For some people, their morning routine involves waking up and immediately heading to the coffee pot or the nearest Starbucks. But if you're someone who feels like their world is collapsing if they don't have their cup of joe, it may be a sign you're relying on coffee too much for energy. Although coffee definitely has its health benefits, relying on it too often can have a negative impact on your body. After all, caffeine is a stimulant that impacts not only your body, but your brain and your nervous system as well.
"Caffeine can trigger multiple hormones such as adrenaline, dopamine, and the stress hormone, cortisol, to be released," says Daphne Olivier, RD to Bustle over email. "Cortisol is the hormone that is the fight or flight reaction that is released by the adrenal glands. Thus, coffee can put the body in the mode of constant stress, in addition to the stress of our daily lives. This can be taxing on the adrenal glands to be able to produce hormones when they are needed."
Having coffee every day is fine, but if you can't function without your cup, you may be too reliant on the drink If you think you might be becoming a little too addicted to the energy-boosting powers of coffee, pay attention to these 11 signs that you may be relying on coffee too much.
1. You Can't Get Going In The Morning
Can't start your day without the buzz of coffee? "This stems from the body’s ability to become addicted to caffeine and creates a need for the adrenaline to get their brain working in the morning," says Olivier. Keep your circadian rhythms in check and train your body to rely on natural energy when you wake up by waiting to have your coffee after you have been awake for awhile.
2. You're Anxious
If you've been feeling more stressed or anxious lately, your coffee may be to blame. "Coffee triggers the release of dopamine and adrenaline," says Olivier. "With excess coffee it can overstimulate the brain, causing anxiety and nervousness."
3. You're Craving Sweets
Caffeine spikes your levels of both insulin and cortisol. As a result, you're cravings for sugar increase. Because coffee interferes with your blood sugar levels, once you hit that crash, you'll be reaching for the cookies and candy before you know it.
4. You Crash In The Afternoon
Most people reach for coffee to get over the afternoon slump, but the drink may be the cause of your midday sleepiness. "Coffee causes you to become stimulated in the morning, and when it wears off, it causes a crash, creating the need for either more caffeine or sugar to stimulate the brain."
5. You Have The Jitters
"Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which can cause an inability to control motor activity in many parts of the body, from hands and arms to eye twitches and throat/voice box," says Olivier.
6. You're Cranky
High levels of caffeine can affect your mood, leaving you angry. You may also experience crankiness from withdrawal symptoms or lack of sleep to due coffee's disrupting effects, according to SFGate.
7. You Need Multiple Cups
A sure sign you're relying too much on coffee is if you keep finding the need to increase the amount you drink daily. The more you drink coffee, the less your body experiences the effects of caffeine, which leads you to need more and more to keep that energizing high going.
8. You Stay Up Late
Even if you consume your coffee in the a.m., its effects can linger on into the afternoon and evening. Research from the Journal Of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that caffeine can disrupt sleep even when consumed six hours before bedtime.
9. You Get Frequent Headaches
Although coffee can cure headaches, caffeine withdrawal can cause them. Researchers are not quite sure why, head pain is one of the most common symptoms of withdrawal, so if you're not hitting your daily quota of java, you can expect some throbbing in your head.
10. You Spend A Lot Of Money
Take a look at your bills, and if you're spending all your money on a coffee shop, you may be too reliant. Most of us spend a good amount of our money on food, but coffee is an expense that can add up quickly. You can save between $240 and $1,200 a year by cutting back on your daily coffee habit.
11. You're Having Problems Quitting
The ultimate sign you're relying too much on coffee? You can't stop drinking it. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms can be intense, but if you focus on these tips to quit, including switching to tea, drinking more water, and incorporating other energy-boosting habits, you may find that your morning latte isn't as necessary anymore.
If you're looking to cut down on the amount of coffee you drink, consider these alternative natural sources of energy instead.
Want more women's health coverage? Check out Bustle's new podcast, Honestly Though, which tackles all the questions you're afraid to ask.
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