Signs of Caffeine Withdrawal

Caffeine is common with a lot of beverages and it is the world’s most consumed substance. Caffeine, being psychoactive, alters the way that the brain functions. It is actually a stimulant and it makes someone feel more active when they take it. However, the change is quite small and sometimes it cannot be externally noticed. However, when taken for a long time, it can cause some effects that can be seen externally. The signs usually start being seen when someone alters the caffeine-taking patterns, especially when the body becomes dependant on it. Abrupt stopping will cause some effects and they are characterized by the following signs of caffeine withdrawal.


It is common for some people to depend on a daily cup of coffee for an energy boost. Caffeine, especially in coffee, is known to reduce fatigue and increase alertness in the body. It does this by reducing the flow of adenosine in the nervous system. This causes a relaxing effect. In the body and reduces fatigue. This is why coffee can be used to reduce cases of chronic fatigue. However, in the process, the body becomes dependent on caffeine to stay away from fatigue. When the caffeine is finally withdrawn, one is likely to have signs of fatigue coming back. Now with this time, I am unable to be restrained since the caffeine has been withdrawn. While it could protect you from chronic fatigue, it could potentially also cause chronic fatigue when you stop using it.

Related: Caffeine Withdrawal Body Aches and Symptoms


This is usually the first and the most common sign of caffeine withdrawal. When there is caffeine withdrawal, you will hear the victim complain about a headache and it might go on for a long time after. Caffeine is known to have an effect on relaxation. It does this by actually causing a constriction of the cerebral blood vessels which will cause less blood to flow to the brain. This will reduce the activity of some parts of the brain causing a slight relaxation in functionality. Now when the brain finally adapts to this form of technique to bring a relaxing effect, the brain vessels naturally adapt to the change in size by starting to narrow. After this adaptation, the moment someone suddenly stops using the caffeine, there is withdrawal which will be characterized by a long, severe, and painful headache. This is caused by a sudden re-adaptation by the brain by enlarging the size of the blood vessels in the brain. The change is what actually causes the headache.

On the contrary, caffeine is naturally used to cure migraines and it can by far enhance the effectiveness of the pain-relieving medication. This is what makes the effect of withdrawal headache so severe in the very end.

The good thing with headache as a sign of caffeine withdrawal is that it heals fast and it usually subsides as soon as the brain adapts to the change. Medication can either make it longer or worse. The best medication you can give it is to let the brain adapt to the change by keeping off the caffeine even when you feel the headache is getting worse.

Stress and anxiety

When it gets to higher levels, caffeine withdrawal increases cortisol, a stress hormone which in turn increases the heart rate and blood pressure. The uncomfortable change will lead to anxiety and sometimes stress when it heightens. Sometimes, however, the reverse is true. Some people are sensitive to caffeine and they can start getting anxiety as soon as there is slight consumption of caffeine. In some instances, slight withdrawal can lead someone into anxiety and eventually stress. This one comes when the body is totally dependent on the substance as the one that actually activates it. The psychological changes are likely to cause remarkable signs of stress and anxiety.

There are different forms of caffeine consumption. Sometimes it could be in the form of soda and sometimes it can also be in the form of sugar-sweetened coffee drinks. When the consumption is suddenly cut off, this can make the body react differently to the fall of sugar levels. This could actually increase the blood pressure and significantly raise the cortisol and epinephrine hormones which significantly increase the anxiety and stress levels.

Mood alterations

One of the great signs of caffeine withdrawal is mood alterations. When the user cuts off the supply of caffeine in the system, it causes a natural drop in the mood and it will definitely alter it to the negative. When the mood is altered. Negatively, there is a likelihood of not acting normally and behaving in a different manner. This is sometimes hard to notice externally but it has always been a huge effect when it comes to the internal effects. One can actually feel the difference and could have an upbeat mood until they take it again. This is also attached to its ability to block adenosine flow in the nervous system. This actually comes around when it comes to a great dependency on caffeine for general wellness.

Body tremors

This might sound a little uncommon for caffeine withdrawal. However, when there is close to total dependency on caffeine might cause a little change in the normal functioning of the nervous system. This will cause slight tremors, especially in the hands. Body tremors are basically a cause of the instant inactivity of a part of the muscles. Will cause slight tremors. Most importantly, when you have body tremors, as a result of the caffeine, they should hardly last for more than nine days. More than nine days would mean quite serious trouble and you are advised to see a doctor immediately. The damage caused might sometimes be acute when the effects of caffeine dependency have gone overboard.

Demotivation and low energy

The main thing that people look for when they take caffeine is the energy that it comes with. It has the ability to stimulate the body and maintain the levels for quite a long time as long as you keep taking it.  The energy however depends on when you will take it. When you stop taking it, there is naturally low energy and demotivation effect. The body can no longer maintain concentration until you take it. The vigor with which the brain synthesizes information and processes the activities will slowly level off but after a huge drop from an instant stop in the middle. What should be done? It is usually very difficult to deal with but it usually gets better as days go by. It might however cause anxiety too when it is there for long.


Among the largest and most visible signs of caffeine withdrawal is the natural alteration of activity. Basically, irritability is one of them. This is why coffee drinkers are likely to be a little cranky before they get their usual cup of coffee. It is usually associated with a change in the level of activity. Type caffeine, especially when it is taken at night, might only be able to stay within the system for six or fewer hours and what it does after that might not be as good for the body. That is why when one wakes up, it could be quite a different situation before they take the caffeine again. This would suggest that to some extent, taking caffeine might alter the emotional balance in the body. This explains why coffee drinkers are moody when they have taken their coffee.

The difficulty in concentration

There is always a huge problem with concentration when the caffeine-dependent person cuts off the supply of caffeine to their body. The greatest reason that people take caffeine is to boost and maintain their concentration especially at work or when sports. It is common for someone to take caffeine-containing drinks before they get to start their work to basically boost their concentration during whatever activity they are going to do.

In order for one to stay alert during a long time of activity, which might be vigorous or demanding, the body needs to have enough adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the adrenal to boost the activity of the body and supply of blood in the body especially when the body detects danger. In other instances, the body might produce adrenaline when activity is required but it could be in mild amounts to help with being alert and not intensive activity. This is the part that really affects caffeine dependents when the caffeine is cut off. A major sign of caffeine withdrawal effects would be difficulty in concentration.

Caffeine is not a huge form of drug but it can be dangerous sometimes and it might have a lot of effects in the end. An abrupt stop to the supply of caffeine in the body would mean a huge difference in the normal behavior of the body. This is what causes observable signs of caffeine withdrawals. However, being careful with the caffeine amounts we take could be important in making sure that the withdrawal will not mean huge changes to the general functioning of the body.





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