Relationships Between Total Weekly Caffeine Intake And Stress Anxiety And Depression
Initial positive relationships were observed between total weekly caffeine intake and stress, anxiety, and depression. After adjusting for dietary, demographic, and lifestyle covariates, the effect on stress disappeared. However, consuming > 1000 mg/w remained a predictor of high anxiety, and caffeine consumption in general appeared to be associated with higher instances of depression compared with non-consumption .
Though the above findings mainly replicated those reported in adults , the effects appeared to occur at lower doses, which is most likely a reflection of the lower bodyweight of children compared with adults. One finding that differed considerably from those made in adult populations was that of depression. observed caffeine consumption to be beneficial compared with its abstinence, whereas the opposite pattern of results was observed here. This finding is therefore likely to highlight differences between the populations studied.
Caffeine Robs You Of Essential Brain Nutrients
Caffeine causes nutrients to be excreted from your body, some of which are particularly important for your brain health and mood.
One of the nutrients that gets depleted is magnesium, a mineral that has profound effects on your mental wellness.
Magnesium plays a critical role in a number of brain-related disorders including:
Anxiety is a common sign of B vitamin deficiency.
Taking extra B vitamins can address imbalances of the brain chemicals GABA, serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine that contribute to anxiety.
The Verdict On Caffeine
With potential negative and positive health consequences, caffeine can be your friend, as long as you consume it in controlled doses.
- Dont take too much: Because of the health risks associated with higher levels of caffeine, as well as the risk of physical dependence that can come with four cups of coffee or more each day, its wise to limit your caffeine intake.
- Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m.: Because sleep is important to proper physical functioning, and caffeine can stay in your system for eight hours or longer, limit your caffeine intake to the first part of the day to ensure that your sleep isnt disrupted.
- Enjoy caffeine with physical activity: Caffeine is best ingested before exercisethat way your performance is enhanced and the stress-management benefits of exercise can keep you healthy and feeling less stressed throughout the day.
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Anxiety Disorders Are Linked To Alcohol And Drugs
There is a strong link between alcohol and anxiety. Research shows that people with anxiety disorders are two to three times more likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol at some point in their lives than the general population. But that’s not all: Alcohol and drugs can often cause panic attacks, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America .
People with social anxiety, in particular, may turn to alcohol in order to lessen their symptoms, but alcohol can actually make anxiety worse. About 20 percent of people with social anxiety disorder also have an alcohol or substance abuse disorder, notes the ADAA. No matter which problem comes first, the combination of drugs, alcohol, and anxiety can become a vicious cycle.
How To Reduce Anxiety: Cut Down On Processed And Fast Foods
Therefore, it is important to avoid foods that promote inflammation in the body.
So, it comes as no surprise that processed food and fast foods rich in:-
Indeed, one recent medical study shows a direct relationship between poor diet and anxiety disorders.
By poor diet, this study points to fast food and processed foods that are low in nutritional content and high in calories.
Furthermore, a 2013 Iranian study shows,
a significant relationship between increased consumption of processed foods and anxiety
So, what we are looking at is trying to cut down on processed and fast foods that spike the blood sugar.
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Its Not Hard To Develop Caffeine
Caffeine is a common ingredient that we put into our bodies. We know we drink it. Sometimes we dont know were eating it.
If you are consuming anything with the word energy in the description, it probably contains caffeine. Energy jerky has caffeine. Chocolate is a source of caffeine, as is coffee ice cream. Some gum is caffeinated. Check the labels on over-the-counter pain relievers, because many contain caffeine. Watch for names and descriptions with words like jolt, buzz, blast, blitz, perky, spark, oomph, vitality, zing, and any other catchy word that makes you feel jittery just by reading it.
With so many overt and insidious sources of caffeine, it is easy to take in too much. Generally, anything more than 250 mg of caffeine per day is generally considered excessive, but every person is different. Some may be able to tolerate a bit more, others can feel negative effects with much less. Caffeine-induced anxiety has more to do with the symptoms you feel than the milligrams you consume.
Caffeine-induced anxiety disorder is a legitimate diagnosis. The prevalence, though, is low. The DSM-5 estimates that in any 12-month period, less than 0.002% of the population is diagnosed with the disorder.
The low number can be deceiving. While its true that a diagnosis of this anxiety disorder is rare, its also true that the number of people experiencing anxiety caused by caffeine is significantly higher. Caffeine can, and often does, cause, trigger or worsen anxiety.
Medications Can Trigger An Anxiety Attack
Certain medications have some ugly side effects and can cause anxiety symptoms or an anxiety attack. Prescription medications to watch out for include thyroid drugs and asthma drugs, while over-the-counter decongestants have been known to cause anxiety symptoms in some people. If you suddenly stop taking certain medications sometimes used to treat anxiety, such as benzodiazepines, withdrawal may cause added anxiety.
