- The Basics
- The Symptoms
- How to Feel Better and Recover from Jitters
- Preventing the Jitters
- Why Some People Can’t Handle Coffee (Video)
Monday morning always seems to come just a little bit too early, no matter what week you’re facing. So, to shake off the cobwebs and get your body moving, you may have just indulged in a little bit more coffee than was probably wise. Now your leg is jumping, your heart is thumping, and for some reason, your left eyelid is twitching.
There’s a good chance if you enjoy coffee, you’ve ended up with coffee jitters more than once. After all, you don’t want to sit in on a Monday morning company meeting with your left eyelid weirdly twitching at the person next to you! But once you come down with a case of jitters, is it possible to get rid of coffee jitters?
Instead of turning back the clock and not drinking the third or fourth cup of coffee in the morning, there are a few things you can understand and do to get rid of coffee jitters before you accidentally wink at the wrong person!
As you’ve probably already figured out, coffee is a stimulant that causes you to feel jittery when overindulged. The typical threshold for caffeine is 400 milligrams throughout the entire day. A regular cup of coffee has 65-120 milligrams of caffeine contained inside.
Every person processes caffeine differently, and for those who are smaller in stature, their bodies will have a more severe reaction to the stimulant. Your age, weight, and overall tolerance play a role in how well you can handle your coffee and not get the jitters.
While 400 milligrams is a good rule of thumb for how much caffeine you can process during a day and not end up twitching all over the place, each person is unique, and the specific roast and blend of coffee will offer different caffeine levels. The most significant cause of jitters isn’t when your body reaches this threshold, but rather when you take in a larger amount of caffeine than you typically do.
If your standard morning routine includes just one cup of coffee, but this particular morning you’ve downed three or four, you’ll most likely get the jitters rather quickly. Keep a careful eye on what other foods or drinks may contain caffeine and contribute to the severity of your jitters.
Caffeine primarily disrupts your circulatory system and elevates your heart rate and blood pressure. Added sugar and sweeteners can heighten the effects, so you’ll want to carefully monitor what you put into your coffee as well as how much you consume during your jittery period.
As you’re using lots of energy, your body creates a hormone called adenosine, leaving you feeling tired or sleepy. The caffeine in your morning cup of Joe attaches itself to this hormone receptor and keeps you from feeling tired. This caffeine reaches its maximum effect about 30-60 minutes after you’ve finished your coffee, but can continue going for up to 6 hours.
Because you don’t feel the effects of the coffee for up to 30 minutes after consumption, you may end up drinking even more coffee in the meantime. Since caffeine doesn’t give you energy, it just masks your fatigue, the jitters, and eventually, the exhaustion you feel is magnified.
Eye twitching and jumpy legs are very outward signs that you’ve got caffeine jitters, but everyone experiences them differently, so it’s a good idea to know what the different symptoms are so you can keep an eye out for them. When you know your symptoms well, you can treat the coffee jitters for a well-rounded and more normal day.
Mild symptoms caused by coffee or caffeine jitters are sweating and restlessness and can end up causing more severe symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and anxiety. While your heart probably won’t explode from having just a few too many cups of coffee in the morning, you’ll want to keep a careful eye on the amount of caffeine you consume if you have an underlying heart condition.
Caffeine regularly stimulates your heart rate and will boost your blood pressure, although this is a temporary symptom. If you have a heart condition, too much caffeine or a lot that isn’t normal can make your heart beat quickly and irregularly, which could cause you to have a heart attack.
With too much caffeine in your system, your heart may skip a beat or two without an underlying heart condition. This can be a sign of something much more serious happening. Seek medical attention if your heart is beating irregularly or just at a super high rate for a long time.
Excess caffeine can also worsen more intangible symptoms. The extra amount of caffeine in your system can make your anxiety worse or cause you to feel anxious about otherwise ordinary activities. Getting rid of these jitters can help you feel better both mentally and physically.
Your heart beating faster can make your anxiety worse, in addition to the jitters. This added strain on your heart can make things worse when you’re trying to determine if you’re having a heart attack or just some serious anxiety.
How to Feel Better and Recover from Jitters
So you’ve got all the symptoms, but how can you feel better? There are a few things you can do to help your body come down from its coffee jitters in a hurry! After all, you’ve got a meeting in an hour, and you’d hate to let your legs jump up and down the whole time.
The best remedy for coffee jitters is simply time. For most people, you’ll come down from the jitters in 4-6 hours. If you’re caffeine-sensitive, you might have to wait much longer!
There are some things you can do right now to help get things moving along and keep your mind and body occupied while you’re waiting for the caffeine to pass. There’s nothing worse than having the jitters and then having nothing to do!
