Too Much Caffeine Is Still Too Much
Please note though, there is a threshold to coffee’s benefit – even for those it is helpful. A study from Finland found that although the risk for suicide decreased progressively for those consuming up to seven cups of coffee per day (which is already too much for most anxious people), the risk started increasing when consumption went over eight cups a day. Also noteworthy in this study is that decaffeinated coffee, caffeinated tea, and chocolate did not have positive effects.
So, we need to remember that even when used for social anxiety and depression, long-term coffee use will still contribute to “burnout” in people who are already depleted and deficient. Caffeine is a mood-boosting substance, but too much, even for people who can tolerate it, will turn things very bad mood-wise.
There can be other negative health effects: caffeine at long term high doses can encourage mineral loss like magnesium, which is an important co-factor for brain neurotransmitters. Coffee may also contribute to fluctuations in blood sugar, which can raise anxiety levels.
As you probably already know, caffeine-sensitive individuals may experience more insomnia. As we learned earlier, poor sleep will promote both anxiety and depression in predisposed individuals. If a patient is not sleeping, I will recommend they stop coffee until the sleeping issue is solved.
How Much Coffee?
As far as dosing coffee, I find for most people who do well with coffee, two cups a day, sipped slowly works well. More tends to make people who tend to anxiety become anxious and experience heart palpitations.
You feel anxious
Ruminating about an upcoming event or deadline can fuel your desire to grab a comforting mug of java. Yet, the National Institute of Mental Health recommends that people who suffer from anxiety avoid caffeine. Why? Caffeine can actually worsen the effects of anxiety, either by robbing you of proper sleep or triggering your flight or fight response, according to Everyday Health. Instead try some deep breathing exercises or one of these stress-busting meditations.