Caffeine is among the most widely consumed drugs in the world. It’s consumed in our working day, with our meals and it’s even consumed in the evening. It wakes us up and keeps us going, it affects our day, our mood and changes our habits, but is this all a good thing? How much coffee should you be drinking and when should you stop fuelling the habit?
Professor James Elander Head of Centre for Psychological Research at the University of Derby has released a study on the effects of caffeine. Here are some signs that show you should cut down on your coffee intake.
If you find yourself consistently nervous, fidgety or twitchy, you should scale back on the caffeine. Smaller doses and quick fixes will give you increased focus and mental alertness, but it’s not a bottomless supply, and rest will probably have a better effect on your head than more coffee.
You’re getting headaches
Try to stop yourself continuously using coffee as a crutch, as your body will grow to depend on it. Developing a need for more coffee can lead to regular bad moods and a lack of focus, despite these being the exact symptoms many drink caffeine to avoid. Coffee targets the brain by increasing your natural energy metabolism as well as encouraging the release of serotonin and dopamine, but your body needs to rest to recover these chemicals.
You’re having to drink more and more
Increasing your caffeine intake to reach the same highs could be a symptom of ‘caffeine use disorder’. A real medical disorder, the more you need to concentrate, the harder it is to give up even though it could be affecting your health.
You’re eyeing up energy drinks
Energy drinks contain much more sugar and caffeine than coffee, and is becoming a growing problem with youth. In this case you’d be better off with the latte, but if you’re craving a hot drink it might be more beneficial to switch it up and factor more decaf drinks into your working day.
Failing that, you could always just have a cup of tea.