Coffee is one of the most popular drinks known to people. It is made in various ways and with a list of flavors. Many people who are often addicted to coffee observe symptoms if they keep themselves away from drinking coffee for long. It keeps them alert and functioning due to its caffeine content which acts as a stimulant to the nervous system. This means it affects the neural activity in the brain and increases the alertness, reducing fatigue.(1) Coffee makes one addict to it, to a level that withdrawal for long lead to the appearance of signs and symptoms.
7 Signs of Coffee Addiction
- Irritability: Coffee drinkers often become cranky and irritable if they do not get their morning cup of drink and the caffeine is to be blamed for it. Coffee lasts in the system for 4-6 hours, and irritability is a withdrawal-like symptom which can occur after night’s rest.(2) Coffee gives a mood-enhancing effect as well as an energy shot. It is difficult for the caffeine addicts to cut back on the amount without any withdrawal effects.
- Depressed Mood: Caffeine tends to lift up the mood and who else can back this sign more than a coffee drinker. The ability of caffeine is not just to increase the alertness but also improve mood. A study shows that people who consumed caffeine regularly found that consuming 0.68mg per pound of weight led to a more positive mood, compared to those on placebo.(3) Coffee also reduces the risk of depression.(4) Its stimulant effect leads to the feeling of well being and an increase in energy which ends if coffee intake ends. Not drinking coffee for long can depress the mood and can make a person low on energy and vigor.
- Headache: Headache is the most common sign of coffee addiction. Not drinking coffee for long can bring in a constant headache in those addicted to it. It is because caffeine present in it causes the blood vessels to constrict which slows down the blood. A study found that just about 3 cups of coffee can reduce cerebral blood flow by 27%.(5) Coffee withdrawal for long opens up the constricted blood vessels and increases the blood flow to the brain. This sudden change in blood flow can lead to withdrawal headache. Caffeine is also used to treat certain types of headaches such as migraines.
- Fatigued Feeling: Most of the people depend on the daily cup of coffee for an energy boost. Caffeine helps in increasing alertness by blocking the receptors for adenosine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel fatigued and drowsy.(6) Eliminating the source of caffeine from the diet can bring in drowsiness and fatigue. As the caffeine effect lasts for a few hours, which makes you drink multiple cups in a day to maintain alertness. Weaning off from coffee can make you fatigued and bring in drowsiness.
- Anxiety: Anxiety is a common sign of coffee addicts, as the caffeine tends to increase the heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones. As drinking coffee can cause anxiety, cutting down on it can lead to side effects as well. Not drinking coffee for long can bring in anxiety as the body mentally and physically becomes dependant on it.
- Difficulty in Concentration: Most of the coffee addicts are driven to the drink as it boosts the concentration. Caffeine increases the level of adrenalin, a hormone produced by adrenal glands as a body’s reaction to stress.(7) It is also known to boost the activity of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. Coffee addicts experience low concentration with makes him lookout for a cup of the drink which can immediately set the focus and mind on work.
- Tremor: Addiction in extreme can make people experience this less common symptom, tremor. Since caffeine affects the central nervous system, drinking too much can make a person jittery, anxious or have shaky hands, on withdrawal.(8) Tremors are observed in both cases when you drink too much coffee or you withdraw from it.
Caffeine addiction can pose a serious problem if continued for a long time. Let that addiction for taste be in moderation and do not make it control your emotions and functions. Drinking one or two cups of coffee a day or missing it once in a while should not bother you to an extent that your life stops without it.
Coffee is one of the most loved caffeine drinks. Enjoy your cup do not make it turn into a health risk.
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