Caffeine Management Strategies

While growning up and through the years immediately after college, I suffered from headaches – not migraine-level, but still painful and debilitating. Finally, I began to identify the pattern: the headaches typically started from 36-48 hours after the last time I had consumed caffeine.

Once identified, the pattern became painfully clear: as long as I ingested caffeine evey 24 hours, headaches were almost eliminated . . . until I decided to go off caffeine after several years of steady caffeine consumption. The result was nearly a week of horrible, piercing headaches. I would continue to repeat that pattern several times over the next decade, because I simply didn’t want to give up the pleasure of coffee.

Recently, though, I’ve found a better path. I won’t claim that this will work for everyone, but it has been quite successful for me.

I noticed that if I had a cup or two of coffee on the weekend, I would not have a headache. I’d often exploit this on long road trips: one day of caffeine was not enough for addiction. With some experimentation over the past year, I’ve found that if only consume caffeine every three to four days, I can avoid nearly all of the undesirable side-effects.

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