Wondering How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

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Shorter Version

Est. Reading Time: 2 Minutes

What is caffeine addiction? It’s the over-consumption of caffeinated foods and beverages over time. Consuming large amounts of caffeine can have negative effects on your health and well-being. It can also affect your energy level, focus, mood, and mental alertness. In addition, too much caffeine can make you jittery and/or trigger anxiety. Lastly, it can interfere with work productivity and relationships. It can even mess with your kidneys if you consume too much of it. Because caffeine is a highly popular and in-demand chemical, most people don’t see the danger associated with consuming too much of it. The truth is, it’s easy to become addicted to caffeine.

Too much caffeine can lead to a host of health issues! This includes headaches, digestive issues, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, and fatigue (after the initial boost of energy).

~ Psychologist’s Note!

Are you addicted to caffeine?

It is the effects (i.e. happiness, euphoria, a burst of energy, etc.) of caffeine that hooks people and keeps them coming back for more. It’s common for people to use caffeine as a way to “wake them up” and “get them going” in the mornings. If you’re drinking or eating caffeinated foods and beverages all day long, there is a good chance you’re addicted to caffeine. And, if you experience withdrawals like headaches, irritability, anger, or depression if you don’t get your multiple cups of coffee, you’re most likely addicted to caffeine.

Slow down the pace

Many people do not know this, but you can even overdose from caffeine if you consume too much of it in a short amount of time. Treatment for caffeine addiction may include individual counseling, hypnosis, support groups, addiction counseling, and self-help exercises. However, if you are unable to seek immediate treatment for your caffeine addiction, you are in luck. This article highlights ways you can combat your addiction – until you can seek professional help.

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Actionable Steps


Read the longer version

You can learn more about caffeine addiction (definition, signs, possible causes, and treatment) by reading the following articles, reviewed to be the best by our professionals: This Is How Your Brain Becomes Addicted to Caffeine, Is Caffeine Really Addictive?, Are Coffee and Caffeine Addictive? A Critical Look, How Caffeine Addiction Can Affect Your Health, and Hooked on Caffeine?
The best way to beat your addiction is to learn everything you can about it. You can’t recover from addiction, if you don’t know you are addicted.


Gradually reduce your coffee intake

If you are desperate to kick your coffee habit, the best way to go about it – at least at first – is to gradually reduce your coffee intake. In other words, take baby steps. For example, if you normally drink 8 cups of coffee a day, reduce that number to 6. Do that for about 4 weeks, then reduce it to 4 cups a day for another 4 weeks. Then, 2 cups for 4 more weeks. Lastly, 0 or 1 cup a day. If you refuse to or can’t let it go completely, stick to 1 or 2 cups of coffee, per day, maximum. But, if you can go without coffee altogether, then do that.
If you decide to not drink any coffee once you have been weaned from your caffeine addiction, switch to a healthier alternative like green tea. It not only has less caffeine when compared to soda and caffeinated coffee, but also comes with more health benefits. If you find it difficult to cut down your coffee intake to 2 cups a day, then supplement those missing 2 cups with green tea with milkmatcha tea, golden milk, or Yerba Matė tea.
The key to curing a caffeine addiction is to gradually reduce your coffee intake until you are drinking either zero cups of coffee or one or two cups, per day, maximum. Going ‘cold turkey’ will only lead to disaster.



Another step you’ll want to take to rid yourself of your addiction to caffeine is to detox. In other words, fast to cleanse your body of toxins and harmful impurities. How? By upping your intake of liquids – i.e. purified water and herbal teas. Some cleansing detoxes allow you to also consume fruit smoothies, fresh fruits, and veggies, but check the detox instructions for clarity.
The goal of detoxing is to remove the excess amounts of caffeine from your system. During the fast, reduce your intake of processed foods like pizza and deli meats, red meat, and foods made with refined sugar and flour (white sugar and flour).

A good detox tea that can help cleanse your intestines of coffee-based impurities is nettle tea.



Another good way to cure a caffeine addiction is to increase the amount of exercise you get. Exercising every morning not only improves your mental clarity, it also boosts your concentration, focus, and energy. High movement exercises like tennis, jogging, swimming, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, football, etc. can make you more alert, improve your mood, cause you to feel more optimistic, calm you down, and keep you fit at the same time.
But, if you don’t have the time or access to the activities above, you can always sign-up at your local gym. You’ll find a variety of tools (i.e. treadmills, ellipticals, swimming pools, weight machines, walking trails, and fun bike and dances classes). 


Set goals

Curing your caffeine addiction will take effort, persistence, and determination. It won’t be easy, but recovering from an addiction never is. If you can commit to letting go of caffeine, then it’s worth the effort. So, what else should you do? Set small goals for yourself.
When you hit your milestones, reward yourself with a non-caffeinated treat like a meal at your favorite restaurant or that cardigan you’ve been eyeing.

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About the Author

Dr. R. Y. Langham

Dr. R. Y. Langham

Ph.D. in Family Psychology

Ree has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She spent over ten years counseling families, couples, individuals, and children on adjustment issues such as blended families, same-sex couples, dysfunctional family relationships, relationship issues, etc. Now she writes for famous health organizations and is a published author.
Full Bio | LinkedIn

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