What’s the first thing you think of after you wake up in the morning? Probably your morning cuppa! But do you know why is coffee addictive? That’s because it contains a considerable amount of caffeine, a stimulant that affects your brain and makes you feel more focused, awake and alert. And this feeling is something that people crave.
While coffee is the first thing people think of when they hear caffeine, it’s not the only thing that contains this stimulant. Caffeine is also found in soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolates, some medications, and tea.
But consuming caffeine in moderation is not really a problem. However, dependency on caffeine is more common than you think. However, if going about your day without your daily dose of caffeine is not even an option for you, that’s where the trouble begins.
Frequent and heavy use of caffeine can lead to addiction, which means you may experience certain withdrawal symptoms if you reduce or stop using it.
5 Risk Factors Of Excessive Consumption Of Caffeine
Have you ever wondered what happens when caffeine enters your body? Let’s find out. After reaching your stomach and small intestine, caffeine passes into the bloodstream and stimulates your nervous system. This, in turn, makes you feel more alert and focused. It also enhances the dopamine signalling in your brain, making you feel more ‘awake’.
But not everything your cup of coffee makes you feel is pleasant. For instance, how many times have you ended up experiencing heartburn or indigestion after taking caffeine? This is because it leads to the release of an acid in your stomach.
5 possible risk factors of excessive consumption of caffeine:
- Heart rhythm changes
- High blood pressure
- Osteoporosis among menopausal women (according to research, women – who are in menopause and consume excessive caffeine may be more at risk of developing osteoporosis)
- Sleep disruption
- Low immunity
- Complications in pregnant women
No wonder, it is advised you avoid caffeine at least six hours before you go to sleep.
10 Possible Symptoms Of Caffeine Addiction
There are a number of caffeine addiction symptoms associated with this stimulant. While most of these can’t really be grouped under an emergency, they can still be quite uncomfortable. The intensity of the symptoms also depends on the amount of caffeine consumed as well as the duration of use.
Here are a few common coffee addiction symptoms:
- Restlessness and fidgeting
- Irritability and agitation
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure (especially for those suffering from hypertension)
- Sleep issues/insomnia
- Cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure
Caffeine addiction symptoms like cardiovascular diseases (like high BP) are usually associated with heavy and prolonged caffeine use. Those who consume caffeine moderately may not face irreversible or serious health issues.
4 Tricks To Cut Down On Caffeine
Cutting down on caffeine can be hard if you are a coffee addict. But it’s far from impossible. Follow these tips to reduce your caffeine intake:
- Keep a log of your caffeine consumption. This can help you be more conscious as well as identify your triggers.
- Do not go cold turkey. It is better to reduce your intake gradually.
- Find alternatives for caffeinated drinks.
- Stay hydrated and get sufficient rest.
10 Possible Withdrawal Symptoms From Caffeine
Suddenly removing caffeine from your diet when your body has gotten accustomed to it can lead to an array of symptoms. You may experience these symptoms even if the caffeine intake is not cut down completely but reduced on a daily basis.
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms can be quite significant in people who are coffee addicts.
These symptoms usually begin within a few hours to a day post your last caffeine intake. They last anywhere between 2 to 9 days.
If you want to know – how addictive is caffeine, these caffeine addiction withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mild to severe headache
- Lethargy and tiredness
- Having difficulty concentrating and mild memory issues
- Feeling sleepy
- Brain fog
- Feeling less alert mentally or slower reactions
- Mood changes
- Muscle pain
3 Tips To Prevent Caffeine Addiction
Wondering how to stop caffeine addiction? Here are a few tips that may help:
- Keep track of your caffeine intake and make sure it’s not over 250 mg a day. This means counting your coffee cups as well as tracking other caffeinated drinks and even your medicines that comprise caffeine.
- If consuming less coffee is not an option, avoid caffeine in the form of energy drinks or soft drinks.
- Try switching coffee with tea (at least a few cups). The caffeine content in tea is considerably less.
3 Ways To Determine Whether You’re Addicted To Coffee
Any addiction can make the person feel like the stimulant is necessary for them to feel better about life and themselves. They cannot help but use the substance despite facing its negative effects. If you cannot imagine your day without your coffee, you might have an addiction. Here are a few ways to determine whether you have a caffeine addiction:
- Determine the amount of caffeine you consume on a daily basis. As mentioned earlier, caffeine addiction varies from person to person. Factors like size, gender and sensitivity may play a role in determining how much caffeine is too much caffeine for you. But to give you an estimate, it is believed that taking in over 600 mg of caffeine can be considered too much.
- Note the side effects (mental and physical) you may experience after caffeine intake. Also, focus on what you feel if you skip or reduce caffeine intake. If you know it’s impacting your health negatively and you still cannot stop, you might be a coffee addict.
- Think about your caffeine dependency and how this substance affects your life on a day-to-day basis. For instance, do you feel cranky or agitated if you miss your morning coffee? Do you end up starting arguments or acting on your anger? Also, note if your habit affects your work anxiety.
Paying a little bit of attention to your habits can help you lead a healthier life and keep issues like caffeine dependency or addiction at bay. If you find yourself becoming more and more dependent on caffeine, it’s time to stop and make better choices. All the best!
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