Link]
  • Pharmacology of Caffeine | Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research. Caffeine for the Sustainment of Mental Task Performance: Formulations for Military Operations. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001 | [Link]
  • Coffee and gastrointestinal function: facts and fiction. A review | Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl. 1999;230:35-9 | [Link]
  • Is coffee a colonic stimulant? | Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998 Feb;10(2):113-8 | [Link]
  • Effect of caffeine on lower esophageal sphincter pressure in Thai healthy volunteers | Dis Esophagus. 2006;19(3):183-8 | [Link]
  • Caffeine overdose resulting in severe rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure | Am J Emerg Med. 2014 Jan;32(1):111.e3-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2013.08.042. Epub 2013 Sep 27 | [Link]
  • Rhabdomyolysis induced by excessive coffee drinking | Hum Exp Toxicol. 2014 Aug;33(8):878-81. doi: 10.1177/0960327113510536. Epub 2013 Nov 12 | [Link]
  • Effects of Single and Multiple Energy Shots on Blood Pressure and Electrocardiographic Parameters | Am J Cardiol. 2016 Feb 1;117(3):465-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.11.017. Epub 2015 Nov 19 | [Link]
  • Caffeine elevates blood pressure response to exercise in mild hypertensive men | Am J Hypertens. 1995 Dec;8(12 Pt 1):1184-8 | [Link]
  • Caffeine as a Probable Factor for Increased Risk of OAB Development in Elderly People | Curr Urol. 2016 Oct;9(3):124-131. Epub 2016 Sep 20 | [Link]
  • Effect of caffeine on bladder function in patients with overactive bladder symptoms | Urol Ann. 2011 Jan;3(1):14-8. doi: 10.4103/0974-7796.75862 | [Link]
  • Caffeine intake and risk of stress, urgency, and mixed urinary incontinence | J Urol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 May 1 | [Link]
  • Effects of caffeine on mood and memory | Physiology & Behavior | Volume 44, Issue 3, 1988, Pages 367-372 | [Link]
  • Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans | Nature Neuroscience volume 17, pages 201–203 (2014) | [Link]
  • Effect of caffeine and testosterone on the proliferation of human hair follicles in vitro | Volume 46, Issue1, January 2007, Pages 27-35 | [Link]
  • How Much Caffeine in a Cup of Coffee? A Detailed Guide | Adda Bjarnadottir | 2017.06.03 | Health Line | [Link]
  • Coffee — Good or Bad? | Kris Gunnars | 2018.08.30 | Health Line | [Link]
  • Coffee, brewed from grounds, prepared with tap water | Nutrition Data | [Link]
  • What is a caffeine allergy? | Lana Burgess | Medical News Today | 2017.12.08 | [Link]

Soy el presidente de Lenus y mi enfoque está en vivir una vida digna de vivirla por medio de tres pilares que son (1) Fortaleza Espiritual, (2) Desarrollo Empresarial y (3) Medicina Natural.

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