Coffee and anxiety

Why Caffeine Gives You Anxiety and 2 Alternatives for Energy

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Also note: While I am a certified nutrition coach, I am not a medical doctor. Information here is not intended to be a replacement for the advice you should seek from your doctor.

Coffee has the property of instantly elevating the mood by rushing dopamine in the body and making you feel happy. This instant rush can sometimes be hazardous to health as caffeine tends to make you addicted. 

Caffeine has the tendency to block adenosine A1 receptors, which boosts the consumption of caffeinated beverages. 

In an experiment, it was concluded that around 10 and 30 mg/kg doses of caffeine induces the concentration of dopamine and glutamate, thus taking you in a state of euphoria. 

Though it makes you feel good, there’s a flipside to the excessive consumption of caffeine in the body, that is it makes you anxious and stressed. 

It’s generally found in tea, soda, chocolate, medicines (little amount), supplements and energy drinks too. 

By the end of this article, you’ll get enough insights about the consumption of caffeine and it is important to know before you start overconsuming it. We have broken down all the biological facts about caffeine, to make it easier. 

How Excessive Consumption of Caffeine Causes stress?

Once the caffeine gets absorbed in the bloodstream, it directly passes to the brain where it blocks the compound called adenosine (it performs various physiological functions such as it helps in the regulation of sleep, controls the level of arousal and much more). 

It makes you feel drowsy and increases the activity in the brain which stimulates the CNS(Central Nervous System) and activates the stress response of the body. 

Then, certain chemical reactions take place by which it releases adrenaline and cortisol which triggers the body’s fight response making you feel stressed and jittered. 

Adrenaline triggers the fight response preparing your body for flight or fight which increases your heart rate and blood flow. 

How Does Caffeine Stimulate Anxiety and Make it worse?

When you’re juggling between multiple things in life, life can seem stressful and can cause you prolonged anxiety which may lead to anxiety disorder. There’s one drug that facilitates anxiety disorder in the body called “Caffeine”. 

People with underlying stress or anxiety should completely avoid consuming caffeine. As anxiety can cause you trouble sleeping, which may lead to fatigue and will make you more anxious, thus preventing you from falling asleep at night. 

Hence, people undergoing anxiety must avoid going in a caffeine-vicious cycle.

How many cups of Coffee is Excessive?

Caffeine affects everyone differently based on certain parameters like Bodyweight, tolerance, gender, etc. 

Generally, around 400 mg of coffee is considered safe and healthy for adults with no medical issues, which is nearly about 4 cups of coffee. However, it depends on the rate of metabolism too. 

People who have a fast metabolic rate can metabolize coffee at a faster rate, tend to eliminate the amount of caffeine more quickly whereas people with a slow metabolism rate cannot break down caffeine easily and hence becomes anxious easily. 

Caffeine affects adults or young people more, as people who have more sex hormones in the body, competes with metabolism and especially women with a high level of estrogen are more prone to mood disorders. 

Avoid consuming 600mg of caffeine as it can be excessive and hard for the body to metabolize.

How to Analyse your Caffeine Threshold?

Since there’s a certain quantity of caffeine safe for adults, it’s crucial to determine your own threshold. The simplest way to find your threshold is to start observing the number of caffeinated beverages you have had in a day. 

How do you feel after consuming that many drinks? It’s important to be a little self-aware about your inner body. 

Start noticing after how many drinks you get the feeling of anxiety, or become agitated(jittery), and want to rush in everything. Once you catch those feelings, perhaps you’ve reached the bar. 

Some Alternatives to coffee

Well, after developing some insights about caffeine, if you’ve decided to replace your morning beverage with some delicious alternatives, definitely you must try it! 

I know, it can be hard to deal with “Caffeine Withdrawal”, you might get unpleasant feelings, muscle irritation, fatigue and headaches. But once you overcome them, there’s no going back! 

  1. Lemon Water

It’s a great drink to start your day! It’s hydrating, caffeine-free and has ample Vitamin C.

There are a host of benefits of drinking lemon water including antioxidants. To make it more flavourful, you can add a few fruits and herbs. Hence, it can be a great option to replace a cup of joe!

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

It’s prepared by crushing apples and squeezing out its juice,  then have to add yeast and bacteria. It can be a great alternative to caffeine-free drinks and also it helps to maintain sugar levels and is good for weight loss. It’s a great energy booster and keeps you hydrated throughout the day.

The Takeaway

Caffeine can act as a mood regulator but if taken in excessive amounts can overstimulate the stress response of the body, leading to panic attacks. There are plenty of other healthy alternatives to caffeinated beverages, which are worth trying.

What’s your alternative for boosting energy? Tell us in the comments section below!


Author Bio: Aayushi Khandelwal

Aayushi is a content writer at F and B Recipes. When not writing, she can be found creating a list of “Things That Make Me Happy” or coming up with creative Food Blog Names.

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