High Caffeine Tolerance Can Be Reversed. Here's How

Caffeine is a need for many. First thing in the morning, people wake up and have their cup of coffee right away, and they'll have their coffee grounds brewing while brushing their teeth or making breakfast. Sometimes coffee is the only thing a person has for breakfast. According to the National Coffee Association, 62% of Americans have coffee daily, and the average coffee consumer has over three cups a day, increasing coffee consumption by 5% since 2015. Even though coffee shops have always been around, they've become more popular, especially if they do latte art. 


On the other hand, you might have a soda at lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, the more coffee or soda you drink, the higher your tolerance, leading you to drink even more, especially if it's not keeping you as awake as it should after your usual amount. As a result, you might need an extra cup or two than usual to keep you going until the end of the day. However, if you feel that your tolerance is too high, there are ways to reverse the effects. It'll take time and patience, but here's how to undo your caffeine tolerance.

Cut back slowly

If you're unsure of whether you have a high tolerance to caffeine, keep track of how much of it you consume. Mayo Clinic claims 400 milligrams of caffeine is safe for people to drink daily. That's about four cups of coffee, so having 500 to 600 milligrams is a high tolerance. Determine how many milligrams you want to drink daily to reduce your tolerance. You might not want to consume any caffeine. Reducing caffeine slowly by decreasing the amount by half a cup a day is best. For example, if you drink four cups of coffee, drink three-and-a-half cups or three cups. It might be easier to cut by half of a cup instead of an entire cup to prevent feeling the side effects quickly.


It takes about one week to reverse a caffeine tolerance, so if you cut back each day or go cold turkey, you'll be back to where you first started. Depending on the pace you take, cutting back can determine how much of the side effects you'll feel. Taking your time will still cause them, but not as severe as stopping entirely. Keep track of how much caffeine you consume outside coffee, like soda or tea, to know not to exceed your goal.

Treat the side effects

Reducing caffeine tolerance can affect your body differently, such as causing headaches. Drinking caffeine tightens your blood vessels, so when you stop consumption, the vessels relax and create pressure in your head. You can take over-the-counter medicine, like Tylenol or Advil, to help relieve painful headaches, but you don't want to take them all the time.


On the other hand, drinking caffeine can disrupt your sleep schedule. While you consume most of your caffeine during the day to stay awake, your high tolerance causes you to drink more throughout the day, making it difficult to fall asleep. In addition, the small amount of sleep you get affects how alert you are the next day. You get caught in a messy cycle. So, when you're reversing your caffeine tolerance, you'll feel more tired or irritable since you won't have your caffeine fix to boost your energy. While cutting back, getting the proper amount of sleep is crucial. Try to get between seven to eight hours of sleep to reduce feeling lethargic. Keep in mind that too much sleep can also make you more tired. Set up a sleeping schedule to get the same hours every night.


Keep yourself hydrated

Caffeine is often a water replacement for some folks. However, when they consume caffeine, they're not always incorporating water on the side. Even though coffee might not dehydrate you since it's made with water, other caffeinated drinks, like soda, can cause dehydration. Therefore, it's vital to drink water while you're trying to reduce your caffeine tolerance so that you can prevent getting headaches. If it's hard to remember to drink water, drink it to replace the caffeine you're reducing. For example, we mentioned how you could cut back half a cup a day until you stop drinking caffeine altogether; replace that half cup of caffeine with water every day.


The more water you drink, the less fatigue you'll feel. Instead, you'll be more energized, alert, and focused. If you don't like drinking plain water, opt for flavored or sparkling water like La Croíx to have something tastier. Over time, it'll get easier to have water as a caffeine replacement. You could also drink other non-caffeinated drinks, like tea or juice, to supplement coffee and soda.

Eat healthy and exercise

We know that we should eat better to maintain our health, but when we're skipping meals and consuming only caffeine, we rely on it to give us energy. Taking away the caffeine plummets that energy, so having a well-balanced diet is crucial to regaining lost fuel. Natural energy from fruits, vegetables, and carbs will give you the power boosts you need throughout the day. Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a few snacks in between is how you should spread your meals out daily. You don't have to track calories, carbs, or protein, but as long as you try incorporating healthier foods, you'll get the energy you need.


In addition to healthy eating, exercise goes hand in hand with that as an energy booster. Exercising activates neurotransmitters that release dopamine, which fills your body with liveliness and happiness. You can try walking, doing a HIIT workout, or running. If you stick with the same exercises, switch it up to get that exciting feeling when trying something new. The withdrawals aren't as painful when you sleep, eat, hydrate, and exercise, so try incorporating them into your routine!

Reintroduce caffeine in small amounts

If you introduce caffeine back into your body, experiment with low amounts first to see how you feel. When you cut out caffeine for a long time, you'll be surprised to see what 35 to 45 milligrams can do to your body. You might feel nothing or that small spark of adrenaline for the first time again. Before jumping back on the caffeine train, consider how much caffeine you'd like to consume daily. Give yourself a low limit to start and see how you feel. It can take some time to figure out what amount will give you the slight boost you need, but keep a steady pace.


Once you feel the small buzz caffeine gives you, you can increase or maintain that tolerance. It can take about 10 days to build a tolerance, but it can vary from person to person. Sometimes the tolerance can be built within a day or two. In addition, spread out your caffeinated drinks throughout the day. For example, if you're drinking coffee again and usually have two cups for breakfast, have one cup in the morning and one after lunch. You could also start drinking water before your coffee in the morning. Or, have a coffee in the morning and a soda at lunch. Find what works best for you and fits with your goals.