[Updated 30th March 2022]
If you’re a lover of caffeinated beverages - whether it’s coffee, tea, soda or energy drinks - one of two things might be happening to you during this Ramadan: 1) You’re doing perfectly fine throughout the day without any caffeine; 2) You’re struggling to get through the fasting hours from the lack of caffeine.
For those of you who belong to the latter, we feel you 😍 It’s definitely not easy cutting down on your caffeine intake especially if you’re used to drinking it. Since you won’t be able to have as much while fasting, there’s a high chance that you may be experiencing caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches, fatigue and difficulty in concentration. If you’re looking for ways to fight these, we’ve got a list of tips that’ll help you beat caffeine withdrawal during Ramadan.
1. Take your caffeine drink as early as possible during iftar
For caffeine lovers, parting with your favourite caffeine drink feels like a tragic love story. So, if you absolutely must take it, we suggest consuming it as early as possible during iftar. Caffeine keeps you awake and trusts us when we say you wouldn’t want to be up all night until it’s time for sahur - the exhaustion is truly unlike any other and getting through the day becomes extra hard 😔 This means that within the first half-hour of breaking your fast, you should be getting your fill of coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks.
2. Fit in a quick workout into your daily routine
Now, we know what you may be thinking: How can a workout help if I’m already feeling tired from both fasting and having no caffeine? We’re definitely not saying it’s an easy feat since your energy levels are naturally lower during Ramadan. But if you can find some way to pencil in a short workout into your daily schedule, you’ll see that performing physical activity can help with getting rid of caffeine withdrawal symptoms 😊
And don’t worry if you’re not the fittest person in the world. There’s no need to do any vigorous exercises, in fact, you’re encouraged to do low-intensity workouts during Ramadan instead of the harder ones. Spend at least 10 to 15 minutes doing easy workouts like light cardio, yoga or pilates after iftar or even before sahur.
P.S. Check out these other 8 easy ways to keep fit and healthy indoors.
3. Give yourself a break
Sometimes, all you need is a break. On top of having to fast for more than 12 hours, keeping up with a work-from-home routine without any caffeine can be tiring and we don’t blame you. When you feel the exhaustion kick in, that’s your cue to step away from the desk and give yourself a break. Pick up a book to read, listen to some music or take a short nap - doing whatever helps you to relax is a simple and effective way to overcome caffeine withdrawal.
P.S. Wondering how to do congregation prayer this Ramadan? Here's an easy guide to terawih prayers at home.
4. Make water your best friend
Instead of reaching out for a cup of coffee or an energy drink, trade it with a glass of water instead. Maintaining your hydration levels while fasting is crucial to fending off dehydration and combating caffeine withdrawal. So, use the time between iftar and sahur to sip regularly on water. Keep a bottle of water near you or set hourly alarms to remind yourself to hydrate. If you’re not used to drinking plain water, you can always opt for fruit-infused water which is not only hydrating but super healthy - so it’s a win-win situation! 😇
5. Limit your caffeine consumption
No, you don’t necessarily have to quit caffeine cold turkey but limiting your caffeine consumption can help to fight its withdrawals. If you’re someone who can’t completely say goodbye to your beloved black coffee or Earl Grey tea, try to reduce your caffeine intake by gradually cutting back on it each day. A few ways you can do this is to reduce it by the actual number of drinks or diluting it with hot or cold water. Track your process by keeping a caffeine diary to note the amount you’re consuming daily and how you feel throughout the day. That way, it’ll be easier to see what kind of adjustments you should make along the way.
6. Get enough sleep
As much as we all love to sleep, we’re sometimes guilty of not getting enough hours to be fully rested 🤭 Compromising your sleeping hours, in general, isn’t healthy and if you’re trying to beat caffeine withdrawal, it’s a big no-no. Fatigue is one of the common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, so getting enough sleep is a really important step to fight this. Since Ramadan this year is spent at home due to the COVID-19 situation, it should be easier for you to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. But if you still find this hard to achieve, then strive for at least 6 hours of sleep and take necessary breaks throughout the day.
P.S. Treat yourself with these 10 simple steps to have a spa session at home.
7. Use natural home remedies
If you have any natural home remedies laying around the house, this would be the perfect time to use them. When your head starts throbbing and the dizziness comes around, turn to essential oils to tamper down the symptoms. By rubbing 2 to 3 drops of these on your temples and forehead, you’ll be able to alleviate the pounding headache. Don’t have any essential oils on hand? That’s alright - use an ice pack instead and place it on the back of your neck or on your head to ease the pain.
P.S. Did you know that having a humidifier is one of the 8 ways to boost your immunity during COVID-19?
8. Swap caffeinated drinks with decaffeinated ones
The idea of completely giving up your favourite caffeinated drinks can be upsetting. But we’re here to tell you that there’s a way you can still have them while fighting off caffeine withdrawal! All you need to do is simply swap your caffeinated beverages out with decaffeinated ones. Immediately switching to decaf can be a shock to your system, so start slow with half decaf and half caffeinated coffee. From there, inch your way towards full decaf and soon, you'll find yourself free from caffeine withdrawal.
9. Try and eat a balanced amount of food at sahur and iftar
Credit: Unsplash Low energy levels due to lack of caffeine is something you wouldn't want, especially since most of us are trying to stay productive throughout the day! Here's where eating a balanced amount of food for sahur and iftar becomes helpful in maintaining energy levels. For sahur, aim for a plate filled with whole-grain carbs, a source of protein and healthy fats to keep you full and energized for longer. For iftar, make sure half of your plate is filled with vegetables, a quarter of protein such as chicken, and the last quarter with full-grain carbs. Of course, we know that bazaars are back, and you're planning to try your favourite foods; just eat them in moderation!
Caffeine withdrawals are no fun and the process to overcome them can be painful. But just remember that it'll all be worth it in
the end and who knows, you may end up ditching caffeine for good by the time Ramadan is over 🤩