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How Does Too Much Caffeine Increase Stress
Once caffeine is absorbed in the bloodstream, it passes up to the brain where it blocks chemicals known as adenosines, which cause drowsiness. This increases activity in the brain that stimulates your central nervous system, activating your bodys stress response.
The result is a cascade of chemical reactions, including the release of adrenaline and cortisol , that prepare your body for fight or flight. Not only do you feel more alert, your heart also beats faster, blood flow increases, and muscles tenseall of which can be helpful in small doses.
Imagine muscles that are being prepped for sudden exertion but theres nowhere to go. This translates into what we know as the jitters, she explains. The increased blood flow and heart contractions can even lead to palpitations, which can feel like a panic attack.
Its like adding fuel to the fire, according to Lina Begdache, Ph.D., a nutrition scientist and assistant professor of health and wellness studies at Binghamton University. In small amounts caffeine can actually boost your mood, she says. But if you exceed certain levels, it will increase the stress response past the point of being helpful.
What You Can Do To Feel Better
Like recovering from a hangover, youll have to wait out your caffeine overdose to get over it completely. And this could take 4 to 6 hours, says Sridhar, unless youre one of the unlucky few who are caffeine-sensitive, in which case you may have to wait much longer. Sigh.
But while youre waiting, here are a few things that might help.
No more caffeine. Dont consume any more caffeine today. Seems like a statement of the obvious, but be sure you dont absentmindedly nosh on your usual mid-afternoon chocolate-covered snack bar by mistake.
Drink plenty of water. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that you need to drink extra water to make up for what youre peeing out. You dont want to add dehydration to the unpleasantness.
Replace electrolytes. If you have been sick to your stomach or have diarrhea, youre losing not only water but also electrolytes. You can replace those with an electrolyte replacement solution like Pedialyte.
Take a walk. If you feel a lot of pent-up energy, take a walk to expend some of it. But if you notice anything unusual happening to your heart rate like a sudden rapid increase then stop.
Practice deep breathing. If youre anxious, chances are that your breathing is fast and shallow and that will only further increase your anxiety. Take slow, deep, deliberate breaths to bring your breathing back to normal and reduce anxiety.
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What Exactly Is Anxiety
Before jumping into how coffee affects anxiety, its important to define the condition. For that purpose, anxiety can be broken into two categories: general anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder . General anxiety is a natural awareness that comes and goes as your body reacts to everyday stress.
Someone who has GAD, on the other hand, will have chronic anxiety for possibly no reason at all and cant help feeling worried and stressed. This is diagnosed by a doctor.
Symptoms of anxiety include:
These effects can kick in as soon as 45 to 60 minutes and last as long as 4 to 6 hours, but are rarely dangerous. Side effects can vary from person to person as it depends on their tolerance, sensitivity, and how much caffeine theyre used to. Body mass and genetics also contribute to this.
Be sure to avoid having any caffeine in the evening since this can cause sleep disruption. Other stimulant drugs, like or drugs containing ephedrine, should not be taken at the same time as caffeine as this can make side effects worse and cause high blood pressure. Some antibiotics like and stomach medicines like have a drug interaction with caffeine where they slow down the bodys process of getting rid of caffeine. Taking them together can cause unwanted side effects. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist to prevent any drug interactions.
Caffeine May Aggravate Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar drops too low.
A low blood sugar attack can leave you feeling jittery, sweating, irritable, and confused, with a pounding heart a lot like an anxiety attack.
Caffeine stimulates the release of the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, causing blood sugar levels to drop.
If you suspect that your low blood sugar is exacerbated by caffeine, try going without it and notice if you experience any improvement.
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Aims Of The Current Research
The general lack of research relating to the effects of caffeine on stress, anxiety, and depression in children is an area that the current paper will try to address. In order to do this, the Diet and Behaviour Scale , a measure of intake of food and drinks that may affect psychological outcomes, was administered to a large cohort of secondary school children from the South West of England. The current paper used the DABS for two purposes: to provide estimates of weekly caffeine intake from energy drinks, cola, tea, and coffee, and so that additional aspects of diet could be controlled for in multivariate analyses.
Along with the DABS, single-item measures of self-assessed stress, anxiety, and depression were administered. Single items were chosen as they have been shown to be valid and reliable, allowing for the identification of overall risk whilst reducing the time costs associated with administering multi-item measures . The items themselves came from the Wellbeing Process Questionnaire , have been validated against full measures, demonstrated to correlate well, and appear to be as sensitive as the full-length measures with which they were compared .
How Quitting Caffeine For Anxiety Changed My Life & Top Tips To Help You
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Quitting caffeine to manage my anxiety changed my life.
