How to get the caffeine out of your body

April 22, 2021 5 min read

Coffee jitters

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

The first thing to do when thinking of purging caffeine from your system is to remember that it may not be possible to get rid of it any sooner than usual.

But remember, the half life of caffeine, or the amount when half is gone from your system, is up to 5 hours. For some people, it's less.

So you probably won't have to put up with excess caffeination for very long if you have indulged in too much coffee or energy drinks.

If one afternoon you quaffed several big mugs of java and took more than 400 mg of caffeine, which is not recommended [3], for many people the stimulating chemical will most likely be gone by morning.

Do you really want to eliminate caffeine?

If you get rid of the caffeine, you very well could experience a slump in energy and alertness. If you are thinking of quitting altogether, you may need to slowly wean yourself off of your daily caffeine intake so you don't get headaches and feel drowsy.

We wrote in this blog [2]:

It’s not possible to eliminate caffeine from the body more quickly than usual. Caffeine’s half-life, the time it takes to for a healthy adult to see a reduction of caffeine’s presence in the body by half, is 5.7 hours. And if you don’t get your usual dose the next day, you may go into minor withdrawal and be groggy and cross. Some people also experience a headache if they don’t get their usual dose.

Some people go to extraordinary lengths to eliminate caffeine, including doing vigorous exercise and taking cleansing or detoxification measures. These measures are not likely to reduce caffeine’s presence in your body at all. Be patient, the last traces of caffeine should be gone completely about a day after ingestion.

Dr. Ray Schilling says [1] the elimination of caffeine from the body takes about 28.5 hours. Complete elimination occurs after five half-lives.

As Mental Health Daily says [5], it takes on average about 1.15 days to eliminate the caffeine entirely. But after 10 hours, most people have only about 25 percent of the caffeine they started with.

Mental Health Daily warns that for some people, it make take up to 2.18 days to eliminate if they metabolize the caffeine slowly.

Different factors affect how long it will take to purge the stimulant. Mental Health Daily says:

There are a variety of factors that can impact the time caffeine stays in your system prior to clearance. Examples of such influential factors include: individual attributes (age/body mass/genes/health), co-ingestion of other drugs/substances, dosage of caffeine consumed, and how often caffeine is ingested. Understand that certain factors may be slightly more influential than others, but are largely subject to personal variation.

...

Understand that for most healthy adult caffeine users, caffeine should be fully eliminated (100%) from a person’s system within 1.5 days.  Its metabolites with longer half-lives (e.g. theobromine, theophylline, etc.) may remain present in the body for nearly 2 days.  Most caffeine users will have cleared caffeine and its metabolites from their bodies within 48 hours.

Theobromine and theophylline

Healthline says both theobromine and theophylline are stimulants [6]. They act specifically to stimulate the heart. They are in tea and coffee.

Healthline says:

Theophylline relaxes smooth muscles in the airway, making breathing easier while also stimulating both the rate and force of heart contractions.

Theobromine can also stimulate the heart, but it does have a mild diuretic effect and improves blood flow around the body, leading to a net reduction in blood pressure.

Cocoa beans are also good sources of these two substances.

The amounts of these substances in a cup of tea are very small though, so their net effect on the body is probably negligible.

Some of the caffeine you ingest is metabolized into theophylline and theobromine, so every time you consume caffeine you will indirectly increase your levels of these two caffeine metabolites.

If you want to try to purge caffeine

Say you have a big meeting or exam the next day, and you foolishly over-caffeinated when you need to get a good night's sleep. Or you have the jitters, sour stomach, and a racing heart from too much of a good thing.

Several articles on the Internet give tips on how to de-caffeineate, so to speak.

Face it, if you have caffeine, you might be stuck with some in your system for a whole day. If so, this video shows how to overcome the jitters.

The one on WikiHow.com has 12 steps [4], some of which we synopsize below here:

  1. Go for a fast walk, lift weights, play some hoops, or do some other vigorous exercise. This may help your body to metabolize the caffeine more quickly. If you are over-caffeinated, you probably are jittery and full of nervous energy. Good, brisk exercise can help dispel these feelings and calm you down.
  2. Do not eat a lot of high-fiber foods. A full stomach--and your stomach will be fuller on high fiber--can radically slow how fast caffeine is absorbed from your stomach into your bloodstream. A full stomach can make the caffeine release slowly into your bloodstream. Don't eat big amounts of fruit or whole grains if you want to void the caffeine.
  3. Taking certain drugs, including modafinil, nafcillin, insulin, and even tobacco can induce a physical reaction of something called CYP1A2 that will clear the caffeine quicker. Mental Health Daily cautions that these substances should be taken only under the care of a medical practitioner.
  4. Another type of CYP1A2 inducer is cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Taking these foods minimizes the time to urinate or excrete the caffeine.
  5. Drink liquids (without caffeine). If you are under-hydrated, your urine flow will be slower, and you will not excrete the substance as quickly. If you are adequately hydrated, your body should excrete the caffeine at the baseline rate for you. Some people, as we said, eliminate caffeine faster.
  6. Take activated charcoal. WikiHow and Mental Health Daily both say it can help you eliminate caffeine if you take it soon after ingesting the caffeine.

Use common sense: Stop ingesting caffeine

And remember, it is only common sense to stop ingesting caffeine if you want to purge it from your body. Chocolate, green and black tea, of course coffee, some over-the-counter pain medications, and many other substances contain caffeine.

Read labels for caffeine content or do an Internet search to see if something contains caffeine, and stop hitting yourself on the head if you have a headache!

A great alternative source of caffeine

If you need to get your caffeine but don't feel like you can drink coffee, tea, or an energy drink, try Viter Energy Mints [7]. The mints are sugar-free and freshen the breath, plus they contain invigorating B vitamins.

Each mint has 40 mg of caffeine, so you can eat several before you hit that daily recommended wall of 400 mg.

Buy Viter Energy Mints at the link above or on our Amazon.com page [8].

Sources:

[1] https://www.quora.com/How-can-you-eliminate-caffeine-out-of-the-body-quickly

[2] https://www.goviter.com/blogs/viter-energy-blog/you-cant-rid-the-body-of-caffeine-quickly

[3] https://rightasrain.uwmedicine.org/body/food/too-much-caffeine

[4] https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Caffeine-Out-of-Your-System

[5] https://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/10/21/how-long-does-caffeine-stay-in-your-system/

[6] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/stimulants-in-tea#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4

[7] https://www.goviter.com/collections/viter-energy-mints

[8] https://amzn.to/3jb7Gwg

Mark Miller
Mark Miller



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