Caffeine addiction: what it is and how to fight it

Caffeine addiction: what it is and how to fight it

Drinking coffee as soon as you wake up helps many people to fill up on energy in view of the working day, but after several years of intake it can happen that the caffeine has less effect , and that just one cup is no longer enough to recharge, but it is necessary to drink several .

Because caffeine makes you feel more awake

Drinking coffee increases the feeling of being more awake and improves mood and mental performance. This happens because caffeine is a stimulant that acts as an antagonist of the adenosine receptor, a substance that promotes sleepiness .

According to a 2012 study, caffeine can block up to 50% of these receptors when it is repeatedly consumed throughout the day, although it should not be abused to avoid having the opposite effect. In fact, it seems to work best when taken intermittently, rather than religiously every morning.

Caffeine as well as in coffee is also present in matcha tea .

Like any other food, coffee has storage times , be careful not to exceed them.

Taking too much caffeine can make you immune

Daily consumption of caffeine makes this substance less effective as the body develops a tolerance to it. So paradoxically, the more coffee or caffeinated beverages you drink, the less noticeable the effect will be, because the brain compensates for its high presence by deploying more adenosine receptors to fight it.

Also, not all people respond to substances the same way. Tolerance, in fact, is partly influenced by genetics and with the same consumption, the reactions can be different.

Furthermore, even from a purely medical point of view, even if one realizes that the effect of coffee on one’s body is no longer what it used to be, it is advisable not to overdo the quantities. According to the guidelines of EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority , the daily dose that should not be exceeded is 400 milligrams, approximately 4 cups . Abusing caffeine exposes you to the risk of:

  • headache ,
  • insomnia ,
  • nervousness ,
  • irritability,
  • frequent urination or inability to control urination ,
  • rapid heartbeat ,
  • muscle tremors .

Taking caffeine together with alcohol can lead to further damage to your health.

How to get the caffeine to kick in again

According to a 2019 study in a group of people, taking a break from caffeine would allow adenosine receptors to readjust to a lower level that doesn’t require extra work. This mechanism would bring all values ​​back into balance and the caffeine would begin to take effect again.

To arrive at this conclusion, the study participants were made to ingest about 200 milligrams of caffeine for 20 consecutive days, and a placebo solution for another 20. At the end of the experiment, compared to the placebo, caffeine had significantly increased the peak cycling power for the first 15 days. However, after that moment, the effect had diminished.

Avoid abrupt stops

Once addiction and habituation develop, it is then necessary to decrease caffeine intake but abruptly stopping can be harmful and cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, tiredness , difficulty concentrating , nausea , body aches and irritability. These discomforts can begin 12 to 24 hours after the last dose of caffeine and last from two to nine days. To avoid them, it is better to gradually reduce the intake, keeping track of the daily quantities. Alternatively, a valid substitute can be decaffeinated coffee .

Five ways to boost energy without caffeine

Giving up or reducing the number of coffees does not mean having to completely deprive yourself of its beneficial effects. There are many other ways , in fact, to upload .

Combine protein and fiber with meals

What you eat can make a big difference when it comes to your energy intake . To ensure you have a lasting energy boost, it’s ideal to combine a lean protein with a high- fiber carbohydrate . Examples include low-fat yogurt with fruit, apple slices with peanut butter , or carrots and cheese .

Drink a smoothie

Starting the day with a fresh fruit and vegetable drink is a great way to ensure a morning energy boost, even better if you add green leafy vegetables to your smoothie . In fact, these vegetables contain natural nitrates which are transformed into nitric oxide in the body, opening the blood vessels and ensuring a greater supply of oxygen and energizing nutrients to the body’s cells .

Flavor the milk with the beetroot

Simply mix beetroot powder, warm unsweetened milk , a dash of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey to ensure that you get an extra dose of energy, since beets contain high levels of energizing nitrates . A matcha latte is also suitable for this purpose .

Hydrate properly

Drinking less than the recommended amount of water daily, and therefore being mildly dehydrated , can lead to fatigue . To avoid this sensation, in addition to ingesting at least two liters of water during the day, it is useful to drink a glass – or herbal tea – in the morning, immediately after waking up.

Make movement

Physical activity raises your heart rate and, by making your blood flow faster, allows extra oxygen and nutrients to be sent to your muscles , which then feel more energized. It doesn’t take much to benefit from this sensation, even a brisk walk of about twenty minutes.



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