But as a total coffee addict and fanatic it was no easy task.
I was someone who lived for my coffee rituals. The taste and smell, the buzz, the sudden burst of energy and inspiration, and the sheer enjoyment of going for coffee with friends were my only snippets of light in what was otherwise a very gloomy, highly pressured and chronically anxious life.
But as my anxiety became unbearable to the point of not being able to go to work, I had to seek professional help. This led me to an alternative health specialist who was the first person to warn me about the effects of caffeine on anxiety.
As I was desperate to relieve my constant irritability, nervousness, and excessive worry, get some proper sleep, and continue with my career in investment banking in London, I took the advice of this specialist and went cold turkey for 90 days.
So, if you are suffering from anxiety and you drink coffee, this article is totally for you.
I will elaborate more on why I quit caffeine for anxiety, the steps I took, and what top tips I have for you.
- Severe premenstrual syndrome
- Frequently occurring cold and flu symptoms
She went on to say that, I would need to tackle all four issues if I wanted to reduce my anxiety symptoms.
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The Science Was Strong
The thing that further helped me with my decision to quit caffeine was the scientific evidence I found. Reading through academic articles I realized that there is a well-established link between caffeine and anxiety.
Dr. Uma Naidoo, MD, nutritional psychiatrist, Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, and author of This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More,states that.
Caffeinecan precipitate or mimic symptoms of anxiety Dr. Uma Naidoo, MD
One 2011 study elaborates,
Although moderate intake has sometimes been considered to be safe or even beneficial, caffeine use has been implicated in several medical concerns including hypertension, cardiac problems, pregnancy risk, anxiety disorders, and insomnia
Another 2013 study showed that,
Caffeine consumption has been associated with a number of negative health consequences, including anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, myocardial infarction, bladder instability, gastroesophageal reflux, spontaneous abortion, and reduced fetal growth
Further, the results of one 2016 study indicated,
A group with a higher caffeine intake tends to have a higher alcohol consumption, lower academic achievement and a higher score of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and stress.
Dr. Naidoo said,
Find Out What Could Be Making Your Anxiety Worse
Everyone gets anxious, restless, and frazzled but if you constantly feel worried, tense, or on edge, you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time.
Examples of other anxiety disorders include:
- Specific phobias
According to the Mayo Clinic, you can have more than one anxiety disorder.
Research shows that a combination of environmental and genetic factors likely increase a persons risk for developing an anxiety disorder, notes the National Institute of Mental Health. Like so many health conditions, anxiety appears to run in families.
In addition to underlying disorders, anxiety may be caused by stress, whether from a major life event or the accumulated effect of small everyday stressors. Anxiety can also come with a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, or thyroid disorders that need treatment. Theres a clear link between caffeine and anxiety and alcohol and anxiety. And certain medications may cause anxiety. In this case, avoiding caffeine and alcohol or changing medications may reduce the anxiety. Its important to note that while all these things can cause anxious feelings, this type of anxiety is distinct from a psychiatric diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.
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Yoga To Relieve Stress
Yoga has become a popular stress reliever among all age groups. While there are many different styles of yoga, most share the same goal engaging your body and mind. Yoga primarily does this by increasing awareness of the body and the breath.
Several studies have looked at the effects of yoga on mental health. Overall, research has found that yoga can boost mood and may even be as effective as antidepressants in treating depression and anxiety.
However, many of these studies are limited, and questions remain about how yoga works to reduce stress.In general, the benefits of yoga for stress and anxiety seem to be related to its effects on the human nervous system. It may help lower cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate, and increase gamma-aminobutyric acid , a neurotransmitter that is lowered in mood disorders.
You May Have Caffeine Sensitivity
We all know people who can drink a pot of coffee after dinner and sleep like a rock.
If you have anxiety, you probably arent one of them.
The difference may be in your genes.
Scientists from Harvard School of Public Health have found several genes that directly influence how your body metabolizes caffeine.
HOW’S YOUR MOOD?
Dr. Pat | Be Brain Fit
You may be sensitive to caffeine because you take longer than average to metabolize it.
The average half-life of caffeine is 5-6 hours, but everyone is different and the time it can take to eliminate caffeine varies widely.
It can take as little as two to as many as ten hours after ingestion to metabolize half of it.
And there are other reasons you may be sensitive to caffeine.
Caffeine sensitivity increases with age, so you might not be able to drink caffeine like you used to.
Caffeine sensitivity can be caused by an allergic reaction to caffeine, although true caffeine allergy is rare.
More common is an allergy to mycotoxins, toxins produced by fungi and mold, that are found in coffee.
You may be taking medications that increase the side effects of caffeine.
So do some healthy foods such as broccoli and some herbal teas.
Impaired ability to process caffeine is not unusual in people with liver disease, especially cirrhosis.
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