Did you know that coffee produces dependency? Find out what are the most common symptoms to know if you are dependent on caffeine, as well as tips and tricks to reduce and eliminate it
Although coffee is characterized as one of the most consumed beverages in the world, especially in our country (along with tea), it becomes one of the liquids surrounded by many myths or certainly erroneous beliefs.
One of the best known is the supposed relationship between caffeine and addiction. In other words, the myth that caffeine is addictive is a widely held belief that, as a myth, actually has little truth.
The reality is that, at least for now, most of the scientific studies carried out in this regard have only shown that caffeine is not addicting. But yes dependency.
This is known as caffeine dependence. And it should not be confused with addiction, since they are completely different disorders.
Why does dependence on caffeine appear?
Caffeine is a substance capable of stimulating the transmission of the nerve impulse through neurons, which is why it tones the body and provides vitality.
Since coffee is one of the beverages richest in caffeine, it is always desirable to have a good cup of coffee just after waking up, because it helps us wake up and activate ourselves.
But when a person is very accustomed to coffee, and has been consuming cups of coffee for a long period of time, it also leads to certain dependence. This dependence occurs most of the time because when we get used to the effects of caffeine, we need a higher dose to be able to enjoy the same effects.
In other words, we tend to exceed the recommended amount of caffeine per day, so that we end up consuming more than the recommended amount.
For example, it is advisable not to drink more than 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day, the equivalent of 200 mg. of caffeine per day. Dependence tends to appear when we exceed 400 mg. per day, although it is true that cases of dependence on caffeine have been observed in doses not exceeding 100 mg.
Therefore, whether or not there is dependence on this drink will also depend on each person individually, probably because it depends on how sensitive you are to the effects of this substance.
For this reason, it is quite common for certain symptoms related to caffeine dependence to appear when a person cannot drink their usual dose of coffee, or they simply leave it.
Symptoms of dependence on coffee and caffeine
When there is dependence on caffeine, it is quite common for typical symptoms to appear, which in fact are usually associated with what is known as the withdrawal syndrome. Among the most common signs or symptoms, we can mention:
- Nervousness and irritability
- Muscle tension.
- Feeling tired.
It is also common for anxiety and / or depression to appear, difficulty concentrating and being able to work normally, as well as certain deterioration in both alertness and cognitive performance.
How to reduce the symptoms associated with caffeine dependence?
Taking into account that when a person gets used to consuming one to two cups of coffee regularly every day, a habit has been created, a dependency whose lack causes the appearance of the typical symptoms that arise when there is a dependency, the most appropriate thing is try to gradually reduce the number of cups of coffee we drink per day.
That is, one of the best recommendations that can be given to prevent and avoid these symptoms is to reduce the consumption of coffee and foods rich in caffeine (let’s not forget chocolate), but little by little and with some patience. The key is to gradually reduce your consumption over the weeks.
As we suggested at the time in a previous note entitled How to reduce coffee and drink less every day until it is completely eliminated, if for example you tend to drink 3 cups of coffee a day (breakfast, lunch and snack), you can start with reduce the size of the cup, or the amount of coffee that you pour yourself each time.
It is also possible to opt for substitutes and alternatives to coffee, such as infusions made with plants and herbs, or the popular cereal drinks made with chicory, which become one of the most common options due to their somewhat more intense flavor. (Which in many cases tends to be reminiscent of coffee)?