20 Harmful Effects Of Caffeine
The Effects of too much caffeine go far beyond just feeling a little overstimulated and jittery. Read ahead for the top 20 harmful effects of consuming too much caffeine:
What Are The Negative Side Effects Of Caffeine?
You will have trouble falling asleep at night it’s easy to blame stress, but it’s probably caffeine. Caffeine will stay in your body for hours after your last dose. And if you consume too much, that dose can interrupt your sleep and keep you lying awake mentally calculating how many hours of sleep you can get if you could just fall asleep now. It’s an ugly game that will leave you tired and cranky the next day, probably reaching for another cup of coffee that just starts the cycle all over again.
#2 Nervousness: The Negative Effects Of Caffeine Go Beyond Your Inability To Sleep
Feeling nervous and anxious is also one of the negative effects of caffeine overstimulation. There was even a news article where a barista admitted they secretly replaced customers coffee with decaf if they displayed these signs of being overstimulated, nervous and anxious.
It’s easy to see in others, but harder to see in ourselves.
Why Is Caffeine Bad? Caffeine won’t make you anxious. But if you are prone to anxiety, caffeine will make it worse. Several studies have documented this and chances are, if you go see your doctor about stress and anxiety, one of the first questions they will ask is “how much caffeine do you consume?”
What Are The Side Effects Of Caffeine? We use caffeine to get things done. But what about when you are ready to relax and just can’t? Too much caffeine will trigger a feeling of restlessness that is a general feeling you should be doing something, moving around, or accomplishing something.
It’s a feeling that makes sure you never fully relax and recover from your day. It will eventually drag you down and burn you out because you never fully disconnect from your go-go-go lifestyle.
While coffee might taste good, the acidity of coffee can often make your stomach hurt or leave you feeling nauseous. This is especially true when consuming caffeine before working out. While it might give you a boost to maintain an intense workout, it could equally leave you feeling sick and nauseous later.
#6 Increased Heart Rate
It’s actually a lie that caffeine gives you energy. Caffeine triggers adrenaline: the fight or flight hormone. It’s what our cave-man ancestors used to run fast and stay alive.
But in our modern world it just stresses your central nervous system with adrenaline that makes your heartbeat faster and makes you feel more alert: for a little while. Until that adrenaline crashes and you are left feeling tired and worn out from the overstimulation and reaching for another cup to start all over again.
#7 High Blood Pressure
Medical studies have shown an increase in blood pressure from consuming caffeine. If you are prone to elevated blood pressure readings, the consumption of caffeine could be a trigger for you. Consult your physician about whether limiting caffeine could help you.
Related: Does caffeine raise blood pressure?
#8 Headache From Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine and headaches can be complicated.
Several studies have shown that caffeine can help increase the effectiveness of pain-relieving drugs (that’s why you’ll find caffeine hidden in many over-the-counter pain relief products), it can also cause headaches.
When you consume too much caffeine, one of the side-effects is caffeine headaches.
#9 Headache From Too Little Caffeine
When you are used to consuming a lot of caffeine, you can also get headaches from caffeine withdrawal.
Really the best way to avoid a headache from caffeine is to ensure you never consume it too often and become dependent on a daily dose to get through your day.
Related: Does Caffeine Help Headaches?
#10 Chest Pains
Caffeine can actually trigger chest pains. Depending on your sensitivity to caffeine or how much you consume, the adrenaline triggered by caffeine will make your heartbeat faster and your blood pressure rise causing blood to flow in way that triggers chest pains.
t’s not common for everyone but for people who have underlying heart problems and/or acid reflux issues it could be a symptom of concern.
This brings us only half way to the top 20 harmful effects of caffeine!
#11 Irregular Heart Beats
A more common symptom is irregular heartbeats. Where you are just sitting still and suddenly your heartbeat will pick up and do a little dance for no reason. It can feel strange and uncomfortable when this happens.