A pound of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Don’t take in any more caffeine for the day when you’re experiencing jitters, as it can exacerbate the situation even more. While it’s not an immediate solution to your current jitters, one of the best things you can do is skip that extra cup of coffee for the day. This can be more complicated than you’re thinking! It doesn’t just mean skipping a soda or another coffee, but also leaving out any chocolate or other food that includes caffeine and sugar.
Caffeine is a diuretic, so you’ll need to drink extra water to make up for what you’re losing each time you use the bathroom. Your coffee jitters would only be icing on the cake if you were dehydrated! Keeping water running through your system will keep you hydrated and help your body process and expel the caffeine you’ve taken in so far during the day.
Caffeine and coffee send you to the bathroom more than any of us would like to admit, and when you’re dealing with jitters on top of it all, your body will end up losing more electrolytes than you’d think. Pick up a sports drink with electrolytes included, or go with a replacement like Pedialyte, which will fill your body up with suitable electrolytes and keep your body well-hydrated.
Choose a low-key activity that will allow you to carefully monitor your heart rate and pressure. You’re already jumping and jittering all over the place, so take a walk! Get moving and let your body expend the energy that’s keeping your legs and eyelids twitching. Keep a close eye on your heart rate because it can quickly rise and put your body at risk.
Take a deep breath
Adding anxiety and caffeine together can end up in severe jitters that leave you feeling debilitated. Take a moment to breathe slowly and deeply. This may take some serious concentration as the caffeine and coffee will have your breath coming quickly and shallowly. Focus on your breathing and push your breathing back to an average level.
Your body will process the caffeine more acutely when you don’t have anything in your tummy. Take a few bites of something to help your body process the caffeine, and you’ll find your jitters dissipating over time. Choose something with a few carbs, which will help absorb the caffeine more quickly.
Tea and coffee often go hand in hand, but herbal tea neutralizes some of the effects of a caffeine overdose! There are tons of great health benefits to herbal coffee, and when you introduce them into your system, you’ll help flush out the caffeine more quickly.
Get some vitamin C.
Caffeine and vitamin C go hand in hand, and when you’ve got too much caffeine in your body, your body will start to think you’re vitamin C deficient. While you’re fixing yourself a simple meal, introduce some oranges or grapefruit into the mix, and you’ll get your levels balanced again.
Preventing the Jitters
While dealing with the after-effects of the coffee jitters is one thing, you should always learn from your mistakes and take steps to minimize the effects the next time you consume your favorite energy drink, soda, or coffee.
Reduce Your Consumption
The first thing you’ll need to do is cut back on the amount of caffeine you consume each day. While it may be tempting to indulge in a couple of cups of coffee with your friends or colleagues, try to keep it to your known threshold for each day.
Switch to Decaf
Since caffeine masks your tiredness rather than cures it, you can get the same effect and taste from your coffee when you switch to decaf. It can feel like giving in, but switching to decaf will decrease your chances of getting the jitters and still give you the ability to enjoy your favorite beverages each day.
Wake up your system another way.
There are tons of natural stimulants in the world that won’t give you the same jitters as coffee or other types of caffeine. Wake your body up with a glass of water or an apple rather than three or four cups of the darkest, most highly caffeinated coffee. You can also perk your body up by getting some exercise in the morning or jumping in a cold shower.
When combined with decaf coffee, a simple, natural stimulant like this can give you plenty of energy without the jitters or crash involved later. Steer clear of lots of sugar or other types of sugar rush additives.
Get plenty of sleep.
Caffeine masks your fatigue, so to keep your body functioning as it should, you need to let yourself get an adequate amount of sleep. Set aside 8 hours of sleep and stick to a routine when getting ready for bed. This sleep will rejuvenate and refresh your body, so you won’t need to rely on outside stimulants like coffee or soda to wake yourself up.
This added sleep will also help your body process the jitters as you calm down. While it may be hard to fall asleep with your legs twitching, a quick nap can put you back on solid ground when it comes to refreshing your body for the week ahead.
Why Some People Can’t Handle Coffee (Video)
Coffee jitters are no fun for anyone. They can lead to simple symptoms like a jumpy leg and twitching eyelids or even more severe symptoms like a racing heart and heightened blood pressure. In addition to these physical symptoms, they can also create a sense of anxiety that can be hard to shake.
Luckily, you can do lots of simple things to get your body functioning like usual again! Start by drinking plenty of water, getting a little exercise, and refraining from having another cup of coffee to get your body to process the caffeine. To prevent it from happening again, know your caffeine limit and stick to it, wake up with other stimulants that are more natural, and be sure to get plenty of sleep!