After alcohol, caffeine is the most popular and most consumed drugs in the world. But, does it suit everyone? 

How can caffeine affect anxiety?

Caffeine is a stimulant and it has been known to cause anxiety attacks in some people. It is generally thought that caffeine-induced anxiety occurs when caffeine brings on an acute withdrawal syndrome following chronic use or when caffeine use is abruptly discontinued.

Caffeine has been linked to anxiety in some cases. While caffeine may not cause anxiety in all cases, it is still important to be aware of the potential effects of caffeine on your mental health.

Caffeine's effects vary greatly depending on the person and their body chemistry. Some people may have a sensitivity to caffeine while others may have no effect at all from a regular dose of caffeine.

A lot of people think caffeine triggers anxiety, but is this actually true? Let’s find out!

What is the link between caffeine and anxiety?

Caffeine is a substance that can cause anxiety. It has been shown that people who consume caffeine on a regular basis may be more likely to experience anxiety symptoms. Some of the causes of anxiety are caffeine withdrawal, stress and sleep deprivation.

According to a lot of research, there surely is a connection between caffeine and mental health. There have been four major listings about caffeine-related disorders that can affect the human body:

  1. Caffeine withdrawal
  2. Caffeine intoxication
  3. Caffeine induced disorders such as anxiety or sleep disorder
  4. Unspecified caffeine disorders.

A study conducted in 2008 concluded that more caffeine intake can cause blocking of adenosine, a brain chemical that causes tiredness which likewise increases alertness. This also triggers the release of an increased chemical, known as adrenaline.

This shows that if the human body consumes a lot of caffeine, the effects are even more strong, which results in caffeine-induced anxiety.

What are the symptoms of Caffeine Induced Anxiety?

Based on several researches, there are certain caffeine-induced symptoms that are seen in people who have higher caffeine intake. Caffeine-induced anxiety is a common side effect of caffeine use. It may be caused by caffeine's effects on neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain. 

The key symptoms of caffeine-induced anxiety are:

  1. Restlessness
  2. Insomnia
  3. Jitteriness 
  4. Excessive sweating.
  5. Nervousness
  6. Faster heart beat
  7. Gastrointestinal issues
  8. Difficulty concentrating
  9. Irritability
  10. Heart Palpitations

What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?

Even though there is no guarantee as to whether caffeine withdrawal can automatically help with anxiety, there’s no harm in trying. However, if you have been consuming coffee for long and stop suddenly, you might experience some symptoms. 

Here are a few withdrawal symptoms you are likely to get:

  1. Headaches
  2. Fatigue
  3. Anxiety
  4. Depression
  5. Irritability
  6. Restlessness 

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant, but will generally improve with time and they should go away within one week of ceasing use of caffeine.

How do I know if I am consuming too much caffeine?

The standard recommendation  according to the FDA  is to have no more than 400 milligrams per day, or about four cups of coffee, and it's best to not have more than 100 mg before noon.

Caffeine has a number of side effects, including anxiety and insomnia. Too much caffeine can also lead to dehydration and irregular heartbeat, so it is important for people to be mindful of their intake.

IMPORTANT: This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. Nothing in the content or products should be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs.

October 24, 2022 — Guy Wilmot

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