Caffeine And Effect On Depression
Research suggests that caffeine may help to relieve depressive symptoms or help to protect against depression. A 2016 meta-analysis accounting for a total of 346,913 individuals and 8,146 cases of depression suggested that coffee consumption may have a protective effect. A dose-response analysis suggests a J-shaped curve, with the effect reported for up to approximately 300mg caffeine per day30.
A number of specific studies have investigated caffeine consumption in relation to the risk of depression:
Research on depressive symptoms in participants who received either caffeinated coffee , or decaffeinated coffee showed that caffeinated coffee increased co-operative game behaviour and sadness communication, suggesting that caffeinated coffee may improve social support and relieve depressive symptoms64.
Finally, coffee and caffeine consumption might be favoured by some specific patient groups, including patients with bipolar disorders, who were reported to consume more social drugs such as tobacco and coffee than the general population65, and schizophrenic patients66. It has been hypothesized that patients smoke and drink coffee to reduce medication side effects such as anhedonia , or to improve cognitive symptoms linked to the treatment.
How To Reduce Caffeine Consumption
Eliminating caffeine from your diet abruptly poses no serious health risks, however you could experience unpleasant side effects like headaches and nervousness. Therefore, unless caffeine is affecting your sleep or health, or unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare providers, you may want to consider gradually reducing your caffeine intake over a period of two to three weeks.
Consider substituting your coffee with a caffeine-free herbal tea. Similarly, consider switching from drinking sodas to carbonated waters with natural, unsweetened flavorings. Increasing your daily intake of water to 4 to 6 cups per day may have positive health benefits as well.
Some People May Feel Anxious
There are concerns about increasing anxiety for some people, said Dr. Clark. This is because caffeine is a stimulant and it stimulates some of the chemicals in your brain, speeding everything up.
Even in moderate amounts it can cause jitteriness and anxiety, said Dr. Kilgore, noting that caffeine can also increase respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure, which is most often fine in normal people, but if they have a light health condition it should be under consideration.
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Overuse Of Coffee Booze And Over
Its no secret that living through the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2020 in general, has been emotionally exhausting. People have been isolated and social distancing, many struggling with losing a job or income. Some are treating extremely ill patients on the frontlines, dealing with the loss of friends or family members and so much more, all while trying to process an endless barrage of disasters, political turmoil and bad news unrelated to the pandemic. All this strife can be especially hard on anyone already coping with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
Taking care of yourself right now may include understanding how a daily coffee or cocktail habit could be influencing your wellbeing. Everyday substances like caffeine and alcohol, when consumed in excess, can exacerbate underlying mental health issues like anxiety and depression. And seemingly harmless drugs in your medicine cabinet, like allergy or cold meds, can interact with medications used for treating mental health to bring about serious consequences.
How To Reduce Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal should only last between two and nine days, with peak intensity of symptoms occurring 2451 hours after caffeine is cut out (
While these symptoms are usually short-lived, they can be uncomfortable and make life difficult.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the chances of experiencing these unpleasant side effects.
Try the following tips to reduce or completely avoid symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.
- Cut back slowly: Quitting cold turkey can shock the body and make withdrawal symptoms worse. Gradually weaning off caffeine can reduce the chances of experiencing unpleasant side effects.
- Reduce caffeinated beverages: If youre used to drinking full-strength coffee, start drinking half-decaf, half-regular coffee to slowly reduce your dependence. Even better, swap one of your coffees for a decaf herbal tea. Shop for herbal tea online.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is crucial when cutting out caffeine. Dehydration can worsen symptoms of withdrawal, such as headache and fatigue (
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Is Caffeine Withdrawal A Mental Disorder
So there technically is no such thing as a caffeine addiction, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a physicians reference guide. However, it does recognize caffeine withdrawal as a mental disorder.
How does coffee affect your mental health?
Studies reviewed in the meta-analysis show coffees anti-inflammatory properties are associated with decreased depression. Caffeine blocks mood-depressing chemicals in the brain. Caffeine blocks receptors in the brain from binding with a chemical that causes fatigue and depressed mood.
Why you should quit caffeine?
Benefits of Quitting Caffeine These speak for themselves, but cutting down on your caffeine consumption can lead to less anxiety, better sleep, more efficient nutrient absorption, whiter teeth, balanced hormones, improved brain chemistry, and fewer headaches.
Dont Cut Caffeine Right Away
Its important to know how much you’re drinking in the first place, so really be honest with yourself about how much youre drinking and keep track of it for a few days, said Dr. Kilgore. This will allow you to get a true sense of how much caffeine youre consuming.
If you need to reduce the amount of caffeine you are consuming, slowly decrease your intake, said Dr. Clark. This means you can do half caffeinated or you can mix in some decaffeinated beverages in sodas and coffee.
Dont cut out caffeine completely all of a sudden because them you may experience some bad withdrawal syndromes, she said. If you need help with how to decrease your intake or youre getting headaches when youre trying to go off caffeine, talk to your doctor.
