How Long Do Caffeine Jitters Last?
If you are somebody who drinks a lot of coffee, energy drinks, or soda, you might just be addicted to that feeling of energy and alertness. After all, all of that caffeine can really put some bounce in our step, at least to a certain point. Sure, these caffeinated drinks may taste good and feel good when taken in moderation, but there is such a thing as too much of anything.
It is believed that around 400 milligrams of caffeine are safe for a healthy adult to consume on a daily basis, but just because it is technically safe doesn't mean that you won't suffer any adverse reactions.
If you find yourself shaking uncontrollably, you are sweaty, dizzy, nauseous, and feel really anxious, you might just have the jitters. By the end of this article, you should know everything there is to know about caffeine jitters, including what they are, what causes them, how long they last, and how to get rid of them.
- Caffeine is a relatively powerful stimulant, and drinking too much of it can cause what are known as caffeine jitters.
- Caffeine jitters are characterized by various common symptoms, including, but not limited to, shaking or jittering, nausea, sweating, anxiety, paranoia, and more.
- There are various ways to eliminate the caffeine jitters, with stopping your caffeine intake immediately being one of the best options.
What are Caffeine Jitters?
Caffeine jitters are a common side effect of drinking too much caffeine. This could be coffee, energy drinks, tea, soda, or anything. As mentioned above, healthy adults should be able to drink around 400 milligrams of caffeine per day safely, although some people report getting caffeine jitters from far less caffeine.
Individual human physiology and biology play a role in how much caffeine it takes for somebody to start suffering from these jitters. Technically speaking, coffee jitters are defined as the physical sensation that you feel after drinking too much caffeine.
Although the caffeine jitters are not considered overly dangerous, they can be extremely uncomfortable, mainly because they can last for a while.
If you feel yourself trembling or shaking, you feel anxious and uneasy, your heart is racing or palpitating, you feel hot and sweaty, dizzy and nauseous, and just generally uncomfortable, you are likely experiencing the caffeine jitters. Some people may also feel a general shortness of breath.
For more information on how caffeine affects your body, check out this article on how long it takes to get over caffeine withdrawal.
What Causes Caffeine Jitters?
Caffeine can cause this phenomenon to occur because it is a natural stimulant for the body, particularly for the nervous system.
Caffeine and Adenosine
First, it is believed to block the effects of adenosine, which is a naturally produced neuromodulator that is linked to tiredness and drowsiness. Coffee or caffeine influences a chemical called phosphodiesterase. This is a substance that prevents adenosine from sending its signals across your body, therefore preventing you from feeling tired.
Caffeine and Your Fight or Flight Instincts
Next, caffeine stimulates your fight or flight mode by boosting alertness through your central nervous system.
It is also thought that by stimulating the human body's fight or flight mode and providing the body with such a high level of stimulant, caffeine may also trigger stress, anxiety, and general overstimulation.
Your brain and body are waiting for something to happen, something that will cause you to either fight or run in fear, which in simplest terms, means that you are likely experiencing a heightened state of stress and anxiety.
Caffeine and its Effect on Blood Flow and Blood Pressure
Caffeine can also increase the amount of blood flowing through your body, which in turn leads to higher blood pressure, and ultimately may, in some cases, lead to a racing heartbeat or heart palpitations, which are one of the symptoms of the jitters.
Caffeine and Adrenaline
Caffeine may also boost various hormones in the human body, with adrenaline being one of them. Adrenaline provides your body with more energy, making your heart beat faster, and your lungs breathe more efficiently, making your brain more alert, increasing your blood pressure, and sending more blood to your muscles and brain.
It really comes down to the fact that caffeine in high doses can overstimulate your body and brain. It leads to increased heart rate and blood pressure, higher energy levels and alertness, a constant state of fight or flight, and increased adrenaline levels. In combination, these factors can lead to all of the symptoms of caffeine jitters.
How Long Do Caffeine Jitters Last?
How long the caffeine jitters last for somewhat depends on your metabolism and how fast your body can expel that caffeine. Furthermore, it also depends on how much you consumed in the first place.
However, the half-life of caffeine is roughly six hours, meaning it will take about six hours for half of the caffeine you ingest to metabolize and be expelled from your body.
It is safe to assume that if you consume a moderate to high amount of caffeine, the jitters should last roughly six hours. If you consume much more than an average amount, even if half of the caffeine is expelled from your body within six hours, there might still be a good deal left over after that, in which case the symptoms may last for even longer.
For most people, the caffeine jitters can last between six and twelve hours, especially if large quantities are consumed.
If you only have a slight case of caffeine jitters, you can expect these to last for three to six hours. Luckily, as we'll talk about further below, there are some pretty ingenious methods at your disposal to help get rid of the caffeine jitters much faster than simply waiting.
Does All Caffeine Produce Jitters?
Technically speaking, if you consume enough caffeine, then yes, all caffeine can produce the jitters. However, there are slightly different types of caffeine in terms of chemical composition.
