By Austin Perry
It’s 3am, you’re lying completely awake in your bed.
Eye’s peeled open, irritated at the fact that you have to be up for work in the next few hours.
The only thing you’ve been doing for the past 4 hours is laying down with your eyes semi-closed trying to force your brain to go to sleep but it’s still not working.
Let’s rewind this to the beginning of the day…
It’s 6am, your alarm is blaring in your face telling you to get up for work and you’re so tired that you literally struggle to keep your eyes open as they start to burn from seeing direct sunlight.
You get to work but your performance is lacking due to an issue of not getting enough sleep last night.
Ah, you remember you have some stimulants in your desk that will help get you feeling just right.
You’re feeling good for the next 8 hours but if you’re like a lot of people who work out, you start to crash about mid-day from the intense stimulants you took earlier that morning.
You’re getting ready to head to the gym but are feeling almost ‘zombie-like’ and unmotivated to get your workout in.
Let’s dome a scoop of pre-workout, that’ll do the trick.
After your workout is complete in the evening hours, you are feeling more than energized after a solid gym session.
10pm rolls around and it’s almost time to get some sleep but you’re still not that tired yet.
Midnight creeps up in no time and guess what? You’re still not tired, you say?
This is the dreaded cycle of a caffeine and stimulant addiction.
“I can’t be addicted to pre-workout or caffeine, that’s ridiculous.”
Well, if you’re thinking this to be true, you’re about to get some quick knowledge dropped on you.
First thing’s first, let’s answer this question.
Is caffeine addicting?
Caffeine can 100% become addicting. Well, sort of…
Caffeine is not regularly deemed to be ‘addicting’ due to the lack of sufficient problems that an actual drug addiction would cause.  BUT long-term use of caffeine-based products can lead to increased sensitivity and you will start to rely on it to get you through the wall you hit in the early morning.
Stimulants alike are more considered to be a self-proclaimed addiction. Basically, “I drink a lot of coffee or pre-workout but I like the effects so I can’t stop doing it.” Not so much as a full dopamine-based addiction that causes the body to desperately rely on it before your mental and physical state starts to shut down.
 Caffeine and stimulants alike are considered to be a drug.  Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system that affects the body in different ways depending on the overall dosage and the most commonly used ingredient for enhanced energy and mental focus.
A new study performed by the National Coffee Association has found that 64% of Americans drink at least a cup of coffee every day. 
Why is this information important you ask?
Each cup of coffee has a specific amount of caffeine in it and there are many individuals in the world who must have coffee every day. Coffee is slightly considered to be ‘addicting’ due to the caffeine intake per cup and is a main source of daily stimulants.
If you’re a coffee drinker and start to get headaches or a slight ‘sick’ feeling when you don’t have a cup of coffee; odds are, you have a stimulant problem and you’re going through the symptoms of withdrawal. 
With coffee becoming more commonly used as a beverage of choice throughout the United States, a lot of individuals are likely to develop some sort of problem when exposed to specific amounts of caffeine.
Restless behavior and chronic insomnia from stimulants are most common when taking in a high or moderate dosage of stims throughout the day or closer to the evening hours.
Most commonly involved with an active fitness lifestyle, users who take pre-workout closer to the evening hours tend to struggle with a proper sleep pattern due to the specific stimulants involved in certain pre-workouts.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes many restless nights or can cause difficulty maintaining a deep sleep pattern throughout the night and can be categorized into acute or chronic durations depending on the severity. 
While not everyone will develop insomnia from taking stimulants, the risk becomes higher with the amount of caffeine or other stimulants you take per day as well as the specific timing.
One way of avoiding this problem would be to switch to a non-stimulant based pre-workout so you can get the full muscle building compounds you need in a pre-workout without causing a disruption to overall stimulant intake.
For example, Nutrex Research has three products that are specifically formulated for a non-stim pre-workout pump enhancer that can be taken in place of your regular pre-workout.
Alpha Pump is the latest formulation that brings you a superhuman pump experience with the added formulation of Nooghanda® for an enhanced mental focus and clarity view-point without the effects of commonly occurring stimulant enhanced products on the market.
