The majority of us rely on coffee in the morning or caffeine in the afternoon to get us through the day. Caffeine is so common that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that approximately 80% of American adults consume some form of caffeine on a daily basis. The effects of caffeine go beyond keeping you awake. It is a stimulating process that affects your body in many ways. Knowing the symptoms of caffeine and how caffeine affects your body in the long-term may make you think twice about having those four cups of coffee.
Here are some more details about how caffeine affects your body. Caffeine does not provide any nutritional benefits by itself. Furthermore, you won’t know if it’s in your food since it is almost tasteless. In some cases, caffeine may even be contained in your medications without your knowledge.
Caffeine almost always causes symptoms. At the very least, you may have more energy, but over time, too much caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms. From research, most healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Keep in mind that a standard cup of coffee is eight ounces. If you use a cup or take your dose at a coffee shop, you’re probably drinking 16 ounces or more, so it’s important to read the label. As you consume the same amount of caffeine each day, your body develops a tolerance to it. Other factors such as your age, body weight, and general health can also determine your caffeine tolerance. If you want to reduce the amount of caffeine you drink, it is best to reduce your intake gradually.
Central nervous system
The nervous system is stimulated by caffeine. It impacts your brain in a way that makes you alert. You will be more alert and less tired, which is why it is often used in medicine to treat or manage insomnia, headaches, and migraines. Studies have also shown that people who drink coffee regularly have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, reducing the risk of suicide by 45%. These benefits are only for high octane coffee drinkers, not decaf. Some people view coffee as a healthy drink, but like most foods, drinking too much can cause problems.
For example, too much caffeine can give you a headache. This is often related to caffeine withdrawal. The blood vessels in your brain buffer the effects of caffeine, so if you stop drinking caffeine suddenly, it can cause a headache. Other symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include:
Although it is rare, it is possible to overdose on caffeine. Symptoms of caffeine overdose include:
Drinking too much caffeine can lead to death from trauma. An overdose occurs from consuming large amounts of caffeine, usually in energy drinks or diet pills. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 400 milligrams of caffeine is considered healthy. This amounts to about 4 cups of coffee, although the amount of caffeine in the drink varies.
Caffeine is absorbed into your stomach. It reaches its highest level in your blood within an hour or two. Caffeine can temporarily raise your blood pressure. This feeling is thought to be due to an increase in adrenaline or a temporary release of hormones that expand your muscles. For most people, there is no long-term effect on high blood pressure, but if you have irregular heartbeats, caffeine can make your heart work harder. If you have high blood pressure or heart problems, ask your doctor if it is safe to consume caffeine. Drinking too much caffeine can cause fast or irregular heartbeats and breathing problems. In rare cases, too much caffeine can cause death due to seizures or abnormal heart rhythms.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Caffeine passes through the bloodstream and crosses the placenta. As it is a stimulant, it can increase your child’s heart rate and metabolism. Too much caffeine can also slow foetal growth and increase the chance of miscarriage. In most cases, a little caffeine is fine during pregnancy. There is evidence that high levels of caffeine can inhibit the production and metabolism of oestrogen, which is important for pregnancy. A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic recommends limiting caffeine consumption to 200 to 300 milligrams per day if you are trying to conceive.
Caffeine consumption over 200 mg per day could have unintended consequences for breastfeeding mothers. The reason for this is that caffeine can be transferred to your baby through breastmilk. Sleeping difficulties and fussiness may occur. Babies exposed to caffeine may also experience colic and jitteriness. Although these symptoms could cause your baby discomfort, the good news is that they are not long-lasting.
Caffeine increases the amount of acid in your stomach and can cause heartburn or irritability. The rest of the caffeine is not stored in your body. The liver processes it and excretes it through the urine. This is why you may experience increased urination soon after taking caffeine.
At the end of the day
Caffeine is just one way to increase alertness and fight sleepiness. Due to possible side effects, you may want to consider limiting your daily intake to 300mg per day. This amounts to about 3 cups of regular dry coffee.
It is also worthwhile to consider other ways to increase your energy without caffeine. Check out these helpful tips:
- Drink more water.
- Get more energy by eating more plant-based foods, which don’t break down like processed foods.
- Make sure you exercise every day, but not too close to bedtime( take note of workout mistakes you should avoid).
- Sleep at least 7 hours a night. Sleeping during the day should be avoided if possible.
- Feeling tired all the time? Consult your doctor.