Stress Plus Caffeine: Not a fit match


By Ladiangti Rani | SHILLONG:

Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the methylxanthine class. It is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug.

Unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world. There are several known mechanisms of action to explain the effects of caffeine.

The most prominent is that it reversibly blocks the action of adenosine on its receptors and consequently prevents the onset of drowsiness induced by adenosine.

Caffeine also stimulates certain portions of the autonomic nervous system.

However, caffeine can push blood pressure to unhealthy levels when taken in stressful situations. Those at high risk of hypertension need to limit their routine intake of caffeinated beverages, especially when their work demands are high.

Caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response, and this can trigger an anxiety attack, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.


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According to Harvard Medical School, caffeine-induced symptoms that can mirror anxiety include nervousness, restlessness, insomnia, heartburn and gastrointestinal problems.

High levels of caffeine can not only increase anxiety and nervousness but also decrease the production of serotonin in the body, causing a depressed mood.

One can instead try:

- Matcha tea, which is an excellent alternative to coffee. Matcha is a type of green tea that has L-theanine, which is known for its relaxing effects, without drowsiness.

- Golden milk or turmeric milk, which is a substitute for coffee. This milk has tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid known to increase serotonin levels in the brain and therefore associated with relaxation, calmness and sleepiness.

(Edited by Andre Kongri)