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Should you Consider a Coffee Detox?

Should you Consider a Coffee Detox?


Beyond the energy boost, research shows that there’s lots of potential benefits to drinking coffee, like decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, lower chances of liver disease, and decreased inflammation. But it comes with potential risks, too, like increased hypertension.

High amounts of caffeine are associated with anxiety, panic disorder, and insomnia. It might be worth considering a caffeine break to see how it’s affecting your body so that you can recalibrate as needed. Choosing to eliminate coffee is no easy feat. But if you decide to try, there are a few things that you may want to consider on your coffee-free journey.

Coffee and Caffeine

Coffee has over 800 compounds, but we hear most about its stimulant, caffeine. As caffeine is quickly absorbed in the bloodstream, it gives us the morning energy boost and alertness that we love. Your body removes it within four to six hours, contributing to the midday slump.

Caffeine affects many physiological functions: mood and alertness, blood pressure and heart function, respiratory and kidney function, immune and gut activity, exercise performance, and the sleep-wake cycle. It does so by binding to specific receptors throughout the body, including stimulating dopamine in the prefrontal cortex (an area in the front of the brain that is important for making decisions that are based on reward, or whether something feels good) and the caudate nucleus (a part of the brain that helps regulate motor activity and the sleep-wake cycle). When caffeine is removed from the diet, these functions are affected, too. And that’s often expressed with withdrawal symptoms.

Caffeine Withdrawal

If you’ve detoxed from coffee before, you’ve probably experienced at least one of these mild withdrawal symptoms: headache, fatigue, muscle fatigue, decreased alertness, difficulty concentrating, mood fluctuations, upset stomach, cravings, or bowel irregularity. Sometimes people experience more severe ones, like changes in blood pressure, vomiting, muscle stiffness, abdominal pain, and digestive fluctuations. Typically, symptoms start twelve to twenty-four hours after the last cup of coffee, peak around twenty to fifty-one hours after, and last for two to nine days. To prevent or limit symptoms, especially more severe ones, it can be helpful to decrease caffeine consumption gradually.

Coffee Alternatives

Whether you decide to go cold turkey or wean yourself off, caffeine-free and low-caffeine coffee alternatives can help soothe the process. A note on decaf coffee: It’s not always caffeine-free—it often contains two to fifteen milligrams of caffeine per cup, according to the FDA so it’s important to consider this if you are trying to eliminate caffeine completely.

For some people, gradually eliminating caffeine is best—it can help limit or prevent withdrawal symptoms. Having a tea stash with varying caffeine amounts can help: Black has about fifty milligrams of caffeine per cup (compared to coffee’s ninety-five), green has about thirty milligrams, and herbal teas are caffeine-free.

Our top three herbal tea recipes:

Why not try our base recipe for fresh ginger tea which can be easily adapted to create a variety of healthy caffeine free infusions.

Ginger Tea – Base Recipe


3cm piece root ginger, finely sliced

honey to taste

200ml water, boiled


Divide the sliced ginger between two mugs. Fill the mugs with boiling water and leave to steep for 3 mins or until cool enough to sip. Sweeten with honey if you like.

Ginger Tea – Twists to try

Ginger, lemon and chilli 

Try adding a fresh red chilli sliced and a few slices of fresh lemon. This fiery combination is set to kick start any day.

Ginger, lemongrass and turmeric

Why not add the peel of 1 lemon, ½ tsp turmeric and 1 stick lemongrass, crushed and sliced for a refreshing twist.

Ginger and spiced apple tea

Adding sliced apple with a cinnamon stick makes for a lovely seasonal twist.