Caffeine independence is important because of how detrimental caffeine dependence can be.
People who drink one cup of coffee (about 100 mg of caffeine) every day can become physically dependent on the drink.
For these people, not drinking coffee could give them withdrawal symptoms, such as
- marked irritability
- muscle pain and stiffness
- depressed mood
Withdrawal symptoms could potentially affect half of all typical coffee drinkers.
These symptoms begin as early as 12 hours after not drinking coffee, peak in 1-2 days, and can last more than a week.
Caffeine stimulates the brain by blocking adenosine receptors, which tell us we're tired.
Regular caffeine intake will cause the brain to make more receptors for adenosine. This means more coffee is needed to stimulate the brain to an equivalent extent as before.