As you learn more about anxiety and depression, you may wonder how you are affected by the drinks you consume: “Does drinking coffee or tea negatively affect my mood disorder?”
A commonly said phrase states that “you are what you eat.” Perhaps, the same goes for what we drink. The beverages you consume can impact your mental, emotional, and physical health, contribute to how much energy you have and even affect your sleep quality.
If you are big on hot beverages like coffee, tea and cocoa—drinks that contain some caffeine—you should consider what impact this central nervous system stimulant and other ingredients in these liquid refreshments can have on your mood and health.
Coffee, Tea and Cocoa: What’s in Your Cup?
Coffee, tea and cocoa all contain caffeine, a naturally occurring, bitter substance included in plants such as coffee beans, cacao pods used in chocolate products, tea leaves and kola nuts used to add flavor to soft drinks. Caffeine can also exist in a synthetic form, added to foods, energy drinks, pain relievers and cold medicines. All caffeinated beverages are not created equal—coffee typically contains more caffeine than cocoa or tea. The caffeine counts in coffee, tea and cocoa can vary depending on their strength and preparation method.
How Does Caffeine Affect Your Body?
Caffeine can impact your body’s metabolism in several ways, including:
- Stimulating the central nervous system giving you the jolt that makes you feel awake and energized
- Acting as a diuretic that helps your body eliminate extra water and salt
- Increasing the release of acid in the stomach, potentially causing heartburn or an upset stomach
- Increasing your blood pressure
- Interfering with calcium absorption
Caffeine and Mood
Researchers have been investigating coffee, tea and cocoa because these caffeinated beverages contain polyphenolic compounds that could be beneficial to mood, cognition and behavior. Study results suggest that older adults may be more sensitive to caffeine’s mood-enhancing effects than younger people. Additionally, the time a person consumes caffeine may influence its mood effects, with the most noticeable results seeming to show late in the morning.
Some studies suggest that consuming coffee, tea and cocoa could have protective effects against depression. Others indicate that caffeine can contribute to a pattern of sustained mood improvement over a day, increased vigor and alertness and decreased fatigue and lethargy. High intakes of caffeine, however, can cause increases in anxiety, jitteriness and nervousness.
Protecting Your Mood and Mental Health
Some studies indicate that high doses of caffeine may be responsible for inducing anxiety, manic symptoms and psychotic symptoms. Individuals who have performance social anxiety disorder and panic disorder demonstrate sensitivity to caffeine’s anxiogenic effects. If you live with either of these disorders, related conditions or find that caffeine intake does not improve your mood, consider cutting back on how much coffee, tea or coffee you drink or avoid consuming caffeine altogether.
Removing caffeine from your life may be easier said than done. It’s essential to be aware of caffeine withdrawal symptoms you may have, especially if you habitually consume caffeinated drinks or are dependent on caffeine. You may experience headaches, nausea, tension, tiredness, irritability and difficulty concentrating.
Many individuals in the recovery process turn to caffeine to provide the energy they once received from their stimulant substance of choice. Or they have grasped tighter to their routine from active addiction that helped them balance the depressive substances. Regardless of how they have come to rely on caffeine, it can easily become one more psychoactive substance. This can mess with their internal chemistry during the recovery process.
Consider relying on a mental health professional or clinician for guidance in safely reducing or removing caffeine in a way that will suit your mental health and improve any mood disorder you may have. Compassionate experts at a treatment center like The Ranch can provide support and information that will empower you to give up beverages that may be harmful. The Ranch offers effective medical treatment, holistic therapy options and evidence-based treatment programs, including:
- Mood disorder treatment
- Anxiety treatment
- Bipolar disorder treatment
- Nutrition therapy program
- Drug addiction treatment
Discussing healthy eating and drinking habits with mental health professionals and medical team members at a treatment and counseling center like The Ranch Tennessee can empower people to know more about how their minds and bodies respond to what they consume. Ultimately, the things you eat and drink can make a difference in your life quality. Whether or not you have a mood disorder or are in treatment and recovery for substance use.
Call The Ranch Tennessee at 888-503-1801 to learn more about our treatment programs.