For many, the morning does not start without a cup of hot, frothy coffee. And what’s not to like about the world’s most consumed beverage? The rich aroma of a well-brewed cup of coffee activates the senses in a way nothing else can and the bitter-sweet taste is always something to savor. But for every cup you down, you’re taking not to small amounts of caffeine, a potentially addictive drug. Although the socially acceptable nature of coffee and caffeine makes it easy to live in denial, it’s possible to be addicted to coffee. Here are five signs that you may be a coffee addict.
- You’re grumpy before your morning fix
If coffee is the only thing that can set your morning straight, you might just be a coffee addict. Caffeine is known to stimulate dopamine receptors in the brain, giving you that ‘feel good’ factor you constantly crave. If your brain is already used to the early morning stimulation, you might struggle to ‘feel good’ without it.
- You get a headache when you miss a cup
Feeling grumpy is one thing, having a pounding in the head is another thing entirely. A lot of people experience ‘coffee headaches’ if they fail to take coffee at their regular time. Caffeine constricts the blood vessels in the brain, leading to a reduction in cerebral blood flow. If you don’t take your regular cup of coffee, the blood vessels open up and more blood flows into the brain. Your brain would need time to adjust to the sudden change, hence the headache.
- You find yourself taking more coffee to achieve the same effect
When you just got initiated into the coffee cult, a cup a day was probably all you needed. Soon, you graduated to two cups a day but that only sustained you for a while. Now, you’re on a five cup a day routine and it seems like you’re gunning for the coffee drinking hall of fame. If this describes you in any way, you should know your body might be building a tolerance to coffee. And this put you at crossroads. Do you keep drinking more to achieve the same effect? Or do you cut back and struggle with the withdrawal symptoms?
- You can’t concentrate without caffeine
Foggy brain is a symptom that’s commonly experienced by many caffeine addicts. Caffeine boosts the production of adrenaline- the hormone responsible for maintaining focus and alertness. If your body is already used to that boost, you may experience difficulty concentrating when you go without coffee.
- Giving up coffee doesn’t even sound like an option
It’s hard for anyone to imagine a world without coffee. But if the thought of giving up coffee sends chills down your spine, you may just be addicted to coffee.
While there is little doubt about the addictive nature of caffeine, it is important to note that it is not in the ilk of other notorious drugs. Caffeine addiction does not have the same effect on your family, work, finances, relationships, and mental health as other addictive drugs. Furthermore, the withdrawal symptoms are not as severe.
All in all, taking coffee regularly isn’t exactly bad. Some studies even suggest that it may be beneficial to your health. But like any other thing, too much of coffee could be detrimental to your health. But too much in this context is relative. If you think you may be addicted to coffee, you should try cutting down on the frequency of consumption as well as quantity. A gradual reduction has been shown to be more beneficial than going cold turkey.