It might seem weird to think about it this way, but caffeine is technically a drug. Whether you’re turning to a cup of coffee or cracking a can of pop, you’re consuming a stimulant that gives your brain and nervous system a boost. Coffee may be plant-derived, but just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s free from side effects or risks. In fact, your morning pick-me-up could be having a very specific effect on your health.
Coffee, Waking Up and Anxiety
It’s true that caffeine helps most people feel more alert and focused, allowing them to hit the ground running first thing in the morning or push through the afternoon sleepies. It’s also true that this caffeine-induced alertness can quickly transform into the jitters if you consume too much.
This is because of what coffee and other caffeinated beverages do to the brain. While blocking adenosine, a chemical responsible for feelings of sleepiness, caffeine also triggers the release of energy-boosting adrenaline. Just the right amount can improve functioning, making a person more productive, but too much can cause anxiety.
Do You Have a Caffeine Sensitivity?
For most people, caffeine-related nervousness, irritability or anxiety is about over-consumption. Anyone can experience the negative side effects of drinking too much. Other people may have this response after a very small amount, which could be the result of a caffeine sensitivity.
The symptoms of sensitivity to caffeine include anxiety, heart palpitations, headaches, sleeplessness and tremors, according to VeryWell. These individuals metabolize caffeine differently and may have to cut way back or give it up completely.
How Much Is Too Much?
The Mayo Clinic recommends all adults limit themselves to 400 milligrams, or no more than four cups, but this limitation might not work for everyone. It’s important to listen to the signals your body is sending you and make adjustments that will allow you to feel well. If anxiety and insomnia are still a part of your life after four cups, cut back a little at a time until you feel more like yourself.
Anxiety can affect just about every aspect of your life, including how you interact with the people you care about, how you perform at work and how you take care of your body. If a small change like cutting back on caffeine can help you feel better each day, it’s certainly worth the effort.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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