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Six signs you're addicted to caffeine that you may not be aware of

Six signs you're addicted to caffeine that you may not be aware of

Maybe it's time to put the coffee cup down

Welcome, dear reader, to another lesson in why everything you love is actually really bad for you.

That is, of course, unless you absolutely love nothing more than a perfectly balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and getting loads of exercise but that doesn't sound like heaps of fun.

Sadly it's all the nice things in life which seem to extract a punishing toll upon us and one of those treats we enjoy plenty is the drug caffeine.

Whether you're quaffing coffee or a can of coke it perks you up during the day and gives you the motivation and energy to tackle a plethora of problems that life can throw your way.

Now here comes the unfun bit, caffeine is addictive and drinking it can cause you all sorts of problems.

There's nothing wrong with enjoying a little bit as part of a balanced diet as long as you keep it in moderation, but not everyone does enjoy it in moderation.

You might not even know you're hooked on the stuff, but there are some key signs for you to look out for.

"How many cups of coffee do you guys get through in a day? Please say something close to 15."
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Morning headaches

Here's a bit of science trivia for you, caffeine is something called a 'vasoconstrictor', which means it makes your blood vessels a bit narrower.

That can actually make it a component for some headache treatments, but don't go chugging mugs of caffeinated beverages in the hopes of making your brain headache proof.

Once your head is hooked on caffeine skipping it for just one day can actually cause you to develop headaches as a withdrawal symptom.

Around half of the caffeine consumers in the world will have some kind of headache if they go without it for just one day, though a lucky few won't actually feel a thing on this front so if you're not feeling a thing the other signs might be more up your street.

"That still only counts as one!"
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Grumpy morning moods

"Don't talk to me before I've had my morning coffee," is a common refrain from the caffeine addicted and there's a reason for that.

It's not just being annoyed at missing out on a bit of the morning routine, caffeine is a stimulant that makes your brain feel good and if your mind has come to depend on it then you'll always wake up on the wrong side of bed until you've had some.

Going without something you've come to rely on puts you in a bad mood and being a regular grump in the morning before you stick the kettle on could be a sign you're addicted and need your fix.

"I can't face the day and the fact the dog s**t in the bed without a cup of coffee first."
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Lack of concentration

This is really the d**k move of caffeine addiction, at first it makes you feel more alert and aware of things so you ought to be able to concentrate better.

However, over time becoming addicted to caffeine swaps out your boost to concentration and just ends up being the think you take to concentrate instead.

If putting the coffee mug down leads to lapses in concentration then you might start to wonder if you're experiencing a withdrawal symptom from caffeine.

If your brain is full of fog before you have some caffeine, that's a bad sign.
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You need MORE

Taking lots of something addictive will lead to you building up a tolerance to it, to the point that you need to increase your dosage to have the same impact.

You go from one cup of coffee during your morning routine to two, and before you know it you're finding more spots during the day to dose yourself with caffeine.

Eventually you could probably down a mug of coffee right before bed and still fall asleep within minutes.

If you've had enough caffeine to build up a tolerance to its effects and feel like you need to have more then there's a good chance you're addicted.

You might be surprised to discover there's quite a variation in the caffeine levels of the different coffee chains which populate the high street.

"Look at that, it's coffee o'clock! Oh dear, I have a problem, don't I?"
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A jittery mess

You can end up feeling very jumpy with loads of caffeine in your system.

If you catch yourself feeling more anxious than usual for long periods of time try cutting caffeine out of your routine and seeing what the impact is once you've got over the withdrawal symptoms.

Give yourself a break from caffeine and try the effects for yourself, you might find you become less anxious and more happy.

"Am I drinking this because I want to, or am I just feeding the beast of my caffeine addiction?"
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You can't do without it

While we've just said you might want to put the coffee cup down for a bit of time another sign that you could be addicted is if that seems like a task on par with trying to give up Sauron's ring of power.

Giving up anything you're addicted to is a tougher task than just deciding to stop and sticking to it.

If you find that you just can't cut out the caffeine then it's a likely sign that you're addicted, and in that case it would be better to cut down first rather than going cold turkey.

If you want to cut down rather than stop then you could attempt to whittle your coffee intake down to two or three cups a day and see how you go from there.

The less caffeine you take on the more your tolerance to it will drop, so caffeine isn't bad as long as you keep it in moderation.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Health, Mental Health, Food And Drink