I used to drink at least five coffees per day, maybe even more. Before I would go out at night, I would drink a huge iced coffee AND a red bull. That is already not healthy, but with my anxiety, it is even worse. I realized recently that I was always dizzy and jittery. I could not figure out why. All of a sudden one day I could not have my morning coffee (tragic) and realized later that I was not jittery at all! So I decided to research the connection between caffeine and anxiety.
Coffee is one of the most popular caffeinated drinks. Coffee increases heart rate and can make a person feel jittery. Caffeine is also a stimulant, which means it increases alertness and energy. The effect of caffeine on the body can be related to the feeling one gets when they are experiencing a scary event. The caffeine starts to make your body have a “fight or flight” way of handling it, meaning to “run away” or to “forcibly resist”, ending up creating a ton of anxiety.
Caffeine acts on the central nervous system. Adenosine, the brain chemical that lowers neutral activity, is put down once caffeine is taken into the body. This causes people to be more awake. But if you have anxiety, the caffeine is too much for your body to handle, and basically “adds fuel to the fire” if you are already stressed. It has been studied that moving to decaffeinated drinks too fast can lead to headaches, which I personally had happen to me. They say if you move over slowly, by lowering your caffeine intake every day, it can be a smoother transition.
It is not just coffee, but tea, sodas, and any drinks with caffeine. Do not think of it as a bad thing though, it means you will probably drink more water! 🙂 I miss the taste of coffee dearly, so now I just drink one or two decaffeinated coffees per day to get the same happy feeling I used to get when I would drink coffee. So, I have confirmed in my studies, that it WAS in fact the caffeine that made me jittery every day.
Here are some things you can replace your needed caffeine with!