Caffeine can make you feel like on top of the world. As a neurostimulant caffeine increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. This may be great for your energy level, but eventually it may come to crash.
Drinking caffeine or caffeinated drinks throughout the day keeps your body in a state of heightened arousal and stress. The result, overactive adrenals. As your body can no longer keep up with the demand caffeine places you may experience adrenal exhaustion.
Caffeine also acts as appetite suppressant thereby setting the stage for low blood sugar induced anxiety.
Several studies have now proven that there are further links between coffee and anxiety.
Research coming from the University of Michigan concluded that coffee consumption can lead to symptoms of worrying like nervousness, sweating, and shaking.
In particular people with anxious disorder are vulnerable to caffeine induced panic attacks. Even habitual caffeine users could be at increased risk of panic attacks if life situations arise that cause increased stress and anxiety. Caffeine consumption could “push them over the edge”.
A study, from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, confirmed that a dose of caffeine equivalent to two or three cups of coffee can constrict the blood vessels in the brain and cause a reduction of blood flow to the brain by 27 percent.
So what to do?
Always eat something with your coffee, especially healthy fats which will help level out the blood sugar spikes. Having coffee on an empty stomach is a massive blow to your adrenals.
If you already experience anxiety you want to reduce your caffeine consumption gradually.
If you are drinking 3 cups a day, make the 3rd cup half caffeinated (1/2 decaffeinated, 1/2 regular). After one weeks of doing that, make that 3rd cup decaffeinated. After another week, have your 2nd cup half-caffeine, and so on until you’re at 1 cup of caffeinated coffee a day.
Remember to exercise on a regular basis. Research from the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego found that regular exercise reduces the degree to which caffeine heightens anxiety levels.