So many folks (like, literally millions) reach for a caffeinated beverage in the morning in order to wake up and feel alert. And many more drink coffees, teas, and energy drinks as the day goes on in order to stay awake. But what are the signs you are sensitive to caffeine?
If you have a caffeine sensitivity, even a small amount of the stuff can make you feel downright bizarre, often leading to symptoms that run the gamut from a pounding heart, to headaches, to feelings of anxiety. "The average person can take in about 200 to 400mg of caffeine and experience no side effects and fall asleep without difficulty at bedtime," Dr. Alexea M. Gaffney-Adams, M.D., a general infectious disease specialist, tells Bustle. "An individual with caffeine sensitivity will experience [some of the symptoms listed below] or caffeine overdose symptoms with ingestion of as little as 100mg of caffeine."
So, what causes it? "There are several reasons it could happen," says Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, a Seattle-based registered dietitian and nutritionist. "One is the way that caffeine affects the brain. There are several gene variants that affect the way the liver metabolizes caffeine, which may impact how people respond to [it] ... There are also genes that increase the predisposition for high blood pressure when caffeine is regularly consumed, and about 9% of that population has that."
If you've got a caffeine intolerance, you'll know. After consuming it, and for hours afterward, you might notice a few (or all) of the symptoms below. If you do, and they're bothering you, it may be time to get through your day without coffee, and talk to your doctor about a possible sensitivity to caffeine.