What Is Caffeine Sensitivity, and Do I Have It?

Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed psychoactive substances in the world. It can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and many other products.

Some people are sensitive to caffeine that causes them to experience unpleasant symptoms when they consume it or even just smell it. These symptoms include headaches, anxiety attacks, irritability, inability to sleep well at night, and more.

Caffeine sensitivity is quite usual and should not be cause for concern. Fortunately, there are several approaches to discover if you have caffeine sensitivity so that you can enjoy coffee and chocolate in moderation without experiencing these symptoms.

This article discusses how a person might know if they have caffeine sensitivity and what steps they should take from there. 

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

Most individuals may safely consume 200 mg to 400 mg of caffeine each day without suffering any adverse effects. A cup of coffee may contain between 95 and 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is close to half the safe daily caffeine limit.

People who are sensitive to caffeine may need to limit their intake. If you're concerned about your caffeine consumption, it might be a good idea to consult with your doctor or dietitian. 

If you find that 200 mg to 400 mg of caffeine is too much for you, try limiting your intake to as little as 50 mg per day.

Symptoms of Caffeine Sensitivity 

Here are some of the most common symptoms of caffeine sensitivity:

  • Headaches/migraines
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating and focusing
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Stomach aches and nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Sweats/Flushed Skin
  • Restlessness/Lack of Focus
  • Anxiety
  • Jitters/Shakes
  • Racing heart/Heart palpitations

If you regularly feel these symptoms after consuming caffeine, you may want to consider cutting back. The amount of caffeine that someone can handle varies, and certain people may not receive any negative effects from drinking it. In contrast, others may be so sensitive that even tiny amounts can cause significant issues.

Your Genetics Matter

There is a specific enzyme called CYP1A2 that breaks down the caffeine in the body.

If you have a quicker-acting variant of this enzyme, you will metabolize caffeine more quickly. This means that if you have two cups of coffee, the effects will come on much stronger and last for a shorter time than someone whose body has a slower version of this enzyme. 

You are more likely to be affected by caffeine if you have an ADORA2A gene. It is also less likely that caffeine will have a relaxing effect on your activity in brain areas, leading to feelings of anxiety.

Unfortunately, not much can be done about how fast your body processes caffeine.

If you think that too much caffeine affects your well-being, consider reducing the amount of coffee and when you drink it.

Final Thoughts

Decaf is ideal for coffee-lovers who are sensitive to caffeine. Because 99% of the caffeine has been removed, you can still enjoy coffee without the complications! 

To see what amount of caffeine is most tolerable for you, test with things like regular, half-caff, and decaf to see how you feel after consumption.

Different techniques may also have collateral effects, so experiment to see what works best for you. Espresso is more concentrated, whereas brewed coffee is more balanced, so one method may influence you differently.

Enjoying a delicious cup of decaf coffee will help you stay healthy and reduce the unpleasant symptoms that caffeine causes.

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