Does coffee make stress worse? How caffeine can induce anxiety

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, enjoyed by people of all ages. Some may use it as a tool to work harder or power through sleep deprivation. But have you ever wondered about the negative effects of caffeine on the body? In this post we will be answering the question does coffee make stress worse?

Some people believe that coffee can make them feel more stressed, while others believe that it can actually help to reduce stress. Keep reading as we explore the relationship between coffee and stress. We will discuss the potential benefits and risks of coffee consumption, and we will provide some tips for managing stress if you are a coffee drinker and other natural ways to increase our energy levels.

Sources of caffeine

Coffee is the most common source of caffeine but there could be other sources of caffeine that you’re consuming that you may not be aware of.

  • Coffee & Espresso
  • Tea
  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Supplements such as pre-workout
  • Some prescription drugs
  • Chocolate

How does caffeine work?

Caffeine is technically a drug as it is a substance that changes a persons physical or mental state. Consumption of caffeine increases the activity within your brain and nervous system, making us feel more alert. Caffeine absorbs well in our bodies and it’s effects can be felt within a short period of time (usually within 30 minutes).

Effects of caffeine can include:

  • Alert brain: The stimulating effect can make us feel more alert and temporarily relieve tiredness.
  • Headache: Headaches can be common if caffeine has been overconsumed, or suffering from caffeine withdrawal.
  • Shakes: Caffeine can make us feel shaky and jittery, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine.
  • Increased heart rate: Caffeine will cause your heart to beat faster, which could be of concern if you have any issues with your heart.
  • Loose bowels: Caffeine helps you go to the toilet as it stimulates our bowel movements, however too much can result in diarrhea.
  • Increased blood pressure: Caffeine can temporarily raise our blood pressure

Does coffee make stress worse?

Caffeine can increase our cortisol levels which is a stress hormone. Excessive caffeine consumption may result in elevated cortisol levels for prolonged periods of time, this can be known as chronic stress. Research has shown that even if you are seasoned coffee drinker the bodily responses are similar when compared to users who don’t regularly drink coffee.

Ingestion of caffeine can reduce the quality of sleep, and reduced total sleep for users. This can lead to feeling more tired during the day, weakening the immune system and leaving you worse off when it comes to managing the stresses of life. Most people will try cure this daytime tiredness with more coffee which will just continue the downward spiral.

Why caffeine might be a bad idea

Caffeine can have a series of negative side effects but the severity of these can depend on the person. I’d look to monitor your caffeine consumption carefully if you’re susceptible to the below.

  • Dependency: Caffeine dependency is a real thing and people can slowly increase their dependency as their tolerance increases. Dependency can be a specifically concerning issue to those that may have addictive behavioural traits.
  • Increased anxiety: If you are someone who operates best in a state of calmness, then too much caffeine can cause you to overthink and become overwhelmed. This is especially true to those with a sensitivity to caffeine or prone to panic attacks.
  • Pregnancy risk: Consuming caffeine when you are pregnant can increase risk of miscarriage and premature labour.
  • Sleep disorders: Those with sleep disorders such as insomnia should manage their caffeine intake carefully as it may make matters worse due to the long term stimulating effects of coffee.
  • Heart problems: Those with heart issues such as arrhythmias should be careful with their caffeine intake due to short term spikes in blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Stomach issues: Those with stomach issues such as IBS should manage their caffeine intake if they do not wish to be over regular with their bowel movements throughout the day.

Why caffeine might be a good idea

Caffeine can be also be a great tool if used properly, it can be argued that caffeine is the fuel behind people that work long hours on difficult jobs all across the world.

  • Increased focus and productivity: As caffeine increases alertness, our focus can be enhanced and it allows us to work more effectively for longer, thus increasing our output. There are questions about how sustainable this is unless managed carefully.
  • Lower risk of some diseases: It has been linked that caffeine can actually reduce the likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and Parkinson’s disease.

Natural ways to increase energy levels

Below are some effective ways we can naturally increase our energy levels throughout the day.

Know your balance

We must find our correct balance which will be unique to everyone as we all have different lifestyles, personality traits and body sensitivities.

It’d be wise to not ingest too much caffeine throughout our days to avoid physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

If you function better with caffeine then it may also be beneficial to avoid having any late in the afternoon, to ensure you can still have high quality sleep.

For coffee lovers that love the taste but want to give caffeine a miss, then try decaff. This could be especially helpful for those want to practice temporarily abstaining from dependencies they’ve formed.





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