Are You Addicted to Caffeine?

Many people just can’t wake up in the morning until they’ve had their morning brew. In fact, caffeine is actually an addictive substance, and is the number 1 mood-altering substance on earth. Are you addicted to caffeine? How would you know? Here are the signs of caffeine addiction, and why it’s just plain so hard to stop consuming caffeine in the first place.

Caffeine, being mood-altering, is a substance that most people actually rely on to function during their day. Even though caffeine can have negative side effects, including jittery nerves, anxiety, and heightened “flight or flight” response hormones, caffeine is addictive in the pleasant mood it gives consumers- that “high” of alertness and happiness that caffeine provides almost instantly. Caffeine in the system can keep the body in a motivated state of activity for up to 4 hours in moderate consumption (200 mg or more).

However, just as with any addiction, over time the body creates a tolerance to caffeine, which keeps the consumer of caffeine from feeling effects of the stimulant without upping the consumption levels. People with a high tolerance to caffeine can consume from 700 mg to 1500 mg or more just to achieve a caffeine level high enough to get that uplifting, mood-altering effect of caffeine. A tolerant individual to caffeine typically consumes caffeine at unhealthy mg amounts, without affecting the individual’s sleeping patterns or daily activities overall.

Where caffeine affects a person who relies on it daily to function is in withdrawal, which typically encompasses a lack of caffeine consumption for 48 hours or more. 50% of individuals who experience just an overnight withdrawal of caffeine report headaches as the main withdrawal symptom, followed by increased agitation and inability to focus on daily tasks.

An addiction to caffeine is clear when an individual simply cannot focus or function on daily tasks without caffeine, becomes increasingly irritated over minimal disturbances, expresses agitation or anxiety over not consuming caffeine, or one who has to consume ample amounts of caffeine in order to achieve the desired mood-altering effects. Nausea and headaches are the most immediate withdrawal symptoms due to lack of caffeine in an individual’s system. An individual who is addicted to caffeine typically cannot go a full day without consuming caffeine to keep their “high”going and will experience headache or agitation when they lack enough caffeine to “keep them going”.

Studies show that only 30 mg of caffeine consumed can have a mood-altering affect on an individual, and a consumption of 100 mg of caffeine per day or more leads to daily dependence of caffeine to function. As a person’s consumption of caffeine increases, as does their addiction to it. Caffeine is the most consumed mind-altering substance on earth, and addiction to caffeine is not difficult to achieve.