If you’ve had one too many cups of coffee and are feeling jittery, you may wonder if there’s a way to flush the excess caffeine from your system.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that millions of people rely on each day. Yet, consuming too much of it may cause side effects like difficulty sleeping, an increased heart rate, jitters, and shakiness (
This article explains whether you can flush out caffeine and provides tips for reducing jitters and other uncomfortable effects.
How to reduce caffeine’s effects
In fact, once it has entered your body, there’s not much you can do to flush caffeine out. The only way to get rid of it is to wait for it to naturally flush itself.
Nonetheless, you can take a few steps to minimize its side effects.
Stop caffeinating as soon as you notice adverse effects
If you notice uncomfortable symptoms like shakiness, stop consuming caffeine immediately. Foods and beverages with caffeine include coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda, dark chocolate, and some ice creams and desserts.
Furthermore, pay attention to medications, supplements, and personal care products that may harbor caffeine. For example, over-the-counter pain relievers like Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) can pack upwards of 40–60 mg in a single tablet (
Finally, certain performance-enhancing formulas like pre-workout supplements may have high amounts of caffeine, with up to 250 mg in just 2 teaspoons (10 grams).
Wait it out
Caffeine’s stimulatory effects are usually noticeable within the first 45 minutes of intake and can last 3–5 hours (
If you’re worried about sleep, it’s best to stop consuming caffeine 6–8 hours before bedtime.
Drinking water is important for staying hydrated throughout the day.
Though limited research is available, many anecdotal reports claim that drinking water helps relieve caffeine-induced jitters. This could be because dehydration may make symptoms worse.
Therefore, it may help to increase your water intake while you wait for the caffeine to leave your system.
Additionally, if you’re not used to caffeine, it may act as a mild diuretic and lead to increased urination and more frequent stools. Though this is rare for those who regularly consume caffeine from coffee or tea, hydrating can help reduce some of these effects (
- Get moving. Go for a light walk to relieve anxiety and jitters.
- Practice deep-breathing. If you’re feeling anxious, take slow, deep breaths for 5 minutes. Alternatively, practice meditation to calm your mind and nervous system.
- Eat fiber-rich food. Eating may slow the release of caffeine into your bloodstream. Opt for slow-digesting, fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, beans, lentils, starchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
- Take L-theanine. Though it won’t counteract the stimulatory effects of caffeine, this amino acid supplement may help relieve anxiety and reduce blood pressure. Be sure to speak to your healthcare professional before taking it.
Once caffeine is in your system, it’s difficult to get rid of. Avoiding caffeine, staying hydrated, and waiting it out are your best options to reduce its effects.
How much is too much?
However, caffeine tolerance varies based on age, genetics, weight, and your liver’s ability to process caffeine. Moreover, certain drugs like oral contraceptives and heart medications may increase caffeine’s circulation time in your body (
Most people can tolerate up to 400 mg of caffeine per day, or around 4 cups (945 mL) of coffee — though pregnant women, children, and teens should limit their intake.
Risks of excessive caffeine intake
Though caffeine is recognized as safe, everyone tolerates it differently.
It’s important to pay attention to any unwanted side effects, including headaches, jitters, difficulty sleeping, and increased heart rate. If you experience any of these symptoms, reduce your intake.
- chest pain
- irregular heartbeat
- severe dehydration
- trouble breathing
- uncontrollable muscle movement
If you experience any of these symptoms after consuming lots of caffeine, seek medical attention immediately.
Common side effects of caffeine include headaches, jitters, and rapid heart rate. Reduce your intake if you experience any unwanted symptoms. If symptoms worsen or continue, seek medical attention.
The bottom line
Caffeine is an effective, natural way to boost your energy levels, but many people find they’ve consumed too much and want to flush it from their body.
Side effects of excess caffeine intake include difficulty sleeping, jitters, shakiness, and increased heart rate.
Besides waiting it out and avoiding caffeine, there isn’t any effective home remedy to clear caffeine from your system. All the same, you can reduce its side effects by staying hydrated, going for a walk, and eating fiber-rich foods.
Most people can safely tolerate 400 mg of caffeine per day — about 4 cups (945 mL) of coffee — though your personal limits may vary. Be sure to listen to your body and only consume what feels comfortable.