Can Caffeine Cause Anxiety? An Investigation
What is the relationship between caffeine and anxiety?
Can Caffeine Cause Anxiety?
Personally, I'm a monster until I get my fix and I fully believe that I'm actually 60% caffeine. But, I've got another monster of my own that has me rethinking my decision to consume as much caffeine as I do. And that, friends, is anxiety.
My anxiety often sprouts its wings all day every day for no good reason. Sometimes I'll even sit at my desk, consumed with worry and petrified to do anything for hours.
Then one day, my friend asked me why I drank so much cola if I had anxiety.
Looks like the biology student in me really didn't pay much attention in class because a quick search showed me that caffeine and anxiety are linked. And while we all know that correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, the evidence was enough to make me realize that, while caffeine doesn't directly cause my anxiety, it doesn't exactly help either.
So today, we're investigating why caffeine can you anxious so that maybe you'll stop taking in excessive amounts of caffeine, too.
Why Caffeine Can Make You Anxious
Ever feel jittery after a few cups of coffee? That's because caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, which basically means that it keeps you alert and triggers your "fight or flight" response and you will likely experience a rise in heart rate and blood pressure.
However, if you drink more than what you are used to or if you are already prone to anxiety, it's possible that caffeine can increase your anxiety or even give you a panic attack.
Why you may ask?
In a study conducted in 2003, researchers found that caffeine binds to adenosine receptors in your brain, which then interferes with your body's stress and anxiety regulation.
So, if you are already prone to panic attacks or anxiety, it's likely that caffeine will increase your feelings of anxiety.
How to Stop Feeling Anxious From Caffeine
While there is no absolute "cure" for this one, you can choose to monitor your intake of caffeine to see what your caffeine tolerance is like.
If you notice that you are getting anxious, then it might be time to lower the amount you consume and go from there.