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5 more signs you may be “addicted” to caffeine? [Part 2]

by Tina Sendin 4 min read

5 more signs you may be “addicted” to caffeine? [Part 2]

Earlier, we’ve covered 5 signs that you may be too attached with your caffeine and should be cutting back.

But if you can’t believe it and still hankering for more signs, then this article is for you.

Here are 5 more signs that you have too much love for caffeine.

 

But first, is caffeine really “addicting”?

Let me get this straight. Caffeine is not addictive.

This is actually supported by many studies. In fact, WebMD says caffeine being addictive is nothing but a myth:  The article says: [1]

This one has some truth to it, depending on what you mean by “addictive.” Caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system, and regular use of caffeine does cause mild physical dependence. But caffeine doesn’t threaten your physical, social, or economic health the way addictive drugs do. (Although after seeing your monthly spending at the coffee shop, you might disagree!)

(If you want to know more about these studies, check out the article “Is caffeine addictive? No, but it sure is habit-forming.”)

Unlike true addicts, caffeine users don’t lose control of their habit, shun the society of friends and family, take risks and commit crimes to get their caffeine, and they don’t change their appearance, neglect hygiene and have big personality changes.

Hence, while caffeine does cause dependence, it isn’t in the same category as opiates or alcohol. 


Signs you may be “addicted” to caffeine 

 

#1 You just can’t quit it.

If you’ve always thought of cutting back or skipping your morning cup of joe, and still end up having your usual four or five cups a day, then you know you’re hooked.

Don’t be too hard on yourself though. If you decide to wean off your caffeine intake, try doing it gradually. Quitting cold turkey can be as tough as perfecting that cat’s eyeliner when you’re in a mad rush for work!

Don’t quit caffeine altogether. In fact, it has its own surprising health benefits!

Just try to keep it at a reasonable amount. 400 mg of caffeine a day is your magic number. That’s equivalent to two or three 8-ounce cups of coffee (or a tall Starbucks cup). 

 

 

#2 You feel like you’re about to get sick.

Feeling groggy and sensing like you’re coming down with the flu? 

Skipping your usual dose of caffeine can make you feel this way and experience flu-like symptoms. In that case…

Welcome to the world of caffeine withdrawal symptoms. These could range from headache, nausea, and muscle aches. [2]

If you want to know more about withdrawal symptoms, read “Caffeine withdrawal symptoms and how to reduce them.”

 

 

 

#3  You feel super tired.

Your body detecting the absence of caffeine (or at least your usual dose of it) will manifest in the form of discomfort. Suddenly, you’ll feel upper body pain, like in your neck and shoulders. [3]  

You’ll also notice a change in your workout performance. If you easily get tired, feel a little heavier, or struggle to perform a routine that once was doable, then it’s a sign that you must have been too dependent on it. This is especially true if you’ve been having coffee pre-workout, to improve your performance. [4]

But it can also go either way. Having too much caffeine can really make you tired because of caffeine crash and caffeine hangover.

And if you experience body aches post-workout, longer than usual, and feeling like your usual activities are more laborious than before, then you must be having a little too much of a caffeine fix.

 

  

#4 Caffeine doesn’t make you go anymore.

Maybe you’ve noticed one way or another that coffee can make you poo.

Especially after that first cup of joe in the morning, right before getting to work, this “ritual” is already a part of your every day.

But if after skipping a few morning java you start experiencing some difficulty in getting a number two, then it may mean your body has grown too used to a daily caffeine fix. It throws off your sunup ritual!

Experiencing constipation and other digestive issues all of a sudden may be your body’s way of telling you that you need to have a closer look at your dependence on your morning coffee. Too much caffeine may lead to digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), flatulence, heartburn, and even too much peeing.

 

 

#5 Lethargic much?

If you keep flaking on your plans with friends, feeling unmotivated, not in the mood to go out, or just feeling lazy most of the time, your caffeine intake may have something to do with it.

Where’s the link you may ask.

As a stimulant, coffee perks you up. It actually gets you to a better mood. But having too much caffeine and suddenly skipping a cup or two can be a shock to your system. Your withdrawal from it manifests in unshakeable lethargy – and your body just wants to get that usual pick-me-upper.

 

 

Conclusion

I’m not saying that you should quit caffeine altogether. Caffeine isn't the enemy here! As a matter of fact, caffeine does a whole heap of health and wellness benefits to our bodies.

But as the newly resurrected Spice Girls say, “too much of something is bad enough.” Having one too many cups of joe could lead to undesirable effects, and getting rid of it (sometimes too abruptly) may lead to withdrawal symptoms like the above.

The best way to consume caffeine is to NOT go beyond the recommended daily intake and just have enough, to get the most bang for your cup.

 

Sources

[1] https://www.webmd.com/diet/caffeine-myths-and-facts#1

[2] http://www.everydayhealth.com/addiction/hooked-on-caffeine.aspx

[3] http://www.livestrong.com/article/478735-caffeine-withdrawal-muscle-pain/

[4] http://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-withdrawal-symptoms-top-ten


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