How caffeine affects your mood
Caffeine can help make you feel alert. It can help you concentrate. It can improve your reaction speed. It can help keep you going when you need to. But the effects of too much caffeine can be much the same as those of anxiety. It is a stimulant that affects the brain and central nervous system (CNS). Caffeine can be found in:
- Drinks such as coffee, tea, fizzy drinks like Coke, Pepsi or Irn-Bru. Diet versions also have high levels.
- Some pain killers, some cold remedies and headache tablets.
- Energy tablets and drinks like Pro-Plus and Red Bull. Chocolate contains caffeine though at quite a low level.
- Many other products contain caffeine so check the packet before using.
Effects of too much caffeine:
|muscle twitch||flushed face|
|upset stomach||increased heart rate|
|speeded up breathing||passing water a lot|
Taking 150mg of caffeine before you go to bed will make it harder to get to sleep and will affect the quality of your sleep (see the chart below to work out how much this is).
How much is too much?
Some people can take vast amounts of caffeine and are none the worse for it. A rough figure is more than 600 mg a day may cause problems but people who are anxious and prone to panic may react to much smaller amounts. So it is worth while to look at how much caffeine you take each day. The list will help you work this out.
|Fresh coffee||140-210 per mug|
|Instant coffee||85-110 per mug|
|Decaff coffee||6 per mug|
|Tea||85-110 per mug|
|Coke||36 per can|
|Pepsi||38 per can|
|Dr Pepper||36 per can|
|Irn-Bru||33 per can|
|Diet Irn-Bru||33 per can|
|Milk Chocolate||22 per 100g|
|Plain Chocolate||72 per 100g|
|Panadol Extra||65 per tablet|
|Askit||110 per sachet|
|Pro-Plus energy tablets||50 per tablet|
|Red Bull energy drink||80 per can|
If you think caffeine does play a part in your stress, you should get your daily intake down as much as you can.