As society has evolved into the modern fast-paced world we know today, caffeine has become increasingly popular. Whether you are staying up late studying for an exam or waking up early to go to work, caffeine is a supplement to many people’s diet. The chemical itself shares a number of traits with other stimulants. This can cause your mind to race or your body to feel restless. In other words, you can feel jittery. Because of this, caffeine jitters have become a growing concern amongst caffeine users. It is a problem faced mainly by new coffee drinkers with little existing tolerance. Here are four ways to avoid those caffeine jitters:
Drinking caffeine on an empty stomach can increase the likelihood of the jitters. When drinking coffee on an empty stomach, this can cause two different things to happen. The first is to increase what’s called hydrochloric acid or stomach acid. This helps digest your food. Caffeine can increase the amount of stomach acid you produce which can lead to abdominal pains. The second thing drinking caffeine on an empty stomach can cause is anxiety.
Going through your day on an empty stomach can reduce your brain’s ability to produce the mood-regulating hormone serotonin. Caffeine only heightens this inability to produce serotonin leading to increased stress and anxiety. This could make you feel jittery and weak. Because of this, the easiest way to avoid the jitters is to eat a meal before consuming caffeine. Even something simple like a granola bar can go a long way.
Certain natural additives, such as organic milk or raw sugar, can help decrease your caffeine jitters. As stated above, coffee can increase the amount of stomach acid and decrease your brain’s ability to produce certain neurotransmitters. Certain additives can have the opposite effect negating some the-the bad qualities in caffeine. For instance, organic milk can better help cognitive functions actively decreasing stress through alpha-lactalbumin and assist the brain in processing serotonin. Mixing milk in your caffeinated drink could help offset some jitters.
Caffeine can also make your body dehydrated. This is only heightened by an empty stomach. This is why eating something is one of the most important ways to avoid the jitters. Caffeine, being a diuretic, can cause the body to produce more urine making you more dehydrated. A dehydrated body can lead to increased levels of anxiety. Because of this, we recommend drinking water before drinking caffeine. Even if you have already consumed a caffeinated beverage, switching to water can still be effective.
Reduce the Amount You Drink
This, although seems the most obvious, can have the largest effect. Much like discussed above, caffeine can produce many changes in your body. The simplest way to avoid the jitters is to reduce your coffee intake. Instead of 3 cups in the morning, try 1 cup. Reducing your intake can reduce the negative effects of drinking excessive amounts of caffeine. Another way to avoid the jitters is to understand your limitations. People have different digestive tracts and react differently to chemicals and hormones. Understanding your limit can better help reduce the effects of jitters by stopping yourself at a known caffeine limit.
If you do have the jitters, it is recommended to take a second and breath. Lie down, or sit in a comfortable position and do some relaxing exercises. If you have the time, you can work the energy out by exercising. Remember, even though caffeine has negative effects, it doesn’t always give you the jitter and can be healthy in some situations.
Doctors recommend a cup between 10 am and noon after a healthy breakfast. Because caffeine can come in different forms, their health benefits may vary between products. Coffee has many nutrients including vitamin B, potassium, and niacin. Tea has many antioxidants and can help boost your immune system. Jitters usually come when there is over-consumption, an empty stomach, or your body process caffeine at higher rates.
This useful video helps to explain the way in which caffeine affects our brains: