Positive effects of caffeine on depression
Positive effects of caffeine on depression and can caffeinated gum play a role in this?
It regularly happens that people leek like they’re having "dip" or "not feeling too well". Often the term depression comes into play straight away. However, depression goes much further than a (relatively) short period of gloom and negativity.
The symptoms of depression differ for each person, but what applies to everyone is that depression often has a major influence on functioning in daily life and that it lasts for a longer period of time. Often, people suffer from depression, lack energy and concentration, have much more difficulty functioning, and are increasingly reluctant to go to work. There is a tendency to not take good care of the household and yourself. This often results in less exercise, less healthy food, and less personal care. Contact with friends and acquaintances also decreases, causing the entire social network to become smaller. People increasingly find themselves alone, which only makes the negative self-image stronger and the negative spiral has started.
Depression can last a few weeks or even months. Some people get depressed once in their lives, others get depressed more often. About 50% of people have a depressive episode that lasts less than three months. Chronic depression happens to 15-20% of patients, meaning the depression can last for several years. Some people suffer from seasonal depression. It usually occurs in the autumn/ winter season and disappears in spring.
Men vs. Women
A fascinating fact is that females suffer more often from depression than men. Women are diagnosed more than one and a half times more often with depression than men, this is related to hormone differences between the sexes. These differences can lead to disruptive factors in the stress-, hormone-, or immune system. In this blog, the specific forms of depression are not considered, such as postnatal depression, manic depression, and psychotic depression. Psychotherapy is indispensable for the last two forms.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a 14.3% increase in depressed people. A large German study reported that this mainly concerned woman of all ages, but also young people (m/f) between the ages of 18 and 25.
Some of the symptoms that are noticeable in depression are concentration difficulties, struggling to maintain focus, experiencing sluggishness in the body, weight gain, and a continuous feeling of fatigue and loss of energy.
For a long time now, research has been conducted into the effect of caffeine on depression. Can the usage of caffeine prevent depression? An energy gum, also known as caffeine chewing gum or sports gum, could make a positive contribution to this. A scientific meta-analysis from 2016, in which data was analyzed from more than 330,000 people, already indicated that the use of coffee and caffeinated products had a significant positive effect on the risk reduction of depression. It was noted that the risk reduction occurred with a caffeine intake of a minimum of 68mg and a maximum of 509mg. A large American prospective study of the Nurses Health Study showed that coffee and caffeinated products can reduce the risk of developing depressive symptoms among women by 20%. As mentioned earlier in this blog, women are one and a half to two times more likely to develop depression than men.
Other studies also clearly showed that the amount of caffeine plays an important role in the effect on the risk reduction of depression. It is clearly not a “one size fits all” system as body weight and caffeine tolerance also play an important role. It was already known that a minimum intake of 2mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight should be taken into account in order not to fall under the so-called placebo effect. This however does not mean that your max. caffeine intake is limitless. A caffeine overdose could cause a contra-effect as well. With the latter, the effects of unrest, fear, and disruption can occur, things that one absolutely wants to avoid.
Positive effects of Energy Gum
Precisely when it comes to dosing and getting enough caffeine (so that the risk of depression is reduced), a caffeinated chewing gum (energy gum) can be a good option. positive effects of chewing in general, the positive contribution to reducing COVID-19 stress eating, and increasing concentration, focus, and energy levels in particular, make energy gum a perfect mainstay against depression.
A large number of people already get a better, more energetic start by using energy gum. The long-lasting effect on focus, concentration, and even alertness ensures that people can have a better start to their daily routine, work more effectively and start the day with more energy. If the start of the day is already at a higher energy level and it is easier to get going, the chance is considerably greater than you can maintain this during the day. The positive effect on mood also plays a role here.
More tips against depression
Of course, other things can also make a positive contribution to reducing the risk of depression. This includes strengthening your mental strength (think of (online) courses on how to make yourself more resilient to, for example, disappointments, bad luck, or sadness). Following a fixed daily pattern can also provide a good, and easy-to-follow structure, in which a fixed day and night pattern, in particular, is very important. Quite frequently the question arises whether an energy gum can also be used later in the day or whether this would have a negative effect on the sleeping pattern. Provided that one does not overdose or has an extremely low caffeine tolerance, the release of the caffeine from energy gum does not lead to sleep disturbances, insomnia, or narcolepsy and can be taken without negative side effects.