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With long hours at the workplace being the in thing, coffee machines in the offices are no longer an exception. The cuppa apart from being a break -time favorite has, over the past few years, become a necessary accompaniment to official meetings and chat sessions. Many a times a quick sip not only helps you to crack the  knottiest of audit jumbles but also gain confidence before facing the boss after an awful goof-up. True, but it is good only as long as it lasts. What happens  later is cause enough for worry. While a cup of coffee apparently stimulates your senses, a regular in take of caffeine can leave you a complete wreck.
                This is because coffee simply stimulates the central nervous system, increases he stress hormones in the blood streams, thus making a person feel unnaturally alert. Consequently induced alert state tends to subdue your body's natural instincts and prevent it from relaxing. This causes undue stress and leads to various kinds of disorders.
                Daily caffeine intake induces a 24 hour cyclic disturbance in your body. While the morning cup of coffee or tea perks up your mood most people can't stop at that. Almost every office goer develops a craving for the next cup and subsequently, a heavy fatigue sets in by late afternoon. Even if endless cups revives you at this time of the day, a total collapse is inevitable by evening.
                Irritability, fatigue and gloom along with an uncomfortable sensation are the  usual symptom. what is worse is that finally when you try to sleep away  your blues at night, you just can't. That's no the end. The next morning you get up tired, thirsting for a steaming  cuppa  to settle your mood.
                Thus begins a coffeeholic's journey. At the end of which, apart from developing dark circles under the eyes, you also acquire acidity problems, irregular palpitations and more. So next time you take a sip remember  you are sipping a host of health problems too.

Are you a Coffee Addict?

Addiction to caffeine can begin as early as in  school, or as the syllabus pressure gets the better of you in college or perhaps, when you land a job and have to course up the anxiety ridden path to office. The first sip happens when you battling stress and depression. If you're caffeine dependent answer the following questions and evaluate the addiction status:

  • Do you consume more than two cups of coffee, tea or cola or chocolate in a day?

  • Do you feel fatigued on and off during the day?

  • Do you go through massive  emotional mood swings during the day?

  • Do you suffer from frequent headaches?

  •  Do you suffer from constipation or are you dependent on tea or coffee in the morning for clearing your bowels?

  • Do you suffer from acidity or heartburn?

  • Do you feel a generalized pain in the neck, shoulders and back region and a sensation of discomfort in the legs, hands and stomach?

  • Do you suffer from a burning sensation, fatigue and heaviness in the eyes?

  • If you are a woman do you suffer from premenstrual syndromes?

  • Do you have difficulty in going to sleep?

  • Do you wake up in the morning feeling dead tired?

  • Are you easily irritable?

  • Do you suffer from irregular or rapid heartbeats?

  • Do you often feel dizzy?

  • Do you have high blood pressure problems apart from anxiety problems?

  • Do you have ulcers?

  • Do you have problems concentrating without your regular cup of coffee?

  • Do your hands tremor?

  • Do you feel dehydrated?

                If you have answered  five to six of the questions with an 'yes' caffeine is part of your daily system, reduction or removal of products laced with caffeine from your diet will improve your health considerably.
                If you have answered seven to eight  of the questions in the affirmative, you are a caffeine addict, and need to reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet. Before caffeine causes any nutritional imbalance or disorder try and be conscious about  what you eat and drink.
                If 10 to 12 of the questions have a positive answer, its time to sit up and listen to your body signals. Caffeine can cause serious damage to your health. Wean yourself of the habit slowly and steadily, preferably with the help o fhe dietician.
                Remember this is just a self help questionnaire and not a professional diagnosis sheet. Incase of alarming results it is advisable to contact the  family doctor.

How much Caffeine do you consume daily?

Food and beverage Caffeine content (mg/serving)
Coffee(6 oz, normal teacup):
Instant 57
Brewed, drip method 103
Brewed, percolator method 75
Tea(6 oz, normal teacup), 3-minute brew 36
Cola beverages(100ml), regular or diet  10 to 15
Cola beverage(6 oz normal teacup) 4
Milk chocolate(8 oz) 8
Dark Milk chocolate(1 oz) 8 to 20
Chocolate pudding half cup) 4 to 8


The Withdrawal Symptoms of Caffeine

Once you have lowered your caffeine dependence status and realized that caffeine is the trouble factor in your diet, don't take the hasty decisions of cutting down on all such intake. For in case of sudden elimination of all caffeine products from your diet, the withdrawal symptoms maybe too tough to handle. consequently, you may suffer from some of the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Headaches,

  • Irritability

  • Intensification of premenstrual symptoms

  • Fatigue

  • Generalized muscular tension

  • Nausea

  • Lack of appetite

  • Constipation

  • Lack of concentration

  • Disorientation

  • Forgetfulness

Quitting Coffee Gradually

So make sure you reduce your regular caffeine intake gradually. Initially reduce your intake by half. Avoid the other half by replacing  it with a cup of mild organic green tea or herbal tea. For example if you are used to four cups of coffee in a day, start drinking two cups of coffee and two cups of mild green tea. Gradually replace the mild tea with  with soup or plain hot water mixed with honey and lime. Then replace the remaining  two cups of coffee with mild tea and follow the same pattern.

    4 cups of coffee
    2 cups of coffee+2 cups of tea
    2 cups of coffee+2 servings of soup/hot water with honey and lime
    2 cups of coffee+2 cups of soup/hot water with honey and lime
    4 cups of soup/water with honey and lime
    Freedom from caffeine dependence.

Now don't make a grab for another cup.