That is, according to research which says excessive coffee consumption has links to irritability, anxiety and even psychosis.
It’s our favourite hot cuppa, and we were pretty devo when we heard that it could be having a detrimental effect on our waistlines. Now we’re discovering that it could be having a major impact on our mood, and not in the buzzy, happy-inducing way that we thought it was.
Nope, according to one study people drinking an excess of 1,000 milligrams of caffeine a day showed symptoms that were almost indistinguishable from an anxiety disorder.
According to the study’s authors excessive caffeine ingestion leads to a state of intoxication known as caffeinism, “characterised by restlessness, agitation, excitement, rambling thought and speech, and insomnia.” Worryingly, “these symptoms clearly overlap with those of many psychiatric disorders,” they explain.
Pretty scary, right? But that’s not all. Coffee works by fooling the brain into releasing dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline all at the same time. As a result, this triggers the body’s fight or flight response, which in turn can make you feel agitated, jittery, anxious or angry.
Worse again, it’s the drinker’s sudden spike in alertness, followed by a dip that causes their mood to fluctuate.
The good news however is that it takes a considerable about of coffee to see any noticeable changes in your mood. Experts agree that it takes around 500-600 milligrams to trigger this kind of reaction. To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of between two and three double shot cappuccinos.
The lesson? Drink it in moderation. As a rule of thumb, keep your consumption to around 200-300 milligrams, or no more than three small cups a day.