America Runs on Dunkin, Good is Always Brewing, Coffee that Inspires, Work Hard. Drink Coffee, We Don’t Make Coffee, We Make Your Day, Start Your Day Right, Because You Can Never Have Too Much Coffee in Your Life, and The best Part of Waking Up are just a few slogans used to sell and highlight how important a cup of coffee is to many people.
Caffeine is the most popular and widely used drug in the world. According to Healthline, 85 percent of the U.S. population consumes it every day. So, with all the coffee consumption arises a big question, does caffeine cause anxiety? The answer is…….. NO. You can’t get anxiety from caffeine directly, but it can make your current anxiety symptoms worse. Caffeine consumption in people with anxiety have an increased risk of experiencing heightened anxiety and can trigger a panic attack.
Studies show, “caffeine increases alertness by blocking a brain chemical (adenosine) that makes you feel tired, while at the same time triggering the release of adrenalin that’s known to increase energy. If the amount of caffeine is high enough, these effects are stronger, resulting in caffeine induced anxiety. The effects of caffeine and the symptoms of anxiety both increase activity within the sympathetic nerve system-essentially mirroring each other. Because caffeine effects the body like anxiety, it can be difficult for the mind to psychologically recognize the difference.
If you experience side effects of caffeine from drinking coffee, what do you do? I know many people who would rather deal with the side effects than give coffee up all together. But is it about giving up coffee all together, determining how much caffeine your body can handle, or finding an alternative? I’d say the answer depends on who you ask because everyone’s experience with caffeine is different.
If you enjoy your morning cup of coffee and are opposed to decaf, you could try limiting your intake to the recommended adult amount of 200mg a day which equals about two 5-ounce cups, stop drinking it after 12pm, hydrate with plenty of water because being dehydrated enhances the coffee jitters, get more sleep so you don’t rely on the coffee, and work on stress management. There’s a difference between finding enjoyment in your coffee and feeling like you “need” your coffee. If the side effects are strong, you should consider talking to your doctor and/or making a change. It could be time to start “Sipping your Sunshine” –that’s orange juice 😉