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Is Coffee Making Your Anxiety Worse?

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coffee-caffeine-making-anxiety-worse_l_5f9889bdc5b6c7fe5829c1a1

huffpost.com

Is Coffee Making Your Anxiety Worse?
How your favorite morning beverage could be messing with your mental health.

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Caffeine worsens your anxiety

Caffeine worsens your anxiety

Drinks such as coffee, sodas, energy drinks, tea, and chocolate, all contain caffeine.

People who have anxiety disorders and panic disorders are generally more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. The stimulants in caffeine can mimic and heighten symptoms of anxiety when consumed in large amounts. It can rapidly increase your heartbeat or even make your body feel restless

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Jolts of energy from caffeine

The explanation behind the surge of energy you get from drinking coffee is: caffeine blocks the receptors that are meant to be for adenosine.

Adenosine plays a number of bodily functions, but during our bodies' waking hours it builds up in the receptors which causes us to feel sleepy and less alert. So, when we intake caffeinated drinks, the caffeine blocks the receptors that are meant for the adenosine to build up and also could trigger the release of adrenaline.

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Tracking your caffeine intake

Tracking your caffeine intake

According to the FDA, 400 milligrams of coffee is deemed to have any harmful effects on healthy adults. However, those who are pregnant and suffer from anxiety and panic disorders should drink no more than 200 milligrams per day.

If you believe that caffeine is worsening your anxiety, keep a diary with you at all times to keep track of your caffeine intake and anxiety symptoms and log them. Check your logs to see if there are any patterns that show up.

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Cutting back on caffeine

While coffee is one of life's simple pleasures that most of us are unable to resist, here are ways on how to cut back on caffeine intake:

  1. Drink gradually. Slow down and take your time while drinking coffee. If you start to experience jitters, it's time to stop.
  2. Change up your coffee order. You'd be surprised that a shot of espresso has less caffeine than a drip of coffee.
  3. Switch to decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea.

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The way coffee is prepared matters

  • Roasting reduces the number of chlorogenic acids, but other antioxidant compounds are formed.
  • Instant coffee may not have the same health benefits.
  • The oil in boiled coffee has cafestol and kahweol, compounds known to raise LDL, the bad cholesterol, and slightly lower HDL, the good cholesterol. However, the clinical significance of such small increases in cholesterol may be questionable.

Coffee and caffeine

  • A typical 12-ounce serving of drip coffee has 200 milligrams of caffeine.
  • Instant coffee has 140 milligrams of caffeine.
  • Espresso has the highest concentration of caffeine, 70 milligrams per one-ounce shot, but is consumed in smaller quantities.
  • Brewed decaf has caffeine too - about 8 milligrams.
  • Some people have a genetic variant that slows their metabolism for caffeine and keeps them awake deep into the night.

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Coffee As An Addictive Substance

Coffee As An Addictive Substance
  • Coffee is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug, with over 80 percent of American adults having it daily.
  • Quitting caffeine produces withdrawal symptoms like ...

How Coffee Affects Us

  • When we have coffee, it gets absorbed in our gut as well as in our bloodstream. As the chemical is soluble in water and fat both, it can easily enter the brain.
  • Adenosine, a molecule present in our brain which is remarkably similar to caffeine, is responsible for a feeling of tiredness.
  • Caffeine acts like a doppelganger and is able to fit in the receptors that adenosine fits, preventing any tiredness to occur for a few hours.
  • The surplus adenosine now floating in the brain signals that adrenal gland to produce and secrete adrenaline, which is also a stimulant.

Addicted To Coffee

The chemistry of the brain changes when a person takes a regular intake of caffeine, as it grows more adenosine receptors.

Eventually, it takes more caffeine to feel the effects, and as there are now more receptors, not having a stimulant results in ‘caffeine withdrawal headache’ and other symptoms due to the original molecule connecting to the increased number of receptors in the brain.

The Caffeinated and the Un-caffeinated

The Caffeinated and the Un-caffeinated

Morning commuters seem to fall into one of two categories:

  • the Caffeinated: ready to take on the day—they're reading their morning papers, or checking email, or reading for plea...

Grown Ups and Coffee

By 1988 only 50 percent of the adult American population drank coffee. In 1962, average coffee consumption was 3.12 cups per day; by 1991 had dropped to 1.75 cups per day.

At the onset of the 1980s, coffee growers and retailers realized that the current 20-29-year-old generation had little interest in coffee, which they associated with their parents and grandparents.

Coffee And the "Me" Generation

For the coffee industry to survive, it needed a new marketing strategy. The consumer was changing and coffee-players needed to pay attention.

Crucial questions the 'me' generation will ask: "What's in it for me? Is the product 'me'? Is it consistent with my lifestyle? Do I like how it tastes? What will it cost me? Is it convenient to prepare?"