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Too Much May Lead To Headaches
If you consume too much caffeine, it can also cause headaches, said Dr. Clark. This is often in addition to feeling nervous and anxious.
But caffeine can also sometimes help headaches, she said, noting that for some people, it can actually treat their headaches or migraines.
Caffeine can also be used medically to treat headache because it improves the absorption of other analgesics, said Dr. Kilgore. It actually causes vasoconstriction. That by itself can also make the headache go away. So, it can cause headaches, and it can also help.
Take Care Of Your Sleep
Caring for your sleep is extremely important to prevent caffeine crashes. And although you may have trouble sleeping sometimes, you should try to have at least 7 to 9 hours of good sleep each night.
When that doesnt happen, you may turn to caffeine to feel energetic during the day. And this can turn into something called the caffeine cycle. You drink coffee to get more energy, it will prevent you from getting a good night of rest, so the next day you need it again, and sometimes, you may even need more caffeine, making you constantly experience caffeine crashes.
Another matter, related to your sleep, that can make you more susceptible to caffeine crash, is that being tired, and not sleeping properly will make the symptoms of caffeine crash worse.
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You Might Struggle To Make Decisions
Believe it or not, cutting back on caffeine can temporarily impact your ability to make decisions. And thats thanks to the fact caffeine increases your levels of dopamine. As Bart Wolbers, researcher at Nature Builds Health, tells Bustle, You dont only need dopamine to be motivated, happy, and assertive, but also for abstract and outside-the-box thinking.
You might notice that, in lowering your caffeine intake, youll have a tough time seeing the big picture, Wolbers says, or coming up with creative solutions. Dont worry, though, as it isnt a problem thatll stick around.
Coffee Caffeine Mood And Emotion
The terms âmoodâ and âemotionâ are often used interchangeably in colloquial conversation.
However, in scientific terms, mood and emotion have different definitions. A mood is a relatively long-lasting affective state51 while an emotion is of shorter duration. It has been suggested that emotions can be defined by episodes of synchronised change, with components such as bodily reactions , and motor expressions52.
In Europe, mental health and mental disorders pose a significant public health challenge53. Every year, 1 out of 15 people suffer from major depression in Europe, and if anxiety and all forms of depression are included, nearly 4 out of 15 people are affected54.
Research suggests that diet and exercise can affect neuronal development and physiology and protect the brain from neurological illnesses or injuries55. Of note, coffee, cocoa and tea are being actively investigated because they contain polyphenolic compounds that may have beneficial effects on mental health, including behaviour, mood, depression and cognition56.
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Why Do I Feel Wiped Out After Too Much Caffeine
Asked by: Anonymous
Caffeine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. After too much caffeine serotonin levels can fall, leading to a crash. This can cause anxiety, depression and poor concentration. Caffeine also stimulates adrenaline from the adrenal glands that makes the liver release glycogen, raising blood sugar levels and temporarily giving you more energy. The pancreas then releases insulin to deal with the excess sugar and when levels drop again, you feel lethargic and wiped out. Excessive caffeine use can harm both the adrenals and pancreas, and the wiped-out feeling can become more serious. Although very widely used, caffeine is an addictive psychoactive drug.
Caffeine And Prescription Antidepressants: A Dangerous Combination
Caffeine should not be mixed with over 50 kinds of medications, including the most popular antidepressants.
- flu-like symptoms
The good news is that these symptoms are short-lived and usually reach their peak within 2 to 9 days.
However, be forewarned that if you are seriously addicted to caffeine, it can take months to feel normal again.
During this adjustment period, its not uncommon to feel more tired and mentally foggy than usual.
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Can Caffeine Affect Depression
Worsening symptoms Several studies have also shown a connection between coffee intake and an increase in depression. According to one 2014 review in the journal Rivista di Psichiatria, caffeine consumption could make depression worse in people who already have mood disorders.
Is coffee an antidepressant?
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and acts as an antidepressant by elevating serotonin and dopamine. Its even been shown in the Archives of Internal Medicine to lower suicide rates. Some experience the mood boost more than others.
Is coffee a depressant or stimulant?
Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it increases activity in your brain and nervous system. It also increases the circulation of chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body. In small doses, caffeine can make you feel refreshed and focused.
What do coffee withdrawals feel like?
The severity of symptoms vary from individual to individual, and most commonly include a headache, fatigue, decreased energy/activeness, decreased alertness, drowsiness, decreased contentedness, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and feeling foggy/not clearheaded.
Does coffee increase serotonin?
Countless studies have indicated that the ingredients found in coffee are the best in boosting the happy chemical. Unlike the other industrial replicas of boosting serotonin, ingredients found in coffee are natural to dissolve in the human body and therefore increasing serotonin levels.
Evidence That Caffeine Reduces The Risk Of Depression
Theres a substantial body of scientific evidence that caffeine is beneficial for reducing the risk of depression.
These studies include hundreds of thousands of participants of all age groups in countries around the world.
A major review of studies that included over 346,000 participants examined the link between caffeine and depression.
