For many people, coffee is a necessary part of life. It’s the symbolic slate-wiper for a new day. The little cup of magic that kickstarts your brain and body towards each day’s finish line.
But what about those days when you overdo it? You know, the ones where you had to work a few extra hours or really needed to reach that deadline, so you may have poured yourself a cup too many, and now you’ve got the caffeine jitters.
No worries! Here’s how to stop jitters from coffee quickly (and some alternatives that can help you avoid them in the future):
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Overconsumption of caffeine can cause jitteriness due to poor blood flow.
Some supplements, like L-theanine, or lifestyle factors, like exercise, can help to decrease these effects.
Reducing caffeine intake is the best way to avoid caffeine jitters in the future, but other caffeine products may have supplements built in to help avoid this effect.
What Causes Coffee Jitters?
Coffee works to help us feel awake and alert. It does so by interacting with the nervous system and circulatory system. On one hand, it blocks the production of adenosine, the neurochemical that makes us feel sleepy. It helps to produce adrenaline, a neurochemical associated with energy and action.
On the other hand, it’s a vasoconstrictor, meaning it constricts the blood vessels and makes the heart work harder to pump blood throughout our bodies. Blood flow affects how well neurochemicals move throughout the nervous system so they can be put to use by the body.
When caffeine is used in excess, we end up with a build-up of adrenaline that can’t move very freely through our bodies. This can make us feel anxious and jittery, and the possible heart palpitations can only worsen the situation.
Other symptoms of caffeine overconsumption may include:
- Increased heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
So, what do you do about coffee jitters? Here’s the fix:
Ways to Stop Coffee Jitters
To lessen the effects of coffee, you need to speed up the process of metabolizing coffee. How do you get coffee out of your system? Here are some things to try:
Drink plenty of water
Drinking water aids digestion and boosts your metabolism. Flushing your system with water is a good way to help caffeine run its course more quickly. It’s a pretty good idea to drink plenty of water with your coffee anyways, especially since it’s a diuretic, meaning it will make you urinate more frequently, which can leave you dehydrated.
If you’re already dehydrated, you’re more prone to the side effects of caffeine. So, drink, drink, drink. Aim for 8-12 ounces of water for every cup of coffee.
There are several types of non-caffeinated herbal teas that are known to help calm you down. Chamomile, for instance, may help with anxiety and improve digestion, which can help you work through the coffee jitters more quickly. Plus, just the warmth of the tea may be soothing and help to speed your metabolism a bit to help you feel better.
L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, is known to reduce the side effects of caffeine, including increased blood pressure and anxiety. One study found that L-theanine may help to prevent the dilation of blood vessels after consuming caffeine, effectively reducing its impact on blood pressure and anxiety levels
In fact, it pairs well with caffeine in all aspects and maybe a powerful nootropic to add to your daily caffeine dose in general. Research shows that the combination of L-theanine and caffeine may result in improved reaction times, improved word recognition, improved attention, and improved ability to switch between tasks, with greater accuracy upon completion.
If you need a quick dose to help stop the caffeine jitters, look for a powdered form of L-theanine that you can take as a beverage.
If you want to take full advantage of this functional blend of l-theanine and caffeine, consider a super-blend like our Lucid Coffee, Chai, or Matcha powders.
Our nootropic blend pairs Cordyceps, Maitake, Tremella, and Lion's Mane, plus powerful nootropics, like BCAA's, L-Theanine, Alpha-GPC, and more with moderate doses of caffeine to help prime your brain and body and supply you with the energy and focus you need to breeze through your day (with none of the jitters).
To learn more about L-theanine and its many benefits (including how it pairs up with coffee), you may want to read:
Exercising is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism and get coffee out of your system more quickly. The good news is–you probably have the energy to bust out a good workout.
Afterward, your blood will be flowing better and you’ll feel much more at ease. If you’re feeling very anxious, feel free to take it slow to start–a brisk walk in the fresh air may be a good idea.
Take some Vitamin C
It’s a little-known fact about caffeine consumption, but high caffeine levels in your blood can make your body think that you have a vitamin C deficiency, which can cause some of the jitters and anxiousness. Eating fruit like oranges and strawberries is a good way to get a bit of calming Vitamin C back into your body quickly.
Breathe it out
Practicing breathing techniques, like the 4-4-4 technique or other breathing techniques used in meditation. Controlling your breathing and breathing deep into your diaphragm can help to instantly calm anxiety and get you back on the path to calmness.
Eat a healthy meal
If you roll with the “but first, coffee!” sentiment every day, you probably have coffee before breakfast. However, taking your coffee on an empty stomach can lead to several effects that increase your sensitivity to coffee and the jittery side effects. For instance, drinking coffee on an empty stomach can lead to a blood sugar spike, making you feel shaky and irritable.
Plus, coffee is acidic, so without any food there to buffer its effects, it may increase your stomach acid. This can lead to reflux and heartburn, both of which can intensify the irritating side effects of overconsumption.
Try having a healthy meal with your coffee, even if it's a small one. A few eggs, nut butter on toast, or a breakfast muffin are all smart ideas.
How to Avoid Coffee Jitters
Once you quell your coffee jitters, you’ll want to move to the next most important question–how do you avoid coffee jitters in the future. The obvious answer is to not consume too much caffeine, but how much is too much? And moreover, what do you do if you need an extra boost to get through your day? Here are some tips:
How Much Caffiene is Too Much?
The general recommendation is to consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is about four regular cups of coffee. Of course, the average coffee show beverage can contain 150-200 milligrams, accounting for nearly half of that daily threshold. Plus, people who are dehydrated or who are overly sensitive to caffeine may have a much lower threshold and may feel side effects when consuming smaller doses.
Most people can safely consume 1-2 cups of coffee without side effects, while others may still feel fine after 400 milligrams of caffeine. You shouldn’t go over that, as regular consumption of more than 400 milligrams of caffeine is associated with more severe health risks.
Coffee Alternatives That Won’t Cause Jitteriness
If you find yourself in an afternoon slump but too sensitive to caffeine to pile on another cup, you may want to start looking for coffee alternatives. Some coffee alternatives are designed to be caffeine free but may offer other energy and concentration-supporting features, while some simply have a lower caffeine content.
Nootropic supplements are a great place to start. Caffeine is, after all, a nootropic, or a substance that supports brain function. Some nootropics may synergize with caffeine to help boost its effects. Others can replace the need for caffeine by giving their own cognitive and energy boost.
Our Lucid instant beverages are a great example of this. This pre-made, full-coverage nootropic stack contains a moderate dose of caffeine, plus:
Our diverse nootropic formula is designed to give you all of the energy and focus support you need to breeze through your day without the jitters or caffeine crash. Want to learn more? Read “Why We Chose Our Ingredients? What’s in a Lucid Stack?” Or, check out one of our three flavor varieties: