Does Coffee Deplete Serotonin? (Find Out The Truth)

Since coffee has been associated with elevating one’s mood, it does not decrease serotonin levels. In fact, it increases it. Serotonin is the happy chemical in your brain responsible for making you stress-free and happy. There is little to no chance of coffee depleting this happy chemical in your body.

Coffee is a popular stimulant beverage that is consumed all over the globe. It is commonly known to improve one’s mood and give an energy boost. Usually, after sipping on your morning joe, you feel energized and happy.

And serotonin is a chemical found in the body responsible for making you happy and in a good mood overall. When these two combine in your body, your serotonin levels increase resulting in a lighthearted mood.

But do you think it can affect your serotonin levels in the long run? Let find out together.  

Is Coffee Bad For Serotonin?

a man with tattoos holding a cup of coffee in his hands

Coffee doesn’t harm serotonin levels. In fact, it increases them in your body resulting in an uplifting mood and less fatigue. This can be a problem if you are cutting down on coffee and may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Serotonin is a hormone found naturally in your body. It is used to transmit signals from one cell to another. Though there is a lot more to learn about this hormone, it has been linked with mood, appetite, anxiety, and emotions.

Studies show that it helps with regulating your mood and lowers your anxiety levels. It is present not only in your brain but also in your blood platelets. Serotonin impacts a variety of physiological and physical functionality of the body.

Serotonin cannot be given in medicines and drugs because of its inability of not being able to cross blood and brain barriers on a cellular level.

But medicine used to increase the levels can cause a chemical reaction in your body that releases serotonin.

It has been associated with treating many mental disorders like:

  • Depression
  • Bi-polar Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

So, do you think maybe your regular coffee is bad for your serotonin? Well, that’s not the case.

Coffee is also known for improving your overall mental state. It helps lower your depression, fatigue, drowsiness and gives you a jumpstart for your day.

Coffee in no shape or form is bad for serotonin. In fact, it pushes to increase the serotonin levels in your body. Coffee and serotonin combined help you will your daily productivity tremendously.

Does Coffee Increase Serotonin?

Coffee can increase both serotonin and dopamine, two well-known happy hormones, in your brain.

Serotonin and coffee both are linked with uplifting your mental condition. They both affect your nervous system and physical range of functions. Drinking coffee regularly increases your serotonin levels.

For some people, coffee is as basic as breathing. They cannot survive without sipping their cuppa in the morning or having a coffee break mid-day.

I too love coffee and cannot function without it, but everything in moderation is good for us humans. Coffee also if overly consumed can do more damage than good in your body.

It is advised to drink not more than 4 cups of coffee in a day. Too much coffee can lead to many issues.

Plus, coffee consumption every day increases your serotonin levels greatly. Though this little increased level is not something of major concern, only if you consume coffee in moderation.

A small quantity of coffee will only increase a small quantity of serotonin. A little elevation does no harm. But if your daily consumption of coffee is more than advised or if you’re caffeine sensitive, your increased serotonin levels can be a problem.

In addition to this, when you will cut down on your caffeine fix every day, your body will have withdrawal symptoms. Since your body has adapted to the high levels of serotonin and coffee reduction will make the serotonin levels normal again.

The normality in levels will be detected as a deficiency in your body and cause withdrawal symptoms like headaches, bad mood, muscle pain, irritation, and drowsiness. You can read here to know more.

a girl smiling in the camera showing peace signs.

Can Caffeine Cause Serotonin Syndrome?

Coffee is linked with increased serotonin levels greatly. If you consume coffee more than advised, your serotonin levels will skyrocket. This will cause Serotonin Syndrome.  

Serotonin, just like coffee, is very complex in nature. It serves many purposes within your body and helps to maintain your brain and body functionality altogether.

The caffeine from the coffee boosts your serotonin. But if your caffeine intake is way out of the advised limits, it can cause serotonin syndrome, especially you take them with serotonergic medicine. Coffee is not the only source of caffeine. There are many other beverages that have great levels of caffeine in them.

I have made a chart with common caffeinated beverages and their caffeine levels.

Beverage TypeQuantityCaffeine Level
Black Coffee8 oz163 mg
Regular Coke12 oz46 mg
Diet Coke12 oz34 mg
Red Bull12 oz102 mg
Monster12 oz160 mg

As the table informs you about each beverage’s caffeine level, you should keep a watch on your intake. Coffee being a primary source for your daily caffeine needs can cause serotonin syndrome.

Mild serotonin syndrome does not last long and can be treated by halting caffeine intake completely and visiting your doctor.

Symptoms of a mild syndrome are:

  • Confusion
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle Stiffness
  • Migraine
  • Shivering
  • Jitteriness
  • Headaches

In addition, with your other caffeine sources, your serotonin levels can shoot up and this can be life-threatening. This may lead to severe serotonin syndrome.

The excessive serotonin in your body will shrink your arterioles. These are small arteries that distribute blood all around your body. This shrink will result in poor circulation thus leading to organ failures, brain death, stroke, and enlargement of the heart to name a few.

Serotonin Syndrome can be fatal and needs immediate attention. Prolonged coffee abuse and excessive caffeine in your body will have irreversible effects.

You may experience:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Overactive Reflex
  • Muscles Spasms
  • Seizures
  • High Fever
  • Palpitation
  • Unstable heartbeat

Severe Serotonin Syndrome needs immediate and extensive medical attention. It cannot be treated only by cutting down on coffee. If you experience any of the above symptoms, visit your nearest ER to avoid any mishaps.

I found this amazing video for you to watch on serotonin syndrome.

great video to learn about serotonin syndrome

What Are The Signs Of Low Serotonin Level?

There are a variety of prominent signs to determine whether you have low serotonin levels or not. But the most visible ones can be sadness, anxiety, depression, mood swings and appetite loss as serotonin is the happy chemical for your body. And its low levels will make your body and mind react in the opposite way.

Coffee plays a major role in boosting your mental well-being and physical health. With its antioxidant properties and many vital nutrients, it is quite beneficial for your overall health.

But if you’re cutting down on coffee immediately, it can affect your serotonin levels. Though this is temporary, you may face some issues.

a green cup of coffee with warm cappuccino

Also, decreased serotonin levels is also linked with having a lot of stress, not eating properly, even from some medicines.

So maybe it’s not just your caffeine cut down that is making you have low levels of serotonin in your body. Low serotonin levels can be easily detected. Since this hormone is linked with boosting your mood and overall physical movements of muscles you can detect it when you face:

  • Craving for sugar
  • Terrible mood
  • Muscle pain
  • Depression
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Panic Attacks

Final Verdict

Coffee is consumed by more than half the population on this earth. Every region has its own way of making it, therefore it has become a part of our morning routines effortlessly. But it can be harmful if ingested more than usual.

The extra caffeine in your body will increase your happy chemical called serotonin.

Serotonin is generally responsible for your well-being and happiness. It picks up your mood and makes you feel less stressed, therefore many people call it the happy chemical.

But if high levels are constant and prolonged, it can be a problem and in some cases is life-threatening. You should monitor your caffeine intake to minimize the side effects of having serotonin syndrome.

Moreover, if you are running low on serotonin you may also experience some side effects like feeling irritated, depression, and much more. Therefore, always keep a check on your coffee consumption and overall caffeine intake to avoid any ambiguities.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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