Many people drink a cup of coffee because they need a little boost in the morning, and others count on it to keep them awake at all hours of the day or night. This is not something to worry about, but what if coffee ends up making you feel anxious, more often than not? Is there a chance that coffee causes anxiety, and if so, what can you do about it? Keep reading for answers to these questions, as well as a look at how you can limit your anxiety.
How Does Coffee Wake You Up?
Coffee contains caffeine, which is a type of stimulant. This can keep you alert and allow you to focus on things after you drink it. However, it can cause you other effects, which can be minor or significant, depending on how much you drink a day, as well as your tolerance for caffeine. These effects include things like changes in mood, upset stomach, feeling shaky, and elevated heart rate.
These are symptoms that are very similar to how people feel when they have anxiety. People with anxiety may not be able to tell the difference between the effects of having too much coffee and experiencing anxiety.
Simply because coffee can give you the same symptoms of anxiety, does not mean that it causes anxiety. There is a limit to how much caffeine each person should have per day, and you must know your tolerance as well. If you ingest too much caffeine or coffee, it may cause you to become more anxious, which can make you feel like your anxiety condition is worse than normal.
How Can I Responsibly Drink Coffee?
No matter if you have an issue with anxiety and panic or not, there are a few responsible ways to ingest coffee.
You can keep drinking coffee if you also have an issue with anxiety. At the same time, you will need to be aware of how much you are drinking since you must watch your caffeine intake. It is recommended that you do not drink more than the recommended daily amount a day, which is 400 milligrams. At the same time, you may need to drink far below this limit when you suffer from anxiety. It is also a good idea to drink plenty of water, so you don’t get dehydrated from coffee, which is something else that can worsen the effects.
Research suggests that people with anxiety are more sensitive to caffeine than those that do not experience anxiety. This is another reason why people with anxiety should be cautious when they drink coffee and pay special attention to the amount they are drinking.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a common feeling; everyone feels anxious at some point in their lives. Anxiety is a reaction that your body makes when you are stressed or fearful about something, like an upcoming test or project. It can cause you to feel worried, upset, nervous, or in some cases, cause you to feel panic.
If you feel like this from time to time, this is nothing to be concerned about. However, if this feeling happens quite frequently, you may have an anxiety disorder. Here is a look at a couple of the most common types of anxiety disorders.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by someone experiencing anxiety regularly for at least 6 months. This anxiety can affect every aspect of a person’s life and may lead to changes in their behavior, sleeping patterns, and their ability to concentrate.
People with a generalized anxiety disorder will likely have to limit the amount of caffeine they ingest, so the effects it can cause won’t become more intense.
Panic disorder occurs when a person suffers from panic attacks, often which come on without warning. Panic attacks are sometimes caused by a certain trigger, and it is possible that this can be too much caffeine for some with panic disorder. Caffeine may be a substance that people that experience panic disorder may need to abstain from entirely, depending on the severity of their disorder.
How Can I Limit My Anxiety?
There are ways for you to limit anxiety when you feel it. These include things you can introduce into your daily routine and professional treatment options that are available to help you work through your anxiety.
Many of the things that can help you manage your anxiety are also things that will be beneficial to your overall health. Here are a few things to try at home.
People with anxiety, regardless of whether it is coffee-induced anxiety or not, should consider psychotherapy for treating it. With psychotherapy, you can take advantage of treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which can be effective when it comes to limiting feelings of anxiety.
This type of therapy can be done in person or online. Some people prefer discussing potentially vulnerable topics like anxiety face-to-face, while others prefer the privacy that online therapy offers. Whether you choose to seek online or in-person therapy, it is recommended to confirm that your therapist has past experience dealing with caffeine-induced anxiety. (You may call your therapist’s office, or do a quick search online to check their past experience.) One service that provides online therapy is BetterHelp. They have counselors that can work with you via your phone or computer in a way that makes sense for your schedule.
Another treatment method for treating anxiety is through the use of medicines. There are certain prescription drugs that a doctor may prescribe, which may be able to limit symptoms your anxiety causes. This is something you should discuss with your doctor to see what is available to you. If you think you are sensitive to caffeine, you will need to let them know when you talk to them. It can make a difference in what they prescribe you.
Before you reach for that cup of coffee, you should know that there is a chance that coffee-induced anxiety may occur. The effects of coffee or too much caffeine are close to the symptoms of anxiety, so they may make you feel the same way.
If you experience anxiety and panic, you may need to watch your caffeine intake quite closely. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it at all, though. There are options out there, including coffee that is decaffeinated. Decaf coffee does still contain caffeine, but the amount is substantially lower than other types.
If you have anxiety, even without coffee, it is important to seek treatment when you need it. The symptoms that anxiety causes can be harmful and mess up your routine, so they should be addressed right away. You can meet with your psychiatrist or doctor to get the support you need and begin to manage your anxiety. Remember, help is available.
While coffee itself does not cause anxiety, it can enhance the symptoms of anxiety if too much is consumed. Anxiety levels and anxiety symptoms can get worse by consuming excessive amounts of caffeine. If you have recently begun experiencing anxiety symptoms that you didn’t have before, or find yourself suddenly anxious in social situations, find a doctor for treatment options.
