More than half of Americans drink coffee every day. Whether they’re buying a latte at the nearest coffee shop or brewing highly caffeinated blends at home, collectively, US coffee drinkers spend over $40 billion each year on java.
It’s true, there are definite benefits to drinking coffee—but there are also potentially harmful side effects. Here we’ll look at how coffee affects anxiety levels, plus how you can manage anxiety without switching to decaf.
Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Consumed in moderation, caffeine has potentially significant health benefits. Since most Americans drink an average of three cups per day (totaling nine ounces each), that’s good news.
Helps Keep You Alert
Ask any coffee drinker, and they’ll likely tell you they need coffee to function.
There’s nothing like a hot cup of joe to start the day off on the right foot, especially when it perks you up enough to get work done.
If you start to feel like you’re becoming distracted midday, a pick-me-up of caffeine can help. Depending on how you take your coffee, the sugar rush can help, too.
Gives an Energy Boost
The chemicals in caffeine keep your brain from feeling sleepy, so having a cup or two can help you feel more energetic. Caffeine mimics a compound in your body—adenosine—that causes your body to remain in a wakeful state.
When the adenosine starts to ebb, you begin to feel tired. Caffeine mimics adenosine and convinces your body it’s not time to sleep yet, letting you enjoy more energy, even past your bedtime.
Enhances Feelings of Wellbeing
One study of over 50,000 women found a correlation between increased caffeine consumption and a lower risk of depression. The study suggested that women who drank more coffee had a lower risk of developing depressive symptoms, while decaffeinated coffee didn’t have the same effect.
Another study found similar results when men drank more coffee, documenting lower rates of suicide in a group of men who drank more coffee than their peers.
But don’t start refilling your cup for the fourth time today just yet.
Experts say that people who are particularly sensitive to caffeine shouldn’t consume more than 400mg per day. Even if you’re not especially vulnerable to the effects of caffeine, too much isn’t healthy. If you drink a cup or two past your limit (whatever it might be), you might experience nausea, headaches, and yes, even anxiety.
Can Coffee Cause Anxiety?
Many people report feeling shaky and hyped-up when drinking coffee. So, it makes sense that caffeine could also cause anxious feelings and heightened stress responses. Studies have proven that people’s coffee habits impact their stress and anxiety levels.
How Caffeine Levels Affect Adolescents
One study suggested positive correlations between caffeine intake and anxiety and depression in kids. Teens who drank caffeine—and the source was primarily coffee—experienced higher stress levels, especially boys.
Excess consumption—more than 1,000mg of caffeine—caused the worst effects in kids. Clearly, for kids and teens, abstaining from caffeine altogether may be the way to go. But what about adults?
How Caffeine Affects Adults
Those findings continue into adulthood, too. While conflicting studies exist, most reports suggest that people who are already susceptible to anxiety feel it worsen when drinking caffeine.
One study suggested that “caffeinism” enhanced anxiety in “moderate and high caffeine consumers” in contrast to people who abstained completely. That same study found “nervousness” and “rambling flow of thoughts and speech” in participants who drank a lot of caffeine, too.
Symptoms of anxiety in coffee drinkers can include:
- Feeling tense
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased/heavy sweating
- Rapid breathing/hyperventilation
- Weakness and lethargy
- Trembling/muscle twitching
- Difficulty focusing
Even in people who have no history of experiencing anxiety, such symptoms can happen when they exceed tolerable caffeine limits. The challenge is, each person’s limit is different, so what works for you may not work for someone who usually drinks six cups of coffee per day to function.
You might think the drawbacks of drinking coffee mean you should quit cold turkey.
But caffeine withdrawal can cause more problems than a cup of joe. Common withdrawal symptoms include headaches (even migraines), irritability, nausea, fatigue, depression, and even vomiting.
The symptoms can last around ten days, depending on how dependent your system is on caffeine. Of course, you probably don’t want to quit drinking coffee anyway—and some alternatives can help lessen the anxious feelings.
How to Avoid Anxiety When Drinking Coffee
Fortunately, there are solutions to reducing anxiety while still enjoying your daily cup (or three).
Stop Drinking Coffee Early in the Day
The earlier you cut off caffeine, the easier it will be to fall asleep at night. If instead, you continue drinking caffeine right up until bedtime, anxiety symptoms can enhance your sleeplessness and cause you to feel more stressed and less sleepy.
One study suggested that putting down your mug at least six hours before bed for the best results.
Swap a Cup or Two for Decaf
For many coffee drinkers, switching to decaf just isn’t worth it. However, if you are flexible with your caffeine consumption, you may be able to “cut” your caffeinated brew with decaf for a reduction in overall mg of caffeine.
Swap for Quality Coffee
Instead of dropping caffeine altogether (or suffering through decaffeinated blends), consider a blend like Noocaf. Natural nootropic ingredients in Noocaf help promote memory and other cognitive function, without sacrificing the caffeine you want (and need). Healthy ingredients—and high-quality coffee—come together to help make your days less jittery and more energetic.
Turmeric is a great anxiolytic that can help with withdrawal.
Noocaf Ingredients and Benefits
Noocaf contains a host of healthy ingredients like L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, Taurine, B vitamins, and alpha GPC.
An amino acid that can enhance dopamine and serotonin production, L-Theanine can help you feel more positive and soothe anxiety. Positive effects of L-Theanine include promoting “wakeful relaxation” brain waves, providing calming effects, and regulating your brain’s activities.
Primarily, L-Theanine functions as an anxiolytic in Noocaf—it actually reduces anxiety, but without knocking you out. It can also help with cognitive functions and boost your attention span.
L-Tyrosine is a common treatment for depression and attention deficit disorder (ADD), and it’s another amino acid that’s naturally present in your system. Studies note that L-Tyrosine can help alleviate physical responses to stress. It can help protect your memory function and keep you sharp.
Noocaf contains taurine, another amino acid, which is present throughout your entire body, naturally. Taurine boosts your body’s central nervous system and protects against “stress-related neuronal damage.” In short, it stops the jitters and promotes blood flow.
Two types of B vitamins—B12 and B6—add another layer of benefits to Noocaf.
Vitamin B deficiencies are overwhelmingly common and can cause fatigue, irregular heartbeat, weight loss, muscle weakness, and even personality changes. With Noocaf, B vitamins support your system while you sip your coffee.
Caffeine Goes Great with Noocaf
While cutting back on coffee is one proven way to help reduce anxiety and help you feel better, it’s not always the most desirable method. With Noocaf, you can have your coffee—and enjoy it, too—while reaping the benefits of vitamins and amino acids for a more energized and healthy system.