As a barista, depending on the number of events we have, my daily intake would range between 2 to 6 cups. Overtime, I’ve found that having too much coffee affects my sleep. Hence, I carry out a coffee detox periodically.
If you find that coffee no longer feels as effective, or that your quality of sleep seems to feel poorer, you may want to consider a coffee detox too.
Here’s a quick guide.
What’s a Coffee Detox?
A coffee detox is done to cut off coffee intake for a period of time. It takes about 5 hours to clear half the amount of caffeine in your body.
Doing a coffee detox gives your body time to clear off caffeine from your system, which helps to reset the effectiveness of caffeine to some extent.
How to do a coffee detox?
Simply stop taking (or reduce your intake of) coffee for a predetermined duration.
If you find yourself reaching out for that daily cuppa, you could replace your coffee with another beverage such as green tea (still contains caffeine), rooibos tea or water.
The results varies across individuals,
Design your coffee detox around your needs
Although there are many recommendations out there, I think your coffee detox should be based on your schedule and your situation.
For example, if your work schedule is tight and you find that you can’t function without coffee, you may want to either cut coffee only on the weekends or reduce your coffee intake instead.
If you’re downing more than 4 cups a day, you may want to reduce your daily intake for a start instead of cutting coffee out immediately. This could reduce the occurrence of significant withdrawal symptoms, or simply prevent you from becoming a coffee deprived angsty zombie during your detox.
When should you consider a coffee detox?
Some folks do a coffee detox for weight loss reasons, others do it to reset their system. Your body is the best barometer for when you should consider a coffee detox.
Some signals include:
- When your daily dose of coffee no longer feel as effective,
- If you’re not sleeping well at night,
- If your hands start shaking after your coffee (this is common when you had too many cups),
- If you get restless after having your coffee,
- If you start feeling bloated after having coffee
Disclaimer: p.s. I’m not a doctor, you should seek professional medical advice if you don’t feel well after drinking coffee.
How long should your coffee detox be?
Most people would cut coffee for 1 to 2 weeks during their coffee detox.
Personally, I do my coffee detox based on my schedule.
- If I have a 3 day break, I would do a complete detox, avoiding any sources of caffeine (this includes tea, certain soft drinks, chocolates, and more)
- If I have a rare break of 1 to 2 weeks, I would cut coffee completely. I may allow myself a cup of green tea per day depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.
Instead of going all in, my personal opinion is to plan the duration of your coffee detox based on your day-to-day schedule.
What science says
If you need more help deciding your duration, here’s what science says:
According to the Cleveland Clinic, it takes up to 10 hours to clear caffeine from your bloodstream. However, do keep in mind that the duration of 10 hours is based on a single dose of caffeine.
Based on a study by a group of researchers in Switzerland, the effects that caffeine has on the brain lasts even after 36 hours from the last cup of coffee.
And…according to this summary, caffeine withdrawals tend to last between 2 to 9 days.