If you struggle with generalized anxiety or panic attacks, you might want to limit your coffee intake to one cup per day.
Although there are numerous studies confirming caffeine’s role in anxiety and panic, it is one factor that is often overlooked.
Consuming more than 400 mg of caffeine at one time can lead to feelings of over stimulation and can cause anxiety or make it worse.
Panic attacks are often triggered by physical sensations such as a rapid heart rate or butterflies in the stomach, which can be caused by consuming moderate to high amounts of caffeine. Some people who are very sensitive may need to avoid caffeine altogether to avoid these triggers.
Most people with anxiety and/or panic should limit the amount of daily caffeine they consume to 0 to 200 milligrams. An average 8 oz cup of home-brewed coffee has about 100 mg, compared with 250 mg in a tall Starbucks coffee. Energy drinks can have as much as 400 mg per serving. Soft drinks can contain a significant amount as well: Mountain Dew has 55 mg while a can of Coca-Cola has 35 mg.
If you are currently drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks, start by cutting back by half of the usual amount. You never want to go cold turkey with caffeine if you have been consuming it daily for a long time. If you drink coffee, you can try half-caff, mixing equal parts of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Over time decrease the amount of caffeinated coffee and increase the amount of decaffeinated coffee. Try cutting caffeine out entirely, following this method, to see if it has a positive effect on your mood. It is one small change you can make to help decrease the anxiety in your life.