What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?

Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. When caffeine intake is reduced, the body becomes oversensitive to adenosine. In response to this oversensitiveness, blood pressure drops dramatically, causing an excess of blood in the head (though not necessarily on the brain), leading to a headache.

This headache, well known among coffee drinkers, usually lasts from one to five days, and can be alleviated with analgesics such as aspirin. It is also alleviated with caffeine intake (in fact several analgesics contain caffeine dosages).

Often, people who are reducing caffeine intake report being irritable, unable to work, nervous, restless, and feeling sleepy, as well as having a headache. In extreme cases, nausea and vomiting has also been reported.


Caffeine and Health. J. E. James, Academic Press, 1991. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research Volume 158. G. A. Spiller, Ed. Alan R. Liss Inc, 1984.



How to Increase Your Magnesium Intake

If you think you might be low in magnesium, your best way to address this issue is to start consuming foods that are high in magnesium.

Buying foods from your local farmers market and foods that are certified organic may have higher levels of magnesium. The soil from conventional farms is depleted of magnesium because they do not rotate their crops or let the land rest. Also, they typically only put nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium back in the soil, but leave out magnesium.

Typically, the foods you’ll find that are highest in magnesium are green leafy vegetables which are packed with chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is known as the “life blood” of a plant and has the ability to absorb the sun’s light and turn it into energy.

One major difference between human blood and chlorophyll is that human blood has iron at the center of the cell, but plants have magnesium at the center of the cell.

That being said, green leafy vegetables aren’t the only foods rich in magnesium and chlorophyll, here are the top 10 foods high in magnesium that you will want to add into your diet.

Top 10 Magnesium Rich Foods
(Men RDA 400mg and Women RDA 310mg a day)

#1 Spinach 1 c: 157 mg (40% DV)

#2 Chard 1 c: 154 mg (38% DV)

#3 Pumpkin seeds 1/8 c: 92 mg (23% DV)

#4 Yogurt or Kefir 1 c: 50 mg (13% DV)

#5 Almonds 1 oz: 80 mg (20% DV)

#6 Black Beans ½ c: 60 mg (15% DV)

#7 Avocado 1 medium: 58 mg (15% DV)

#8 Figs ½ c: 50 mg (13% DV)

#9 Dark Chocolate 1 square: 95 mg (24% DV)

#10 Banana 1 medium: 32 mg (8% DV)

Other foods that are also high in magnesium include: salmon, coriander, cashews, goat cheese and artichokes.

Trying something

I've been doing some research and it sounds like a lot of what we experience from caffeine withdrawal can also be attributed to low levels of magnesium. Also, drinking caffeinated beverages can lower your body's magnesium levels.

Starting today, I'm taking a magnesium supplement and I'll keep you all posted on if it works or not. I'm not sure how long it'd take to possibly notice any changes, but we'll see.

If anyone else has tried this, please let me know. I'm curious to see if it has helped.


Cold Turkey,

I started using magnesium oil in early October. It seems to have some positive impact on my anxiety and muscle aches/tension.

Two things to consider:

- In pill form, magnesium can be hard on your stomach. If you get nausea or diarrhea after taking it for a while, step back your dosage.

- Studies are coming out that indicate regular magnesium use can alter hormone levels in males. If someone has hormone issues or related health considerations, they may want to ask a doctor first before supplementing.

Nearly six weeks in... nasty symptom increase

This is starting to get very frustrating. I had a nice improvement about 10 days ago and for the past 5-7 days, I've had a severe kickup of anxiety, brainfog, light-headedness, etc... I have not touched caffeine since I stopped nearly six weeks ago. How could I experience a solid week of improvement only to topple back down again? :(

Symptom Increase

Don't get discouraged Paul.

For myself, and the majority of people going through this with you, the recovery process is cyclical, not linear. You will have good, okay, and bad days and weeks. But you are getting better, hang in there.

Thanks, Zac

I appreciate the encouragement. I expect bad days, but a bad week is really hard to handle. My anxiety gets the best of me and I start worrying that this is my new "normal". And it makes me start worrying that something is damaged in my brain... ugh. Why did I ever drink this horrid stuff. :|

ups and downs

Anyone else experience a rollarcoaster ride with this thing? I was making daily progress for weeks and then the past two days have been filled with heightened brain fog, confusion, dizzy feeling, anxiety, etc... Haven't had any caffeine at all. Seems like the withdrawal is very unpredictable. :(

Funny you should say that...

Funny you should say that...I've been experiencing the same thing lately. The last week or two have been mostly great, but the last couple of days in particular have been hellish, without a drop of caffeine. It's got to be related.

what exactly...

What symptoms flared up for you exactly? I can't shake the brainfog, sadness, mild anxiety, feelings of despair... really low. :(


Brain fog, headaches, anxiety, heart pounding out of my chest

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