Caffeine In Coffee Could Be Messing With Your Mood: Studies Link Caffeine To Anxiety, Depression

The world is diverse in terms of the work people do, the way people travel, and how they spend their free time. There is no normal day for the world’s population, but one of the things that almost everyone has in common is caffeine. 90% of the world’s population consumes caffeine in one form or another, and 80% of American adults consume caffeine every day.
Whether it is coffee, tea or soda, caffeine is a necessity in daily life. Most people consume caffeine because of its effects on the body: drinking coffee in the morning makes us feel more awake and better able to cope with the challenges of the day. However, caffeine can also cause other more subtle changes in us, including some significant effects on mood.
Alertness
Perhaps the most obvious effect of caffeine on a person’s mood is the alertness that beverages bring. Not only can caffeine wake you up, it can also help you work harder. Research has recognized that performance on simple tasks has improved. The positive effects of caffeine are most pronounced when alertness has been reduced, but even those who were unaffected by alertness before ingesting caffeine saw minor improvements.
Irritability and anxiety
Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system, an important part of which is the brain. Coffee or any other caffeinated beverage works by inducing the brain to release dopamine and serotonin. Additionally, hormones including epinephrine and norepinephrine are released. It is these hormones that are involved in the body’s “fight or flight” response, useful if you are in an emergency, but not so much if you are sitting in the office.
This reaction can make the coffee drinker feel irritable, agitated and anxious. Some people suddenly become alert after drinking a cup of coffee and then experience these negative mood swings. The more coffee you drink, the worse their situation will be. One study even found that people who drink more than 1,000 mg of caffeine a day will show neurological symptoms that are almost “indistinguishable” from anxiety.
Depression
Caffeine seems to be related to depression and depressive symptoms, but this study is a bit contradictory about what it is.
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Some studies have established that caffeine has a positive effect on depression. An experiment showed that the chemical effects of caffeine can prevent brain receptors from responding to stressful situations. This means that reactions to stress, such as bad moods or depression, are not as easy to show in people who have caffeine in their bodies.
In the long term, caffeine can even fight depression: A longitudinal study of nearly 800 American women found that women who drink caffeinated coffee are less likely to suffer from depression than women who do not drink caffeine. The risk of depression decreases with increasing coffee intake, and women who drink 4 or more cups of coffee a day have the lowest risk of depression.
Most reports of coffee and increased risk of depression implicate excessive caffeine intake, which means more than 400 mg per day. Drinking so many caffeinated beverages can cause negative effects beyond emotions, such as insomnia, stomach upset, and muscle tremors.
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