Perhaps no beverage is more ubiquitous in the world coffee. American Psychological Association report that 80% of American adults consume coffee on a daily basis (Starbucks really nailed that market, eh?) Across countries and cultures, in the morning, afternoon, or after dinner, the smell of Roasted coffee beans will hit your nose in most parts of the world. Offers, treats, tools, vendors or warmth, wakefulness and morning standards, coffee in its many forms is a very normal part of life for most of us. Despite the fact that the vast majority of consumers don’t think twice before pouring a hot cup, those with anxiety or social anxiety may want to think twice before pouring that 12-cup pot. . What did you say? Can caffeine cause anxiety?
The simple answer to “can caffeine cause anxiety” is yes and if this is you, even regulating caffeine intake can have a profound effect on our overall calmness and the way we feel. We navigate the world around us. While caffeine is very accessible and accepted in our world, it is, in fact, a mind-altering substance. So let’s talk about what exactly caffeine affects your brain, and let me give you some food to get you thinking about the mud issue. Cutting back a little or completely stopping caffeine can change your life.
Jiving or Jittery?
In a year 2013 review In the published medical literature on coffee, the researchers note that although more controlled research is certainly needed, there are certainly some documented health benefits. evident when drinking three to four cups of coffee per day (400 mg of caffeine). Drinking coffee regularly reduces a person’s overall risk of disease in life, also known as all-cause mortality. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke. In addition, regular coffee drinkers have lower rates of numerous cancers over the course of their lives. Regular coffee consumption has also been shown to have a positive effect on reducing the risk of diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Yes, yes, and yes!
Now that you’ve read about some pretty convincing health benefits of java, I’d like to dive into the nuanced fact that while it’s generally not bad for most of us (along with being socially acceptable). ), drinking coffee or drinking more than a small amount per day, Actually Doesn’t work for everyone. What’s more, it may “do not work” for many people with anxiety but is not related to caffeine as a stimulant.
Newer search in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that no more than a moderate amount of caffeine (four to five cups per day or less) is the best point between drinking too much coffee which is harmful and just enough to reap some benefits. number of health benefits.
However, for many people who are sensitive to external stimulants, even drinking small amounts can cause mental health side effects such as anxiety and panic attacks. Anxiety and panic attacks are two of the most common mental health disorders in the US, so the potential for anxiety to overlap and be exacerbated by daily caffeine use is high. In addition, many of us consume too much caffeine or consume all day without living “caffeine-free,” making it difficult to fully understand the true cause of anxiety. This link between anxiety and caffeine is so pervasive that there is actually a medical diagnosis named caffeine anxiety disorder.
So what exactly is anxiety? Anxiety is defined as an emotion characterized by feelings of stress, anxious thoughts as well as physical changes such as:
- Digestive disorders
- Short of breath
- Increase heart rate
- Muscle tension
Harvard Medical School reports that caffeine use can cause anxiety-like symptoms in many people, such as:
- Digestive disorders
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fast heart beat
Catch the similarities? If you’re living with A-list symptoms, why consume a substance that theoretically helps, when in reality it doubles your symptoms and can cause anxiety? worse than?
How does all this happen in the brain?
How does caffeine even work? Caffeine works in your brain by blocking adenosine, a brain chemical that helps us feel tired and relaxed. While systematically blocking adenosine, caffeine activates the stimulant hormones (two of which are responsible for the “fight or flight” response), adrenaline and dopamine. These hormones often cause feelings of well-being, alertness, and focus. This is great after a long sleepless night with a cranky baby waking up in your arms, or just to start the day. However, if you tend to relate to the descriptors: stress, anxiety, or a busy mind, the activation of these brain chemicals could be an all-too-familiar stimulant and actually increase your anxiety by compounding the symptoms you may have. easy to.
Take note of what’s right for you
It’s a great idea if you have anxiety and drink coffee to pay attention to when your anxiety attacks appear. Do you drink coffee in the morning and then notice a wave of anxiety when you start working? It can be as simple as slowing down and thinking about your intake. With caffeine being such a ubiquitous beverage in our lives, sometimes we don’t realize how much we’re consuming or forget to pay attention to this which can be a trigger.
I recommend tracking how much caffeine you drink daily for a few days. Do you know how many milligrams you ate? When we feel comfortable in our own way, we behave less thoughtfully, especially with regard to food and drink choices. As a general rule, there’s usually about 100 mg of caffeine in each cup of coffee depending on how well you brew it, if you know you’re brewing a strong cup, aim for a higher estimate. In general, taking more than 400 mg a day is not recommended, and for sensitive individuals, as little as 50-100 mg per serving can cause anxiety, especially on an empty stomach. Got a great list of caffeine content in regular drinks from this health line article that I have included below for your reference.
Here is the range of caffeine content in popular drinks:
- 8 ounces of decaf coffee contains 3–12 mg
- 8 ounces of plain black coffee contains 102–200 mg
- 8 ounces of espresso contains 240–720 mg
- 8 ounces of black tea contains 25-110 mg
- 8 ounces of green tea contains 30-50 mg
- 8 ounces of yerba mate contains 65–130 mg
- 12 ounces of soda contains 37–55 mg
- 12 ounces of energy drinks contains 107–120 mg
Okay, I’m so stressed and worried: now what?
If you’ve had too much caffeine during the day, try this:
- Stop drinking caffeine
- Drink country with electrolytes
- Take a walk
- Try eating foods that take time to digest and help slow the release of caffeine into your bloodstream
- Whole grains, beans, lentils, starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds are good choices
Next: make a plan for future cuts. Consider weaning over a period of several weeks. Slowly start drinking less caffeine and pay attention to how you feel. If you start to experience headaches, fatigue or irritability, you may be cutting back on your weaning schedule too quickly. On the other hand, these withdrawal symptoms are only temporary, so it may be worth it to work through it for a week or so if your anxiety is really getting out of control. You’ll probably find that you still enjoy the stimulation, flavor, and focus that just a ½ cup or cup of coffee gives you! My whole life changed when I cut it down to ½ cup a day instead of 4-6 cups all day.
3 great coffee alternatives
If you’re cutting back on coffee altogether and are curious about replacing your morning cup of coffee with something warm, delicious, and soothing the coffee itch, I have a few recommendations. for you.
Looking for more options? Here are some coffee alternatives that should get you up to speed without problems.