I have struggled with anxiety in the past. It was at a point where I was losing sleep because I was worrying and obsessing about ridiculous things that, at the time, seemed very real. I was able to overcome it with therapy, medication and then meditation, eating well and regular exercise. I learned to recognize my triggers and let go of the useless worrying.
I also LOVE my coffee! Like LOVE!! It wakes me up in the morning and sustains my energy throughout the day. When I read that coffee may cause or increase anxiety I was concerned, and rightfully so. Could drinking the beverage I love so much be causing me undo stress? Can coffee cause or increase anxiety? I had to find out!
I did some research and, it turns out that coffee may cause or increase anxiety levels…but it depends. As I was investigating this I found out that coffee can have some of the same effects on the body as stress does:
- Nervousness or restlessness
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Digestion issues
In Fact one study found that people with anxiety disorders found that over 60% experienced panic attacks when given 480 mg of caffeine.
Oh, great! Something new to worry about!!
But, it is more nuanced than just coffee causes or aggravates anxiety! Once again, it depends.
One of the main considerations is how much coffee you drink. An average cup of coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine and a normal amount of coffee where most people wouldn’t experience and issues with coffee is 400 mg or 4 cups. Wow! 4 cups is a lot of coffee. At least for me. I usually have 2 cups, maybe 2 1/2 if I’m feeling extra tired.
Okay, so now I don’t feel so concerned. I drink less than what triggers anxiety. I feel both invigorated and energetic when I drink coffee and I don’t feel anxious at all when I consume my normal amount of caffeine. I just need to watch my intake and live my best life. Works for me.