Two of the most commonly used stimulants in the world are caffeine and sugar. While caffeine is the healthier of the two, it can make you nervous and jittery.
Does caffeine make you nervous, and if so, is it enough to cause chronic anxiety? Can you cure this problem by quitting?
Caffeinated drinks do, without a doubt, make people nervous. If you both use a lot of caffeine and get nervous often, there is a good chance that the two are related.
Avoiding caffeinated drinks is one of the first things you want to try if you are trying to become a calmer person. These drinks excite your nervous system and your heart. This can make you happier and more focused, but it can also make you nervous.
How does it affect your brain and make you nervous?
Before it leads to worry, it usually wakes you up and gives you focus. If you are feeling drowsy, a caffeinated drink will cure it by preventing chemicals that cause drowsiness from affecting your brain.
When chemicals called adenosines reach certain parts of your brain, they cause you to feel drowsy. Caffeine blocks these chemicals. Many drugs work by preventing other chemicals from affecting your brain.
When you stop feeling drowsy, your central nervous system becomes more active. This can make you alert and motivated to work, but it can also make you stressed out.
The drug activates your body’s fight or flight response. It makes you ready for a risky task that takes effort.
The fight or flight response can help you in the first half of the day but hurt you later on. At first, you feel psyched up for a difficult task, but you may feel stressed and worn out later on.
Can it make you chronically anxious?
Yes, it is strong enough to cause the symptoms of a panic disorder if you take much more than you should. Frequently activating the fight or flight system can turn you into a tired, stressed, and anxious person.
The fight or flight system isn’t supposed to be switched on when it doesn’t need to be. You don’t need adrenaline, a rapid heart rate, and a feeling of excitement and seriousness every morning. That puts too much strain on your mind and body.
How much is too much?
In smaller amounts, it may do more good than harm. A very large amount (more than 1200mg per day, which is far more than what most people drink) can cause seizures.
Not many people drink 1200mg per day, but many people drink more than 200mg or more than 400mg, which leads to nervousness. It can also give you a panic attack at high doses. Panic attacks make your heart race very fast and are quite intense.
If you both use caffeinated drinks and get nervous, experiment with quitting completely. After a week without it, your problem may be gone unless it has another cause. After that, you might go back to using it, but not every day and in smaller quantities.
Can it have a calming effect on some people?
The drug causes more stress than it prevents, but it may have the opposite effect on some people. There is some evidence that it may help some people with anxiety.
Sometimes, if you have a caffeinated drink and then focus on a task, your nervousness will go away. You might be too focused on the task to worry about anything.
Coffee is not all bad – it can even be good for you. However, it is not a mild substance. Think of it as fairly potent stuff that can either help or hurt you.