Coffee addiction, causes, symptoms, consequences and how to avoid them

What is coffee addiction? Coffee addiction is understood as a habit of consuming coffee (and other drinks with caffeine), which cannot be dispensed with, or is in a certain sense very difficult to achieve for reasons of physiological, psychological and/or physical dependence.

There is no doubt that there are many myths that have always surrounded the consumption of coffee, a drink in fact widely consumed in almost all the world, and yet it brings a wide variety of benefits.

Provided, of course, that the coffee is consumed in moderation and without excess. In this sense, for example, it can be useful to know how many cups of coffee you can drink a day, so that drinking two cups a day is not harmful, but rather provides health benefits.

Among the best known and named myths, we find that supposedly it is a truly toxic drink, fattening, damaging various organs or causing halitosis.

But if there’s one myth that’s quite widespread and that many people believe is actually real, it’s that coffee is addictive (or, more specifically, that caffeine is addictive).

Coffee and caffeine: do they cause addiction?

This is undoubtedly one of the most widespread beliefs. But, really, what’s the truth in it? The reality is that caffeine is a mild stimulant, which when consumed in moderation does not cause addiction. In fact, it is very rare for a compulsion to arise when using it.

However, we should not confuse addiction with dependence, a common disorder that can in fact cause many habits and foods in particular. That is, it is not true to talk about coffee addiction, but we are actually dealing with a dependency on coffee (more specifically, caffeine).

Although there have been cases of people who have become dependent on coffee by drinking only 100 milligrams of caffeine per day, the truth is that most studies agree that it is advisable not to exceed 200 milligrams of caffeine per day. In other words, in order not to become dependent on coffee, the key is the amount of caffeine we drink per day.

The key is in the daily dose we take of caffeine

The most suitable thing, to avoid not only that a certain dependency to coffee can arise, but also to reduce its not so desired effects, the most suitable thing is not to consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day.

And how much are these milligrams? Basically, it would be the equivalent of 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day.

Above this amount, as many specialists warn, one would be talking about “abuse”. Moreover, when you exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, it is very common to create two types of caffeine dependency: physical dependency and psychological dependency.

This translates into something very simple: the dependent person needs an increasing intake of coffee in order to stay active, and thus achieve the desired effect that gives this particular drink.

And, as a result of this excessive consumption, we move on to the consequences of coffee addiction or dependency, since by drinking more caffeine than recommended, not so desirable effects such as nervousness, anxiety, excitement, headache and stomach ache, and arrhythmias may arise.

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What are the symptoms of coffee addiction?

When coffee addiction occurs, it is common for a series of typical symptoms to emerge, usually associated with withdrawal, such as

  1. Headache.
  2. Fatigue.
  3. irritability and moodiness
  4. anxiety
  5. depression
  6. difficulty working and concentrating
  7. impaired cognitive performance and alertness

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, especially when you don’t drink coffee, it is quite likely that you are dependent on this drink. Therefore, it is advisable to abandon coffee little by little. Only in this way will we avoid the appearance of the associated symptoms, such as irritability or headaches.

How to avoid coffee addiction?

A simple solution is to never exceed the recommended amount of caffeine per day. That is, never exceed 3 cups of coffee per day.

Another option is to gradually reduce the amount of coffee we drink per day. For example, try to drink less coffee every day. And gradually replace it with other drinks.

Suitable drinks that can be useful when finding other beneficial liquids to help replace coffee are infusions or teas. It is true that tea contains theine and also some caffeine, but its content in both nutrients is not at all comparable to the amounts provided by a small cup of coffee.

And, in addition, they are two drinks that provide a greater number of benefits and properties for the health, since in addition they help to purify our organism and to eliminate the different toxins that we do not need.

Whether you have been drinking coffee for years, are just starting to drink it or are considering doing so, don’t forget that there are many people who are very sensitive to the effects caused by caffeine. Furthermore, if we want to avoid its possible dependence, it is best not to drink it.

This article is published for information purposes only. It cannot and should not substitute for consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.