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Avoiding Caffeine and Caffeine Withdrawal

Posted By on 28 May 2014

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As part of your natural prescription for wellness at Pinewood Health Institute you may be put on a particular diet plan or cleansing regimen that asks you to eliminate caffeine from your diet for a number of days. For some individuals this is an almost inconceivable concept as they depend on that first cup of java in the morning to wake them up and make them more productive.

However, caffeine is not just found in coffee. It is also found in energy drinks, dark chocolate, many pain medications and soft drinks. It is also found in tea, and in especially high amounts in green tea.

Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal

Withdrawing from caffeine can summon up the typical symptoms of withdrawal, which include fatigue, irritability, headache, anxiety, brain fog and anxiety. That’s the bad news. The good news is that these side effects do not last long, usually between two to nine days for most people.

The other good news is that there are many people who do NOT suffer from any symptoms when they withdraw from caffeine. In fact some people experience benefits such as less indigestion, acidic stomach and feeling less jittery. For some people, not drinking a lot of coffee helps them sleep better at night and makes them less distractible when they are focusing on a task.

Why Can’t I Have Caffeine?

Although caffeine makes us feel good, it only offers a temporary fix. In the long run it exhausts the body by over stimulating the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline. This triggers us to experience the “fight or flight” response that is a biological reaction to stress. When you experience stress, your body goes into overdrive producing cortisol, which is one of the main causes of excess belly fat.


Cortisol is not a complete villain or our bodies would not naturally produce it. It is only harmful when we produce too much of it. When the body produces smaller amounts it improves our awareness, performance and memory. In crisis situations, it is produced to create extra energy and lower our sensitivity to pain.

Caffeine artificially and unnecessarily causes our cortisol levels to rise which in turn triggers lowered cortisol levels, decreased thyroid function, cognitive difficulties, decreased bone density and muscle tissue, sky-rocketing blood pressure, inflammatory reactions and a lower resistance to disease.

Also if you have the proverbial “muffin top “you can probably blame that on cortisol overload as well.

Strategies for Avoid Caffeine

Aside from avoiding colas, coffee, teas and drugs that have caffeine you will likely have to avoid foods that are coffee-flavoured such as yogurt and ice cream. It is important to read labels.

Dark chocolate has the most caffeine. Even a small serving of dark chocolate can have up to 30 milligrams of caffeine in it, nearly the same amount as a can of cola (as compared with 90-150 milligrams in a cup of coffee and 30-70 milligrams in a cup of caffeinated tea).

The withdrawal symptoms from caffeine can be very real and for most people you have no real choice but to put up with them until your craving goes away. If you can do this you will be amazed at the sense of freedom you will feel from not having to rely on a beverage to kick-start your metabolism every morning and also how much money you will save from not buying a big designer coffee every day.

For more information or to book a consultation about our restorative diet and weight loss programs or any health issue you may have ,visit the Pinewood Natural Health Clinic website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewood.ca or call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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