Weekend Listlessness 'Linked to Caffeine Withdrawal'

  • By Lee Kum-sook

    November 07, 2020 08:33

    Many people complain of feeling listless and lethargic on weekends, and the reason could simply be that they do not drink as much coffee as they do at work during the week.

    Doctors say people who drink a lot of coffee during the week could be undergoing nothing more dramatic than caffeine withdrawal.

    Caffeine can be addictive because it stimulates the secretion of dopamine. If your consumption suddenly drops, as it well may on Saturdays and Sundays, the body can display withdrawal symptoms, typically in the form of fatigue or headaches.

    A common symptom is headaches, according to Kwon Kil-young at Nowon Eulji Medical Center said.

    Caffeine causes the blood vessels to contract, and if people whose bodies are habituated to it stop drinking coffee, the blood vessels in their brains expand, leading to headaches. A good way to check for caffeine withdrawal is to see if headaches or fatigue ease after a cup of coffee at the same time as their weekday ritual. If the symptoms disappear within the hour, caffeine withdrawal may be the cause.

    "Caffeine does not have a very long half-life so symptoms are most severe for a day or two but ease after that," Kwon said, "A good way to reduce side effects is to halve the amount of coffee you consume regularly." 

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