Feeling Anxious? It Might Be the Caffeine in Your Diet

Caffeine Blog Post PictureAn interesting thing happened to me a while ago. The weekend started out great, but by Sunday afternoon I was feeling anxious.

The first thing I do when this sort of thing happens is start going through a mental checklist of possible causes. Sometimes your mood can be affected by things that are easy to fix and don’t actually have anything to do with your mental state at all.

Was I hungry? No.

Thirsty? No.

Tired? No.

Lonely? No.

Had anything concerning happened recently? Not in the least. Life was good.

Had I been eating or drinking caffeinated products? YES! I’d had a couple of chocolate baked goods as well as caffeinated soda over the weekend.

Larger doses of caffeine make my heart race and my body feel jittery. I have several relatives who have mentioned having similar reactions, so I’m guessing that at least some of it is due to genetics. Even fairly small amounts of caffeine have been known to make me anxious because my tolerance for that drug is so low.

When I avoid every source of caffeine, I am a much calmer person.

This won’t work for everyone, of course. There are many causes of anxiety, and your ancestors may not have given you a lovely oversensitive-to-caffeine gene like mine did. Haha.

It is a simple thing to try if you’ve been struggling with anxious thoughts, though. Avoiding caffeine is pretty easy once you figure out where it likes to hide. The only sneaky place I’ve found it would be in some over-the-counter pain medicine. Certain brands include caffeine to make their medicine more effective.

Other than that, caffeine generally isn’t hidden in food or drinks. If it’s chocolate, coffee, or non-herbal tea, it probably has caffeine. If it isn’t, it probably doesn’t.  I’d recommend cutting it out of your diet for a week or two to see if it helps.

The worst thing you can discover is that it isn’t a trigger for you!

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