Why B12 is a Healthy Substitute for Caffeine + How to Make the Switch
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably wondered at some point whether you should give up caffeine. Maybe you’ve experienced withdrawal symptoms (yep, it’s a drug) like headaches, irritability, and tremors. Or maybe you don’t like its effects in your body like a racing heart, jittery hands, and straight-up panic. Lucky for you, there’s a healthy substitute for caffeine (that you probably need to be taking anyway).
Allow us to introduce our good friend, vitamin B12. He’s a little guy with massive impact that comes in the form of pills, liquid, shots, and food. Vitamin B12 aids in the formation of red blood cells and preventing brain atrophy, which prevents memory loss as we age. But those aren’t the only reasons your body will thank you for adding the supplement to your daily routine.
The benefits of B12 are seemingly endless and include:
- Sleep quality
- Mood stability
- Bone health
- Immune system function
- Hair, skin, and nail health
- Allergy symptoms
- Headache pain
- Risk of macular degeneration
- Memory loss
Why B12 is a Healthy Substitute for Caffeine
Fatigue could be the result of any number of factors including how long you’ve been awake, how much sleep you got the night before, other medications you’re taking, and so on. Vitamin B12 deficiency is another common culprit of fatigue, making it the perfect replacement for your current caffeine addiction.
But we get it, you probably have questions.
Soooo can you get addicted to B12?
Unlike caffeine, you won’t get addicted to B12. No headaches, mood swings, heart palpitations, or insomnia if you skip it or stop taking it. Instead, you’ll get a whole lot of the goodness listed above.
And what if you take too much?
Maybe you only experience those negative caffeine side effects when you’ve consumed too much, so you’re wondering if you could — dare we use the technical term — overdose on B12 in the same way. Excellent question!
We’ll defer to experts at The Mayo Clinic on this one who confirm that “your body absorbs only as much as it needs, and any excess passes through your urine.” That said, excessive amounts of vitamin B12 could include dizziness, headache, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting (the same side effects of too much caffeine, minus insomnia, nervousness, irritability, fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors).
Can you take it when you need it?
Caffeine is great because you can make a Starbucks run anytime you need a pick-me-up. When you transition to vitamin B12, you’ll need to take it regularly to see results. When someone with a B12 deficiency starts taking it, they can expect to see results in about 48 to 72 hours. Once adequate levels are reached, regular B12 injections every one to three months are the best method for maintaining beneficial effects, though daily pills are another excellent source.
How to Make the Switch from Caffeine to B12
Once you’re on board with vitamin B12 as a healthy substitute for caffeine, you’ll want to follow a few steps for a peaceful transition.
Don’t stop consuming caffeine right away.
In order to avoid withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fatigue, you’ll want to quit caffeine slowly. If you drink multiple cups of coffee or other caffeinated beverages each day, cut back every three or four days. If you only drink a couple of mugs on the daily, try switching to decaf or black or green tea for a few days. This works for caffeine pills and canned caffeinated beverages too!
Replace your caffeine routine.
You may drink caffeine for its energizing effects, but chances are you likely enjoy the routine you’ve built around it too. A cozy cup of coffee as you get going in the morning, a break in the workday when you run to the gas station for a soda… It can be difficult to give up the routine of caffeine. Try substituting caffeine with tea or another beverage you enjoy to keep the routine without the negative side effects.
Get more sleep.
Easier said than done, but extra sleep can help fight off the grogginess and fatigue often experienced during caffeine withdrawal. Even a quick nap in the afternoon or early evening can help! Over time, nixing caffeine can actually improve your sleep.
Fit in some exercise.
Working out is one of many ways to naturally increase your energy levels. Fitting in a walk or gym session during the first few days of quitting caffeine can strategically fight off withdrawal symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, and brain fog.
In just a few days, your body will thank you for transitioning to a natural energy supplement. And fitting this healthy substitute for caffeine into your life isn’t difficult. When you’re ready to make the switch, come see us!