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Even as research builds with evidence that coffee provides many health benefits, some doctors still raise concerns about caffeine consumption and some advice cut down your coffee consumption. In particular, people with specific conditions may find their doctors advising them to cut back on their caffeine. Recent research suggests, for instance, that caffeine consumption may make it harder for those with type 2 diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. If your doctor has advised you to cut back on caffeine – or if you want to cut out caffeine for your own reasons, these suggestions can help you limit your caffeine intake.
– Generally, most doctors agree that caffeine in moderation is not harmful. “Moderation” is defined as the equivalent of about two 12 ounce cups of coffee or one energy drink per day.
– Don’t cut out caffeine cold turkey. Take it slow – cut back coffee intake by about half a cup of coffee a day, or cut out one can of soda a day.
– Reduce the caffeine in your coffee by filling part of the cup with hot water before adding in the coffee.
– Drink less caffeine in tea by brewing it for less time, or steep in hot water, then pour out the cup and make the cup you’ll drink with the same tea bag.
– Believe it or not, you can cut caffeine by drinking espresso, which has less caffeine than drip coffee, not more. Chose cafe Americano instead of drip coffee – you’ll get the same flavor with less caffeine.
– Switch to decaf coffee, or half-caf. There are many brands of decaf coffee, tea and chocolate on the market. If you enjoy flavored coffees, you’ll hardly notice the missing caffeine flavor-wise.
– Watch out for hidden caffeine. Two Excedrin headache tablets, for instance, contain 130 mgs of caffeine, more than a cup of coffee. Energy drinks contain as much or more caffeine as most coffee.
– Eat healthy and drink lots of water while you’re cutting back. Extra liquids can reduce the withdrawal symptoms like headaches, irritability and restlessness.
– Plan ahead for withdrawal. If you have a coffee habit, you’re very likely to deal with headaches and irritability. Try to time cutbacks on caffeine for times when you’re not under a lot of stress.
– Substitute other liquids for coffee during the times that you routinely drink it. You’ll feel less deprived if you keep up with your usual routines like work breaks and other relaxing moments. Even better, take the time for a brisk walk that will naturally energize your body so you won’t miss that instant jolt from your caffeine kick.
– Avoid chocolate, which also has caffeine in it though far less than coffee.