Caffeine increases anxious feelings and if consumed too late during the day, it can cause trouble sleeping, which in turn triggers anxiety and it turns into a vicious cycle.
In moderation however, there is nothing wrong with the occasional cup of coffee, as long as that small amount of coffee intake does not give you coffee jitters. You may need to adjust and experiment with the amount of coffee and caffeine to find the amount that you are comfortable with.
Alternatively, you may want to try switching entirely to green tea. Green tea still has a small amount of caffeine to give you a boost, but it also has antioxidants to improve your overall health and wellness.
The best way to stop coffee anxiety is to reduce your caffeine intake throughout the day. Many people do not realize that caffeine exists in many forms and is present in many foods, medications, and supplements. Over the course of a day, caffeine intake can add up significantly.
So, while giving up coffee completely is one option, many times you can simply reduce your caffeine intake throughout the day. For example, if you tend to drink multiple cups of coffee a day, or drink things like espresso, consider switching to just one cup of regular coffee a day.
Another option is to try green tea or black tea instead of coffee. There is less caffeine in tea and they are typically full of antioxidants that can naturally boost your health and wellness.
If you find yourself experiencing symptoms of anxiety, find a doctor that can work with you on a treatment plan.
Caffeine and anxiety symptoms tend to go hand in hand, so coffee jitters are a fairly common occurrence. Typically, the symptoms produced by caffeine intake, mimic symptoms of anxiety but do not actually cause anxiety.
Coffee can make you feel nervous, jittery, restless, and cause gastrointestinal problems such as acid reflux. Unfortunately, since these are also the symptoms of stress and anxiety, if you already have an anxiety producing condition, such as social anxiety, a lot of caffeine can make those symptoms worse.
You’re not alone! In some cases, caffeine can actually help some people better cope with their anxiety symptoms. This happens because coffee beans contain a lot of caffeine which helps the prefrontal cortex receive more dopamine from the brain than it normally would.
If your anxiety is combined with depression, the boost in dopamine will actually make you feel better studies have shown.
Depending on your caffeine intake, the caffeine and anxiety will begin to affect you at the same time, usually within 45-60 minutes. The jitteriness can then last for anywhere from 4-6 hours post coffee consumption, especially if you are not used to drinking caffeine or have a low tolerance for it.
Rather than starting your day with a pot of coffee, consider switching to green tea. You will significantly lower your caffeine intake which can help your anxiety symptoms. Green tea also has a ton of nutrients and benefits in it that will help with your overall health and wellness.
If you are experiencing anxiety that is affecting your day-to-day life, find a doctor to discuss your treatment options with. For many, stress management techniques are very effective, such as deep breathing, grounding exercises, and meditation.
For immediate relief, close your eyes and breath in deeply through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds, then breath out through your mouth. Repeat until you feel your heart rate slow down.
For some, drinking a cup of green tea can also offer soothing and relaxing benefits. Green tea has been shown to help soothe nerves and can help you quit coffee.
Green tea or any herbal tea can help soothe the symptoms of anxiety. Green tea is one of the more common teas you can easily find. If green tea isn’t your favorite, try herbal teas such as chamomile, mint, lavender, or peppermint.
If you decide to quit coffee, try a green tea such as matcha tea as a replacement in the morning. You can also try exercising in the morning for a good energy boost. Certain fruits such as apples and oranges have nutrients in them that will give you a boost as well.
Another option is to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. It will help kickstart your digestive system which in turn can help wake up your whole body.
You may be dehydrated. One of the side effects of coffee is that it is a natural diuretic so it will make you urinate more frequently. If you’re not replacing that fluid loss with enough water intake throughout the day, you may find that you’re getting dehydrated.
This is also another reason for the link between caffeine and anxiety. If your body isn’t getting enough water to function properly, your heart rate can increase and it can cause gastrointestinal problems.
For some people, especially those that live with chronic pain, coffee and caffeine can actually help relieve some of the pain. If you experience chronic pain and have a high caffeine intake because of it, it may be difficult to quit coffee suddenly.
If you do decide to quit coffee, do so gradually and try to replace it with something else that has less caffeine such as green tea. Green tea has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain in joints and muscles.
Increase your water intake, eat more fruits that are high in vitamins and nutrients such as berries and bananas, and exercise at least a few times a week.
To naturally increase your energy levels, start making big changes in your diet. Changing the way that you view health and wellness can help improve your energy levels. First, start by making sure that you are drinking at least 64oz of water every day.
This is especially important if you are drinking diuretics such as coffee, green tea, or soda throughout the day. Another significant change you should make is to increase the number of fruits and vegetables that you eat daily.
Many contain nutrients and properties that help naturally boost energy and can help relieve the symptoms of many disorders. A balanced and healthy diet low in carbs and high in fruits and vegetables can significantly improve your health. Discuss a new nutrition plan with your doctor.
Adjusting to a life without coffee can be difficult, especially if you decide to quit coffee suddenly. Rather than giving up coffee immediately, slowly reduce the amount you drink, then switch to black tea or green tea. This will help you reduce your caffeine intake gradually so you won’t experience withdrawal symptoms.
Green tea and water are some of the best things that you can drink to naturally boost your energy. The importance of water cannot be overstated. The more hydrated you are, the better you will feel.