Outlift Stim-Free is a clinically dosed stimulant-free pre-workout with full muscle building compounds and a completely transparent formula guaranteed to bring you an intense muscle pump during your workout.
NioX™ is a staple point within the everyday supplement stack for your pre-workout needs as it provides a full vasodilation formula with the benefits of nutrient partitioning and increased oxygen levels to shuttle food into the blood flow for an enhanced pump.
There are many different long-term effects of using Caffeine and stimulant-based products that can be detrimental to your health which is why it is important to monitor your stimulant intake and properly cycle off after a certain period of time to give your body a break.
 For example, some critical effects that are most notably caused by heavy caffeine intake over a long period of time consist of:
• Rapid or Irregular Heart Beat
• Weakness and Body Fatigue
• Low Blood Pressure
• Chronic/Acute Insomnia
• Nervousness and Anxiety
• Erectile Dysfunction
• Dry Mouth
Overdoing it on the stimulants can cause a heavy abundance of cardiovascular health issues if not monitored closely so it is important to keep a close eye on your tolerance as well as any underlying issues that can be worsened with caffeine.
Try slowly cutting back on the stimulants a bit for a week and then slowly cut yourself off from them completely to give your body a much-needed break.
By doing this, you’re allowing your body’s tolerance to creep back down to a normal level. This is important because after a while, your body starts to develop a higher tolerance for caffeine, and you will need to keep increasing the doses in order to feel the full effects.
Caffeine sensitivity is a huge factor with how your daily intake will look like.
While eliminating caffeine completely leads to certain side effects, your body will be able to adapt quickly as these will not last for a long time.
 Some of the side effects from an effective withdrawal may include:
• Increased Anxiety or Irritability
• Increased Fatigue
• Slower Performance
• Headaches and/or Muscle Aches
It’s important to note that these side effects aren’t long lasting, but they can be quite a challenge to push through for the next 24-48 hours if you’ve been dependent on caffeine for a long period of time.
Caffeine is not bad or a huge problem, but it does need some more broadcasting of education and adhering to the proper knowledge with how to balance out your caffeine intake.
If you’re having trouble establishing a proper sleeping schedule, try cutting out the late evening caffeine intake and as stated above, switch to a non-stimulant based pre-workout or decaf coffee.
This will help reduce the irregular sleeping pattern you’re experience and should help get you back on track with being able to maintain a deep sleep throughout the night.
To find a proper balance with your stimulant intake, try reducing the amount of times you’re taking in caffeine and shoot for just one cup of coffee in the morning instead of multiple throughout the day. If you work out in the evening hours but still need a little more ‘pep’ in your step, mix ½ a serving of your regular pre-workout with a nitric oxide booster to give you the overall boost you need for your workout without overdoing it.
Most importantly, assess your tolerance and establish an intake that is good for you but doesn’t affect your day negatively.
Find a proper dosage to help you push through the dreaded wall and cut-off your stimulant intake after a certain time, so you avoid sleep disruptions.
Getting at least 8-9 hours of sleep will help reduce the need to grab your favorite flavor of Monster first thing in the morning. Feeling well-rested is much more enjoyable than being tired but masked by stimulants for a short period of time.
As discussed previously, take a break.
Taking some time off stimulants is the best thing you can do to reduce the negative effects of long-term caffeine and stimulant consumption.
1. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2006;32(4):493-502. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17127537
2. Alcohol and Drug Foundation June 27, 2019. https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/caffeine/
3. NCA March 9, 2019 https://nationalcoffee.blog/2019/03/09/national-coffee-drinking-trends-2019/
4. NCA March 9, 2019 https://nationalcoffee.blog/2019/03/09/national-coffee-drinking-trends-2019/
5. Harriet Hall February 5, 2019. https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/caffeine-withdrawal-headaches/
6. Sleep Foundation https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/what-insomnia
7. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2006;32(4):493-502. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17127537
8. Alcohol and Drug Foundation June 27, 2019. https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/caffeine/
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