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Do Coffee and Caffeine Have any affect on Anxiety?

by Medically Speaking

Coffee has been enjoyed by people all over the world since the 15th century. In the United States, 64 percent of individuals claim they consume coffee on a daily basis. We like the flavour as well as the benefits of caffeine. It helps us get up in the morning, giving us that extra push of energy, and improves our memory and attention.

Despite the numerous advantages of coffee, we must not overlook the negative consequences of caffeine. The “jitters” are a side effect of too much caffeine. So, how does this affect anxiety levels? Is it true that coffee causes anxiety? In a nutshell, no, coffee does not create anxiety. Caffeine, on the other hand, may aggravate symptoms in persons who are already anxious.

It’s crucial to identify anxiety before diving into how coffee affects it. Anxiety is divided into two types for this purpose: general anxiety and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). General anxiety is a normal state of mind that comes and goes as your body reacts to daily stress.

Someone with GAD, on the other hand, may have persistent anxiety for no apparent cause and will be always anxious and agitated. A doctor will diagnose this.

Symptoms of anxiety:

  • Nervousness or restlessness

  • Fast heart rate

  • Rapid breathing

  • Sweating

  • Trembling

  • Weakness or fatigue

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Insomnia

  • Gastrointestinal issues

What are the consequences of drinking coffee?
Caffeine, the principal active element in coffee, is a psychostimulant medication that affects the central nervous system of the brain. It causes the alertness associated with caffeine by blocking a chemical called adenosine.

This chemical reaction can potentially have unfavourable side effects, such as:

  • Nervousness or restlessness

  • Fast heartbeat

  • Headache

  • Excitement

  • Shakiness

  • Irritability

  • Digestion issues

  • Frequent urination

These effects can appear in 45 to 60 minutes and remain for 4 to 6 hours, although they are rarely hazardous. The severity of side effects varies from person to person, depending on tolerance, sensitivity, and the amount of caffeine they’re used to. This is also influenced by body mass and genetics.

Caffeine should be avoided in the evening since it might induce sleep disturbances. Other stimulant medicines, such as Sudafed or ephedrine-containing pharmaceuticals, should not be used with caffeine since they might exacerbate negative effects and induce high blood pressure.

How much caffeine is too much?

The normal amount, according to the FDA, is 400 milligrammes per day, or about 4 cups. If you’re pregnant, stick to dosages of fewer than 200 mg each day. If you consume too much, you may have symptoms such as rapid, irregular heartbeats, muscular tremors, and apprehension.

Don’t worry if you go a little too far. Stop drinking coffee and replace it with plenty of water to stay hydrated. A good ratio is one cup of water to one cup of coffee. Then go for a stroll to burn off the coffee and calm yourself down.

What effect does caffeine have on anxiety?

Caffeine’s negative effects, as previously stated, can be quite similar to anxiety symptoms. Caffeine, while not directly causing anxiety, can exacerbate symptoms.

One research demonstrated this by providing a 480 mg dosage of caffeine to 72 participants with anxiety problems and 26 patients without anxiety to determine if it would provoke a panic attack. A panic attack is one of the signs of GAD. They discovered that about 61% of patients with anxiety problems experienced a panic attack, but none of the individuals without anxiety had one.

Coffee and other caffeinated foods and drinks should be avoided by people who suffer from anxiety. Caffeine appears to be tolerated better by people who do not suffer from anxiety, although everyone is different.

What about coffee with sugar?

So you don’t drink your coffee black and you’re looking for a little sweetness in your life? Sugar and other artificial sweeteners, like caffeine, cannot cause anxiety but can exacerbate anxious symptoms. It’s better to avoid them since they can induce weariness (“sugar crash”), blurry vision, and stomach distress. These adverse effects might dampen your mood, adding to your worry.

What can I do if I’m concerned about the effects of coffee on my anxiety?

If coffee isn’t your cup of tea, there are other choices. You have the option of drinking decaf (caffeine-free coffee) or tea. If you have an excessive coffee addiction, start with lesser doses and save it for when you need a functional boost rather than every day. You might even eliminate it entirely from your diet. Anxiety can be alleviated by making healthy dietary modifications. Caffeine is an active element in a variety of items, including energy drinks, chocolate, and soft drinks.

Coffee should be avoided by those with anxiety, not because caffeine causes anxiety, but because it can exacerbate symptoms. If you must indulge, keep it to a bare minimum on a daily basis. Because everyone’s physiology is different, don’t be afraid to seek guidance from your doctor or pharmacist.

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