If you’re a coffee drinker, you can probably remember a time where you consumed a little too much coffee and ended up suffering from the side effects of too much caffeine, otherwise known as coffee jitters. Coffee jitters, aside from being unpleasant, can last for hours and wreak havoc on your day. Let’s take a closer look at what causes jitters and how you can prevent them.
How coffee affects the body
To fully understand why coffee can produce such adverse reactions, it’s helpful to appreciate exactly how it affects the body. What you need to know is that a cup of coffee contains many natural substances, like antioxidants and, of course, caffeine. Our bodies process all of the elements in coffee differently, but caffeine has notable effects.
Caffeine is a stimulant that acts on the nervous system. Stimulating your nervous system in the morning with a shot of espresso or your favorite French press coffee causes you to feel more alert and awake, which is helpful on days when you’d rather stay in bed hitting the snooze button. But overdoing it on the caffeine can have unintended consequences.
What are caffeine jitters?
An excess of caffeine can cause reactions similar to a sugar high. You get a burst of energy, followed by a crash. The side effects can be incredibly detrimental and make having a productive day at work challenging at best and downright impossible at worst.
One such effect is general unease. Caffeine causes your blood vessels to dilate slightly, leading to increased blood flow, which allows more oxygen to reach your brain. Having more oxygen reach your brain results in a heightened sense of alertness. You feel uneasy because all the systems in your body are moving at a faster rate than they usually do.
Feeling over alert and uneasy are just two symptoms of too much caffeine. Some of the common complaints of those suffering from caffeine jitters include:
- Lack of focus
- Shortness of breath
How much caffeine will cause the jitters?
Anyone who’s ever had caffeine jitters probably wants to know how to prevent this situation from reoccurring, but unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to give a precise answer as to how much caffeine will cause the jitters.
The difficulty in categorically declaring how much is too much has to do with the fact that every person processes caffeine differently. Many factors influence how our body responds to caffeine, some of which include:
- Medical history
The list of factors goes on and on. So while we can’t tell you with exact certainty how much is too much, there are some recommended guidelines. A safe amount of caffeine is probably somewhere between 1-3 cups per day or up to 400 milligrams.
Are some people more susceptible to coffee jitters?
Aside from the factors that influence how we react to caffeine, caffeine sensitivity varies from person to person. Some people are especially sensitive to the effects of caffeine, yet others can have large amounts of coffee every day with no adverse consequences like poor sleep quality.
There are three groups of caffeine sensitivity that most people fall into. Regardless of which group you’re in, it’s essential to keep in mind that anyone can experience coffee jitters.
Those with normal sensitivity to caffeine tolerate it well. Most people form part of this group, and individuals in it are the ones that are fine to have the 1-3 cups per day or 400 milligrams we mentioned previously.
People that have hypersensitivity to caffeine would probably do well to avoid it altogether, as they have difficulty tolerating even small amounts. They may feel their heart race after just one cup or notice that having coffee keeps them up at night, even if they have it in the morning. The recommended amount for hypersensitive people is somewhere between 30-50 milligrams.
It’s important to note that hypersensitivity isn’t a true caffeine allergy. Hypersensitivity has to do with things like how well your liver processes caffeine, which can be better or worse. Being allergic, however, means that your body thinks this substance is harmful and uses antibodies to flush it out of your system.
Finally, we have the hyposensitive group, which is on the opposite end of the spectrum as the hypersensitive one.
A 2011 study revealed that about ten percent of the population has a gene that is related to high caffeine intake. This gene allows hyposensitive individuals to consume large amounts of caffeine without experiencing adverse effects like poor sleep, regardless of the time of day they’ve had caffeine.
How long do the effects of the jitters last?
Overconsumption of caffeine will produce noticeable effects within about an hour, and if you’re noticing any of the symptoms we mentioned, your most pressing concern is likely how long they’ll last.
The answer is that it depends on how much caffeine you’ve had and how well your body produces enzyme CYP1A2, the enzyme responsible for metabolizing caffeine. The effects may wear off quickly, or they can last for several hours.
How to get rid of caffeine/coffee jitters
So what should you do if you’ve accidentally had a cup or two too many? The good news is there are some things you can do to reduce the effects of the caffeine. The bad news is there’s no magic cure.
You’re probably not surprised that exercise is the first way to mitigate the effects of the jitters. Being on a caffeine high may be the perfect moment to hit the gym and release some of that negative energy. Though exercise won’t actually get rid of the jitters, it can help reduce some of the negative consequences associated with them.
The nervous energy you get from the jitters can undoubtedly help you power through an intense gym session, but you don’t need to have a crazy workout to help calm you down. Activities like brisk walking or yoga can be beneficial.
Have you had enough water? If you’ve overdone it on the caffeine, the answer is probably no. Dehydration worsens all the adverse effects that we mentioned above, so if you’re feeling jittery, make sure you’re drinking enough water. A good rule of thumb is to have a glass of water for every cup of coffee you’ve had.
Having an overabundance of caffeine in your body makes it think you lack vitamin C. Try eating some vitamin C-rich foods like oranges to help get your system on the right track.
The last way to get rid of the jitters is the least fun. Often, the best course of action is to wait it out.
Will all caffeine make me jittery?
You may notice that different types of caffeine affect you differently, and this is because not all caffeine-carrying beverages are created equal.
Think of tea, for example. Tea also contains this substance, but the chemical composition of caffeine in tea differs from that of coffee. You’ll notice that having a cup of tea in the morning gives you a slower released burst of energy than a cup of coffee.
Caffeine also affects you differently depending on things like your physiology, how it’s brewed, and the type of caffeine you’re consuming. If you’re having trouble with the jitters with one kind of caffeine, it might be worth your time to try out some different options.
The Nootropics difference
One such option that’s perfect for hypersensitive individuals is nootropics coffee, or smart coffee. Nootropics are natural substances that safely improve our cognitive function and overall performance. They may increase concentration, better our mood, lift energy levels, and boost creativity—among many other things.
But what makes the nootropics in coffee so appealing is that they provide all the benefits of regular coffee without any side effects. That’s right; smart coffee won’t make you feel jittery.
Forget about the jitters with Noocaf
Does smart coffee sound intriguing? If so, join the growing list of people who swear by it and try Noocaf, which contains some of the most popular nootropics available: L-Theanine and taurine. These two ingredients are what make Noocaf so attractive to people with hypersensitivity to caffeine, as they both reduce and negate jitters.
L-theanine complements caffeine perfectly by counteracting the high and subsequent crash. It relaxes you just enough to feel good, but without making you feel sleepy. And taurine, aside from increasing blood flow, protects against excessive caffeine use, and reduces jitters.
Not to mention, Noocaf is enhanced with other nootropics that provide a laundry list of benefits like greater short and long-term memory health, higher focus and concentration, and increased mental output.
So whether you have issues with the jitters and want to try a coffee that won’t produce those effects or you’re more interested in the myriad cognitive benefits, you can’t go wrong with Noocaf smart coffee. Pick up our Focus blend today.