Does caffeine make anxiety worse?

Caffeine has made itself a very important part of our daily diet. Checking our social media and drinking coffee as soon as we wake up in the morning has become mandatory for us but do you ever wonder if the entire caffeine intake has bad side effects? Does it affect energy levels? Does caffeine make anxiety worse? Well hopefully answers to most of the questions will be answered by the end of the article.

What is anxiety? It’s a feeling of apprehension and fear about what will happen or come. For example, it can be the first day of school or you’re talking in public like delivering a speech. If the anxiety lasts for a long period for about 6 months or more, getting checked by a doctor is advisable.

 It is because there is a high risk of getting anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobia, a substance-induced anxiety disorder. Anxiety is genetic. So a person belonging to a family with the anxiety-related  issues is prone to getting anxiety disorders. Other than genes, stress does play an important role in anxiety. Stress is bad for health and being too stressful all the time makes anxiety worse.

So does caffeine make anxiety worse?


 Caffeine is a psychoactive drug widely used to increase productivity. While caffeine does help with increasing your energy levels and to improve your concentration level but does it help you with your anxiety? Caffeine increases your heartbeat, blood pressure, and your stress hormones. Usually, a cup of coffee does keep you going in the morning and gives you the extra boost but if you’re not careful with the amount of caffeine intake it can lead to serious problems like making your anxiety worse this includes people who have high caffeine tolerance too.

In an experiment conducted on mice, caffeine did reduce some level of anxiety but however, it may not be the same case with humans. Caffeine can trigger anxiety attacks as it stimulates the body’s ‘flight’ or ‘fight’ response. The reaction towards caffeine depends on the dose of caffeine. Eating unhealthy and not exercising can increase the effect of caffeine.

A few common anxiety symptoms include:-

  • Rapid heartbeat and difficulty to breath- You struggle to breathe and to keep your head above water.
  • Your hands start shivering and shaking and you have a tight feeling in your chest or experience some chest pain.
  • you start worrying too much or take too much stress for silly reasons and you worry even more as the minutes’ tick by
  • you start overthinking and your mind is racing with thoughts

People usually tend to forget that caffeine is a very strong stimulant and does it is highly advisable to lower the intake of caffeine as much as possible especially before you go to bed. Intake of caffeine before 6 hours going to bed can interrupt your sleep patterns which in turn have a bad effect on your anxiety. Insomnia is the most common side effect of both anxiety and caffeine consumption. Caffeine-induced sleep disorder is a recognized psychiatric disorder. The effects of caffeine can also include agitation, sleep problems, restlessness, twitching, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, mood swings. Tracking your caffeine consumption is essential.

Eating proteins can minimize the effects of caffeine. Eating healthy and drinking plenty of water is very good for your health. The Food and Drug Administration considers a daily intake of 400 mg of caffeine or less to be a safe amount for most adults, although it is different for pregnant women and others with special restrictions.


Drinking alcohol can also worsen your anxiety. Alcohol can enhance your anxiety levels and therefore lower consumption is advisable. People who drink caffeine in a strong amount regularly and excessively struggle to cutback and have caffeine use disorder. Choosing alternatives may help in this case. Switching to tea or decaffeinated coffee can help you cut back. Along with alcohol certain medications also do increase your anxiety level.

Signs of anxiety-

  • Worrying too much- anxious people often worry about the future due to which they start living in fear.
  • Feeling of restlessness- Often, anxiety leaves people feeling very uncomfortable and irritated.
  • Feeling fatigued- Many people even fall sick when they have severe anxiety issues.
  • Oversleeping or no sleep- Most of the time, anxiety kills sleep in many people. It also leads to people oversleeping.
  • Difficulty focusing- anxiety is also the cause of difficulty in concentration while doing any activity.
  • Anxiety attacks- panic attacks are one of the main symptoms of anxiety. Usually, panic attacks are different in different people. Some of them find it hard to breathe while some of them experience a blurry vision.
  • Avoiding social encounters- most of the people prefer avoiding social encounters because they are scared or rather embarrassed.
  • Low appetite or over-eating- This is also one of the main symptoms of anxiety.

Having anxiety can be very intruding. Most of us are often embarrassed and hence hide our anxiety problems to avoid dealing with awkward situations. It is highly necessary to realize that anxiety is completely normal and is experienced by almost everybody. Yes, thinking about the future can be scary. Hence, one should always look forward to their lives and live in the present.

Even though anxiety is normal, sometimes it might get severe. In such cases, it is best advised to get you checked as severe anxiety can lead to an anxiety disorder. It is highly necessary to get diagnosed when anxiety increases to an extreme because it can be highly dangerous. Hence, one should always be careful to figure out if they have anxiety or not. Hence, the above article hopefully clears your doubt of ‘does caffeine make anxiety worse’.

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