Q: I love coffee. In fact, I don’t just love coffee — I’m addicted to the stuff. But every time I try to stop I develop a splitting headache! Realistically, how can I reduce my caffeine intake without becoming utterly dysfunctional?
A: Be kind to yourself — it is best to get off caffeine in a gradual manner! First off, accurately identify how much you are drinking, and when each day. Then you can reduce this a little bit at a time and spare yourself the pain of caffeine withdrawal.
For your morning coffee, for example, just get nice, high-quality beans and combine about 3 portions of those beans with 1 portion of decaf beans. Mix these well before grinding, to cut caffeine by about one-quarter. Then the next week use a greater amount of decaf in the mix, and proceed like that each week until you are down to full decaf.
If you find you like to drink coffee late in the day, you may want to start with reducing the caffeine quotient in your latest fix first.
Swiss water-process decaf is best, for a more natural product. Adopt the same procedure for ground beans, if you use those. And unless you are a coffee purist, you can try mixing in a coffee substitute such as roasted chicory or Teecino, or even experiment with Pero or Postum.
You can also benefit from drinking lots and lots of water throughout the day, and just about everyone benefits from a balanced diet and highest quality vitamins like our Essential Nutrients.