Researchers concluded that caffeine, particularly in coffee, was protective against depression and that coffee worked better than tea, probably due to teas lower caffeine content.
” Caffeine should not be mixed with over 50 kinds of medications, including the most popular antidepressants.
When researchers in China performed a meta-analysis that included over 330,000 study participants, they also concluded that coffee and caffeine consumption were significantly associated with a .
A large study of over 50,000 women found that those who consumed at least 2 to 4 cups of coffee per day were less likely to develop depression, compared to those who drank one cup per week.
This study also found that drinking decaffeinated coffee did not lower the risk of depression.
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter most closely linked to depression.
But these drugs work for only 40% of those who use them, so clearly, low serotonin is not always the cause.
to temporarily feel more motivated and productive.
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Caffeine Stress And Your Health
People may joke about needing their coffee to function in the morning, but in all seriousness, caffeine is a drug. Its most often consumed in coffee, tea, soft drinks and, in smaller doses, chocolate. While we seem to have a love affair with these foods, theres been quite a bit of confusion and even controversy surrounding caffeine. Research seems to say conflicting things about the effects of caffeine. It helps to look at the pros and cons.
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Caffeine Dosage For Depression
Lets look at what research has found about the ideal caffeine dosage for depression.
To Lower Your Risk
If your goal is to lower your risk of depression, the Nurses Health Study, which followed over 50,000 women for 10 years, can provide some guidelines.
Drinking 2 to 3 cups per day reduced the risk of depression by 15% over the course of the study.
Drinking 4 cups of more lowered the risk by 20%.
To Improve Your Mood
But if your goal is to use caffeine to improve your mood now, the answer is not at all clear-cut.
There are many variables that impact how efficiently your body metabolizes caffeine:
- your general health
So, you will have to determine your ideal caffeine dosage by trial and error.
Start low, around 100 mg per day, and gradually work your way up to larger amounts.
Notice how you respond.
The US Food and Drug Administration has set the upper safe limit of caffeine intake at 400 mg per day.
At higher doses, caffeine becomes counterproductive by increasing anxiety and insomnia.
This is not a good trade-off, especially for people who have both depression and anxiety, which is very common.
This chart provides a general idea of the amount of caffeine in popular caffeinated beverages.
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What The Studies Say
Some scientists say caffeine helps alleviate symptoms, thanks to its positive effects that are so great it may actually help prevent suicide. There are numerous studies that have shown caffeine specifically coffee – may prevent mild to moderate depression:
- A group of Chinese scientists studied caffeine and its effects on the psyche and depression from 1980 to 2015. Those researchers concluded caffeine caused depression in about 1 percent of people. But the Chinese studies also found that depression was less a risk among test subjects who increased their intake of caffeine each day. The upshot of these Chinese studies was that taking caffeine and coffee actually reduced the incidence of depression.
- A group of researchers, from Europe, published a study of caffeines effects or risks with respect to depression. An analysis of 12 studies looked at the relationship between caffeine and depression, in 346,913 individuals and 8,146 cases of depression. Their conclusion? This study suggests a protective effect of coffee on risk of depression.
This means that caffeine, particularly in coffee, may lessen the likelihood of depression.
Cold And Allergy Season
Other substances you may have lying around your house or tucked in the cabinet also need to be used carefully. The ingredients inmany common decongestants, cough suppressants and antihistamines interact with antidepressants and other medications used for treating mental health in a way that can either make those drugsless effective or create new, troublesome side effects.
For example, cough medicine containing the common ingredient dextromethorphan shouldnt be taken in combination with antidepressants Prozac, Zoloft or Lexapro. Doing socan cause your body to produce too much serotonin, leading to a condition called serotonin syndrome that can bring about increased anxiety, headaches, fevers and a host of other symptoms. In severe cases, it can be deadly.
If you take medication for depression, bipolar disorder or another mental health condition, you should talk to your doctor before selecting an over the counter drug to alleviate a cough or runny nose. Dont stop taking your medication, however.
If you want to start drinking less coffee or adult beverages, Blount recommends using breathing and mindfulness exercises to help reduce anxiety and connecting with friends and family over the phone or video chat to alleviate feelings of isolation. Changing your routine so that you replace that fifth cup of coffee or first beer with something else you enjoy, like going for a short walk, can help disrupt the pattern.
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Caffeine Withdrawal: Signs Symptoms And Treatments
While going through withdrawal symptoms is definitely possible , experts note that some of these symptoms might be psychosomatic . One of the reasons caffeine is so addicting is that drinking a cup of coffee is an act thats a deeply ingrained part of our daily routines and social lives, explains Don Raden M.D., F.A.A.O.T., integrative physician, addiction expert at Raden Wellness, which is why he says caffeine can be as psychologically addicting as it is physically addicting. The act of drinking coffee first thing in the morning, as an afternoon pick-me-up at work or with dessert after dinner becomes habitual. Over time, those habits can become so deeply ingrained in our daily routines that it can be very tough to break.
If youve recently quit caffeine, here are some signs and symptoms that your body is missing it: