caffeine-sensitivityAs I type this, I am sitting in a cafe, sipping a decaf mocha, as the hipster baristas roll their eyes at my lameness.

I am ridiculously sensitive to caffeine. Having one cup of coffee can make me feel terrible for hours and hours.

But, like sunburns, I seem to forget this, repeatedly. And I keep doing it over and over.

The other day, I went to a cafe and ordered an iced latte. NOT decaf. I still felt the effects quickly, and regretted it.

I hate how it feels. I can’t really explain it. The caffeine effects that I experience include a nervous, anxious, awful feeling right in my chest. My hands might feel shaky. I feel like I can’t breathe as deep. I DO feel more focused, though, and I’m able to work harder and faster for a little while…

So why are there these caffeine side effects?


Caffeine causes an increase in our breathing and heart rate. This is the same type of response that happens when we sense danger and our “fight or flight” response kicks in. This is why anxiety and caffeine are linked.

Also, caffeine stimulates our central nervous system, so your hands may shake in “drug-induced” tremors. It happens to me!


Do you have mitral valve prolapse? There might be a connection for highly sensitive people! 

Why do sensitive people tend to have caffeine sensitivity?


Here’s a fantastic explanation: “As highly sensitive people are continuously in fight or flight mode, we have no need for stimulants most of the time–in fact stimulants do more harm than good. We are already aroused enough as it is without the kick up the backside that coffee gives!” (source)

That makes sense!

My alternative: Tea!


I’m an avid tea drinker, but I stick to caffeine-free teas, or low caffeine tea…however, I’m not a big fan of fruity tea. I’d love to share my favorite tea of all time with you: Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon (decaf, of course). It’s SO GOOD! I also loooove mint tea…you can never go wrong with mint. Rooibos is another of my favorite non-caffeine teas.


Are you sensitive to caffeine? What caffeine effects do you experience?