Excessive Caffeine Consumption in Recovery - Should I be Concerned?

Life in recovery is a precious gift, one which allows us to examine our decisions and thought processes from a new, healthy perspective. One area of your life you may be seeking to improve upon is your physical health and nutrition. The age-old saying “you are what you eat” is grounded in truth - your body is only as efficient and healthy as the fuel you feed it. Given this fact, you may be thinking twice about your daily consumption of certain foods and beverages such as coffee or energy drinks. A daily caffeine habit is commonplace in the United States today, but are these energy boosting drinks something to be worried about as an addict in recovery?

In terms of a threat to your sobriety, caffeine should not be a concern. While you can develop a physical addiction to caffeine, it is very unlikely to be a gateway to harder substances. One thing to keep in mind as you reach for that coffee or Red Bull in the morning is the impact caffeine has on your anxiety levels. If you find yourself suffering from excess stress or anxiety in early recovery you may want to consider cutting back or eliminating caffeinated beverages from your diet, if only for a few months until your stress level diminishes to a comfortable range day to day.

As for the physical consequences of a caffeine habit, much like every other dietary indulgence the key is moderation. Coffee has been shown to provide several health benefits by many studies done by the medical community. As for the energy drinks popular today, their impact on our physical health is still in question. The additives used by their manufacturers to increase their potency may stress your circulatory system to a point where damage is done, but these effects depend on a variety of factors including your specific biochemistry and physiology. Regardless, if you find yourself consuming more than one or two of these beverages a day you should strongly consider cutting back.

In 12-step recovery groups you hear talk of complete abstinence from all mind and mood altering substances. What defines a mind or mood altering substance for you in your recovery is different from the alcoholics around you in the meeting. When it comes to caffeine, you should take an objective look at your daily consumption and method of delivery (coffee or energy drinks) to determine whether your behaviors are healthy or potentially harmful. You may benefit from cutting back on coffee and energy drinks both in terms of physical and mental health. At Evolutions Treatment Center, our staff nutritionists work diligently with our clients to determine an appropriate diet for their specific body and lifestyle during the course of residential treatment. This is one more way Evolutions seeks to provide our clients all the tools they need to succeed in their sobriety!


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit www.evolutionstreatment.com

1 comment