For instance, tea leaves contain a lot more caffeine than coffee by dry weight concentration, but the caffeine produced by tea is slightly different than that in coffee.
The result is that the caffeine in tea takes longer to metabolize and be absorbed by the body. You might think that this would make the caffeine jitters last longer. Still, it's also less likely to cause them in the first place because that caffeine gets released more gradually into your body, as opposed to the caffeine from coffee, which generally all hits you right at once.
However, at a certain point, if you drink too much tea, especially more than is considered safe for healthy human adults, 400 milligrams may still cause the caffeine jitters either way.
You also need to consider that it takes a lot less leaves to brew a cup of tea than it takes coffee grounds to make coffee, which may also result in a decreased likelihood for tea to cause caffeine jitters.
There is then also the fact that there are special types of coffee made with natural fermentation processes, which are thought to cause the caffeine in coffee to become more similar to the caffeine in tea, reducing the chances of suffering from these caffeine jitters.
How to Get Rid of the Jitters
Some great methods are at your disposal to help you get rid of the caffeine jitters, or at least to forget about some of that anxiety you are experiencing until that caffeine boost passes. Let's take a quick look.
Stop Where You Are
Seeing as caffeine is the problem, the obvious solution here is to immediately stop consuming more of it. Don't drink more coffee, energy drinks, green tea, black tea, soda, or even chocolate. If you're already experiencing caffeine jitters, consuming more of it won't do you any favors at all.
No Alcohol or Tobacco
Although alcohol is generally seen as a depressant, whereas caffeine is a stimulant, they don't cancel each other out, as some people might think. If you already have the caffeine jitters and you start drinking alcohol, you're much more likely to make yourself feel even worse rather than better.
On that note, nicotine is also a stimulant and may make things even worse. If you happen to be somebody who likes to drink coffee and smoke cigarettes simultaneously, this is much more likely to cause jitters than if you ingest caffeine or nicotine separately.
Both of these substances are stimulants, so taking them together will likely just worsen the situation.
Water is Key
Another great thing you could do if you are suffering from caffeine jitters is to drink a lot of water. For one, drinking water will give you something to focus on to distract yourself from those caffeine jitters.
Furthermore, it is thought that being dehydrated can exacerbate the symptoms caused by caffeine jitters. To alleviate some of these symptoms, drinking some water may help. At the very least, you might thin out some of the caffeine and expel it from your system much faster.
Eat a Meal
One of the biggest issues with caffeine, especially when you consume large quantities, is that it metabolizes slowly. Therefore, eating a very hearty and healthy, fairly heavy meal should help your body metabolize and absorb it faster.
It is believed that eating foods that are high in fiber that aid in digestion will help your body absorb and metabolize the caffeine. Therefore, if you drank too many cups of coffee before work, having a big snack or breakfast might be a good idea before sitting at your desk.
Get Some Exercise
As you can tell, a lot of getting rid of the caffeine jitters has to do with how your body metabolizes it. One of the best ways to increase your metabolic rate, even in the moment, is exercising.
Exercising, even just going for a quick walk, can help boost your metabolism to the point where it may cause the caffeine to work through your system much faster.
At the very least, exercising also produces various hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, that can make you feel better by improving your overall mental state. At the very least, exercise serves as a great distraction from that unpleasant feeling.
Take Deep Breaths
Although this might not work for everybody, deep and concentrated breathing might be enough to get rid of the caffeine jitters, or at least to get rid of the anxiety that they are causing.
Deep breathing techniques such as those used in yoga are often considered highly beneficial for stress and anxiety because they allow you to focus on breathing instead of your other feelings.
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This product is made out of a comprehensive blend of vitamins, functional mushrooms, adaptogens, and nootropics, which all work together to help increase your energy, focus, memory recall, and more.
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Speaking of adaptogens and functional mushrooms, take a look at this article to find out if it is safe to take lion’s mane mushrooms together with caffeine.
If you want a hot cup of delicious brew in the morning, it's best to stay away from excess caffeine. There are far better options out there to get caffeine into your system without overdoing it besides drinking an extremely strong coffee or energy drink.
Although the caffeine jitters should not be life-threatening, they can be extremely uncomfortable, so it's best to avoid them in the first place. Remember that other stimulants out there can give you energy without causing the jitters, with TeaCrine being one of the best!
Caffeine Jitters: FAQs
How Long Does it Take for Caffeine Shakes to Wear Off?
A mild case of caffeine shakes may wear off in as little as two to three hours, whereas severe cases may last for anywhere between six and twelve hours.
Can Coffee Jitters Last All Day?
If you consume far too much caffeine, then yes, coffee jitters can last all day.
What Do Caffeine Jitters Feel Like?
Some of the most common symptoms associated with caffeine jitters include nausea, shakiness, trembling, feeling extremely alert, anxiety, paranoia, increased stress levels, headache, fatigue, and inability to sleep.
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