Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms

The good news is that the caffeine withdrawal duration typically lasts for 2 days to about a week.  It starts half a day to about a day after caffeine abstinence and peaks at about 2 days.  Occasional reports slightly longer durations.

How much regular caffeine intake causes withdrawal?  Abstinence from regular consumption of as low as a once a day cup of coffee, or 2 cans of soda has been reported to cause caffeine withdrawal.  The probability of incidence of caffeine withdrawal is reported to be 50% of the population from a recent experimental study of healthy caffeine consumers that have stopped for about a day.  But when minor caffeine withdrawal symptoms are also included, that ratio increases higher.

The table below lists the general caffeine withdrawal symptoms reported from various studies:

struggle for concentration lack of attentiveness
tiredness fatigue, enervation, lethargy, prostration
drowsiness doziness, somnolence, chronic sleepiness
moodiness short temper, touchiness
the blues funk, doldrums
uneasiness tension, anxiety
trouble with alertness degradation of perceptiveness

The official word from the ICD-10 of the World Health Organization and the DSM-IV American Psychiatric Association is that caffeine withdrawal is likely to cause “clinically significant distress or impairment in functioning”.

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