article by Dr. Mariangel Leota
Do you feel and do not know how to stop it? Is anxiety really exhausting? Do you consume more than two cups of coffee per day? It’s time to know the relationship between coffee and anxiety
Coffee is a fundamental drink in the life of many people, it is usual to drink coffee during breakfast and in the afternoon, it is estimated that coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world and numerous studies have proven the addiction generated by caffeine.
What coincidences, do not you think?
We do not try to demonize coffee in any way, you will probably think “With my coffee do not get involved” the caffeine contained in coffee is a protein that stimulates the nervous system, that is, it gives us more energy and awakens us from that lethargy after have slept deeply. It is also very consumed by those people who work during the night shift and need an energizer to endure sleep.
Surely after having consumed your coffee you feel more energetic, wanting to start your day of work, exercises or studies, or after having taken 3 cups of coffee to have enough energy to work at night, but, it is Much coincidence that the coffee that gives you more energy to start your morning, also makes you feel more anxious, even, you can give insomnia.
In a general sense, caffeine is not only included in coffee, but it is also used in many other beverages, such as soft drinks, energy drinks, natural energy drinks, and it is also usually included in sweet foods such as chocolate, among others. We do not escape from caffeine even when we stop drinking coffee, which is why it is also difficult to avoid anxiety.
Caffeine is widely related to anxiety and according to various studies caffeine can worsen anxiety disorders, this is because its exciting effect on the nervous system stimulates the production of various neurotransmitters responsible for regulating emotions and impulses, one of These transmitters produced is norepinephrine, this neurotransmitter is responsible for increasing brain activity and causing anxiety with all its symptoms.
What are the symptoms of anxiety caused by caffeine consumption?
The great “rush” of energy that you can feel after drinking coffee, especially in the morning, can also give you a feeling of euphoria, which does not necessarily give you many benefits. The most common symptoms are:
- Sweat on hands and feet
- Tremors in the hands
- Choking sensation
- Restlessness and nervousness
- Muscle spasms
Is the anxiety I feel caused by caffeine?
If you feel anxious, euphoric, suffer from insomnia, feel all the symptoms described above and cannot find an answer to the root of your anxiety, you need to evaluate how many cups of coffee you drink per day, if you drink sodas with caffeine or how many chocolate rations are you eating. Maybe the consumption of caffeine is the answer, and you still did not know it.
How many cups of coffee is it recommended to take daily?
We insist, we do not aim to talk about all the bad coffee, we know it is important in your life, but you should also bear in mind that there is a limitation, you must regulate the amount of coffee you drink per day, you cannot drink 2 cups before noon and 3 cups at mid-afternoon and before bedtime, because obviously you will have consequences. Everything in excess is bad
The amount of coffee consumption recommended per day? According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, for its acronym in English), if you are an adult and you need an energizer for your work is advisable to take between 1 and 3 medium cups a day, ie between 80 and 700 milligrams a day of coffee. If you are a teenager, the recommended amount is 1 cup medium or even, avoid coffee altogether. Remember, that in adolescence due to all the hormonal changes that occur and the development of emotional maturity, you may be more prone to develop anxiety, and coffee may not be your best ally at this time.
What is the best time to have coffee?
Caffeine, like any other medicine, has a half-life in the body, that is, after a certain number of hours, it has already been metabolized and excreted from the body. Normally, the average life of caffeine is 6 hours, so it is advisable to take only in the mornings and mid-afternoon (3 pm-4pm).
You should avoid coffee at night or 6 hours before bedtime. (If you need to sleep at 10pm, you should stop drinking coffee at 4pm).
Reduce anxiety with this” 0 caffeine” plan for a week
Since you know the anxiety disorder induced by caffeine consumption, it is time to be sincere and be aware that excess caffeine is affecting your personal life due to the anxiety that is generating you.
It is time to draw a “0 caffeine” plan for a week. It completely reduces the consumption of coffee and any drink or food that contains caffeine.
How can you achieve it?
Avoid coffee during breakfast
The most consumed beverage during breakfast, it is time to avoid it completely in this plan of 0 caffeine, the results are to be seen very soon. You can replace the coffee with other types of drinks, such as the juice of your favorite fruit: orange juice, apple, mango or strawberries. Juices contain a good amount of carbohydrates that can also give you that energy boost you need.
Avoid taking black tea and green tea
Also the Tea of these herbs contains a considerable percentage of caffeine, which is why coffee is not a good substitute.
These teas also activate the nervous system, hence its energizing effect, its effect is due to a large amount of proteins, including caffeine. In search of a plan to get rid of anxiety, it is best to avoid everything that contains caffeine.
You can find an extensive list of teas that do not contain caffeine, such as chamomile and valerian tea, which besides being caffeine-free, can greatly relieve anxiety and stress.
Zero soft drinks
Drinking soft drinks is not an option, totally eliminated. Zero soft drinks, at least for this week. Soft drinks, like those of a famous big brand, contain a large amount of caffeine. Ready for your week “detox” of 0 caffeine? It’s time to have a commitment to your mental health.
Chocolate can bring with it a certain percentage of caffeine, added by the industry. Its effect can be as stimulating as taking a cup of coffee, due to the effect of cocoa, which is also a stimulant of the nervous system. No chocolate for this week.
Detox Juice for this week
If you had not met them yet, it’s time you knew all their benefits. Detox juices are able to eliminate all toxins and “stimulant” substances such as caffeine. Cruciferous vegetable-based beverages such as broccoli, along with fruits high in antioxidants such as pineapple or orange, along with a vegetable such as spinach, can cleanse your body of excess caffeine. Try them for this week, you have nothing to lose.
What to do if you suffer anxiety attack or panic
When a person suffers a panic attack, the anxiety gets out of control, loses control and is frightened by that lack of control. “The heart rate increases, breathing becomes difficult, there is hyperventilation, an increase in temperature and tremor.”
The autonomic nervous system is triggered and we must reassure him by transmitting the feeling that there is no danger, that there is no extreme situation and that what happens is not serious. By changing the focus of attention and the importance we give to the symptoms of the panic attack, they diminish.
The best way to achieve this is:
- Do and think about something else.
- Change the subject of conversation.
- Get to work on something.
- Carry out any activity that allows you not to give importance to the symptoms you are having.
- Instead of hyperventilating, breathe more slowly.
Sports and gym to relieve anxiety
Exercise is one of the most important things to have a healthy body and a calm mind. When your body feels good, your mind feels good.
Exercise produces endorphins, and endorphins release substances that make us feel good and be happy.
When we exercise, we sweat, and sweat helps to release stress and improve the functions of our body. In the same way, exercise is an excellent antidote for people with depression or anxiousness disorders, because it also helps us to have a better mood, and alters the cognitive functions in our brain, making us feel better about ourselves.
If you’re not used to exercising, start walking or running 30 minutes a day. When you see how good you feel, you can join a gym or some kind of something that you like. Any form of exercise will help you relax, reduce anxiety, feel better about yourself, improve your health and your mental health.