Coffee Addiction: Is it All in Your Head?

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Coffee Addiction: Is it All in Your Head?

For most people, coffee is everything. Starting your morning with a coffee can prepare you for the whole day; coffee can reduce stress level especially when you're having a bad day; coffee can make you do tasks and even sleep / Photo by: ViChizh via Shutterstock

 

For most people, coffee is everything. Starting your morning with a coffee can prepare you for the whole day; coffee can reduce stress level especially when you're having a bad day; coffee can make you do tasks and even sleep. There are a lot of benefits that people attribute to coffee that a lot are drinking it any time of the day. In fact, a report from the E-Imports showed that the average consumption of coffee in the United States alone is 3.1 cups per day. 

It has also been reported that people consume 145 million worth of bags of coffee every year. The consumption of both men and women are equal to 1.6 cups per day. Statistics also showed that 65% of all coffee is consumed during breakfast hours, 30% between meals, and the remaining 5% with other meals. However, there have been many debates on whether coffee is really addictive or not. An article by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens in 2016 stated that the world’s caffeine obsession can be described as a “dependency” and not addiction. 

The organization argued that the reason behind this is a chemical called dopamine which is being enhanced by coffee. It helps control movement, emotions, and motivation. However, recent studies are now affirming that caffeine is truly addictive. In fact, it was described as "the excessive and/or harmful use of caffeine over a period of time." This can have negative impacts on a person's health, social interactions, or other aspects of their lives. 

Everything About Coffee Addiction

For most coffee lovers, coffee boosts their mood and helps them get through the day. However, some people may not be aware of the negative effects it has on their body, including anxiety, irritability, disrupted sleep, and many more. In some cases, coffee might be the cause of their fatigue and the inability to relax instead of increasing their energy. It should be noted that a person's caffeine intake might be higher than they realize because caffeine is not only present in coffee but also in foods and drinks. 

According to an article by the Very Well Mind, the manual used by clinicians to classify and diagnose mental health concerns called the DSM-5 recognized caffeine intoxication and caffeine use disorder is stated to be under further study. Aside from that, caffeine intoxication and caffeine withdrawal are said to have negative impacts on a person's body. For instance, people who go through caffeine withdrawal have similar symptoms to those with mood disorders and people who are intoxicated with caffeine can show similar symptoms as people with attention deficit disorders. 

However, some people may not be aware of the negative effects it has on their body, including anxiety, irritability, disrupted sleep, and many more. In some cases, coffee might be the cause of their fatigue and the inability to relax instead of increasing their energy / Photo by: Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley via Shutterstock

 

Thus, it is important that people observe their coffee intake since this grows into coffee addiction because it can cause several health problems in the future. There are several symptoms you can feel when you're intoxicated with caffeine that is linked with stimulation of the brain and nervous system. Some of the symptoms include increased urination, stomach upset, increased heart rate, flush face, rambling flow of thoughts and speech, muscle twitching, agitation, difficulty sleeping, excitement, nervousness, and restlessness. 

Additionally, coffee addiction not only has impacts on one's physical but also psychologically. For instance, it can increase racing thoughts, intensify feelings of worry, make it difficult to have peace of mind, prevent relaxation and quality sleep, increase agitation and shakiness, and many more. According to an article by the Smithsonian, the reason why caffeine is addictive is that it can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain. 

With that, caffeine molecules through adenosine would block the receptors of our brain which generates a sense of alertness and energy for a few hours. In an interview, Stephen R. Braun, the author of "Buzzed: the Science and Lore of Caffeine and Alcohol" stated that caffeine is a stimulant enabler which lets our natural stimulants run wild. Drinking coffee is the same with “putting a block of wood under one of the brain’s primary brake pedals.” 

Caffeine Withdrawal to Make You Feel Better

The symptoms and impacts of coffee addiction can be a lot to take which makes people decide to lessen their intake of coffee. It's important to know that caffeine withdrawal will not be an easy journey. Previous studies showed that the most common symptoms usually happen by those withdrawing from caffeine. Most of the time, people who are going through this stage can feel very tired and drowsy. They might also find it hard to concentrate and feel irritable or depressed. 

The symptoms and impacts of coffee addiction can be a lot to take which makes people decide to lessen their intake of coffee / Photo by: Supawadee56 via Shutterstock

 

Sometimes, people who are withdrawing from coffee can also experience headache, stiffness, muscle pain, vomiting, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms. A 2009 study conducted by the researchers from the University of Vermont had proven this. According to an article by the Science Daily, the group examined caffeine's effects in a double-blind study to investigate the biological mechanisms of caffeine withdrawal. The study which was published in the scientific journal Psychopharmacology examined the electrical activity and blood flow during caffeine withdrawal using three different measures. 

The different measures used in the study are the participants' self-reports of subjective effects through questionnaires, blood flow velocity in the brain via ultrasound, and brain electrical activity via electroencephalogram (EEG). The findings of the research have provided of physiological effects of caffeine withdrawal. Additionally, it has been reported that it can also be felt emotionally because it can cause lack of energy, lack of motivation, and depression. 

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