People become addicted to caffeine without even realising it. It is perfectly normal to have a cup of coffee or even a glass of soda in the morning. However, when it becomes something you cannot live without, it becomes an addiction.
Caffeine addiction is considered excessive and harmful use of caffeine over time, which harms your health, social interactions, or other aspects of your life.
Caffeine becomes problematic when it negatively disrupts your life and you cannot stop consuming it. Or you drink it in potentially harmful amounts to your health despite knowing that it could harm you mentally or physically.
The most obvious sign that you are addicted to caffeine, like any other drug, is that you experience withdrawal symptoms when you do not take it. Here are signs that you may be addicted to caffeine;
If you skip your morning coffee, your head begins to pound
Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, making blood vessels narrower and restricting blood flow. This makes it an effective headache reliever. However, if you are used to a steady supply of caffeine, skipping it one day can cause a headache—a classic withdrawal symptom.
You cannot concentrate unless you are caffeinated.
Caffeine stimulates your adrenaline production, which can help you stay alert and focused. If you are used to getting that boost every day, you might experience brain fog or difficulty concentrating and completing tasks without it.
More is required to achieve the same results as before
If you consume a lot of caffeine daily, you will develop a tolerance to it, and your body will require more caffeine to produce the same effects. If one cup of coffee no longer affects your energy levels, or if you can drink a cup right before bed and still fall asleep, it is a sign that your body has become immune to its effects due to the unrestricted exposure.
You are always a little tense.
Caffeine in high doses can cause jitters; for some people, it takes less to feel jittery than others. Caffeine overload can also cause anxiety and panic attacks in some people, especially those predisposed to mental health issues. If you feel more anxious, assess your caffeine consumption and try cutting back.
How to cut down on caffeine
Trying to cut down on caffeine? Here are a few ways to go about it;
—Keep track of how much caffeine you consume each day.
—Determine when you will need it the most (for example, while working or studying)
—Determine how much you want to limit yourself and when you want to have it (for example, you might decide to have only one coffee in the morning at breakfast).
—Replace caffeine intake with non-caffeinated alternatives such as decaf coffee, herbal tea, or sparkling water.
—Determine how you intend to cut back. Do you want to quit totally? Or do you prefer to reduce the amount slowly?
Caffeine withdrawal may occur if you reduce your intake or discontinue it entirely. Expect headaches, drowsiness, irritability, and possibly nausea and vomiting.
Furthermore, if you believe that your caffeine responses are negatively affecting you in any way, consult your doctor.
Similarly, if you have any health condition that may be affected by caffeine use, such as heart disease, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor immediately.