#12 Irritability: One Of The Harmful Effects Of Caffeine
Feeling irritable and moody is an often-overlooked sign of too much caffeine. The overstimulation tends to wear you down and make users more irritable over minor things than they usually would be.
Things that too much caffeine can make you perceive as being worse than they are: your boss being inconsiderate, a car driving in front of you that seems too slow, waiting your turn in line.
What we can often write off as “stress” can often just be a sign of being overstimulated from too much caffeine.
#13 Trouble Focusing
While caffeine in small doses has been shown to help with mental focus, too much caffeine can lead to a lack of focus or the dreaded “monkey mind”. It’s when your brain will jump from thought to thought, never staying long and never settling down to accomplish much.
Monkey mind will stop you from being able to do any deep thinking on projects or even meditate when you want to relax. It is often caused by being overstimulated from too much caffeine and making your life harder, instead of giving you the ability to focus you need.
#14 Diarrhea: The Negative Effects Of Caffeine Go Beyond How You Think
Caffeine is a diuretic. A diuretic helps remove excess water from the body. But if you don’t need to reduce water in your system, it will create an imbalance in your natural water levels.
Combined with the stimulation effects of your bowl, this leads to the ugliest side effect of too much caffeine: diarrhea.
Ironically, prolonged overuse of caffeine can also lead to #15:
The diuretic nature of caffeine can also make your body’s fluid balance go out of whack and cause constipation.
If you have overused caffeine for an extended period of time, your body might take the caffeine overconsumption as “normal”. It will start functioning like a fluid imbalance is your new way of life. Overuse of caffeine can trigger too little fluid to be sent to the bowls resulting in constipation.
This is mostly a function of #16:
We all know we should drink more water. But coffee is mostly water, right? Well yes, first and foremost, coffee has caffeine. And caffeine is a diuretic. A diuretic’s main function is to remove water. So basically your drink, which is mostly water, is designed to remove water from the body.
Drink too much caffeine and you will be signaling your body to remove too much water from the body making you become dehydrated.
#17 Drug Interactions
You should never mix caffeine with other stimulant drugs.
One of the most common drugs that can interact with caffeine is ephedrine. Ephedrine is used to treat breathing problems, nasal congestion, and low blood pressure problems (as well as less common conditions).
Both drugs serve as a stimulant to rev up the nervous system. Taking caffeine along with ephedrine might cause too much stimulation and sometimes serious side effects and heart problems. Do not take caffeine-containing products and ephedrine at the same time.
And always be sure to ask your physician about caffeine interactions. Most people assume since there is a coffee shop on every corner, it must be safe. That’s just not always true!
Likewise, interactions with other beverages may present an issue as we see in #17:
#18 Alcohol Interactions
There have been several tragic incidents where college age adults have mixed alcohol and caffeine that have led to tragic results.
The negative effect of caffeine and alcohol has been well documented in medical studies, but again, people assume because coffee and energy drinks are available everywhere, it must be safe. That’s just not always true!
When alcohol is mixed with caffeine, the caffeine can mask the depressant effects of alcohol, making people feel more alert than they would otherwise.
Why is that so bad? Because this increased alertness, causes people to drink more alcohol and become more impaired than they realize. And the increased caffeine consumption does not impact how alcohol is metabolized or “sober you up” so you are, in essence, making yourself more impaired, but not realizing it!
Drinkers who mix alcohol with energy drinks are more likely to report unwanted or unprotected sex, driving drunk or riding with a drunk driver or sustaining an alcohol-related injury.
Alcohol and caffeine is just a really bad idea and should be completely avoided.
#19 Poor Quality Sleep
Caffeine does not just make it hard to fall asleep: it can make it impossible to stay asleep.
Tossing and turning. Waking up in the middle of the night; sometimes unable to fall back to sleep.
Too much caffeine will impact the quality of the sleep you do get. It can make you wake up feeling exhausted and reaching for another cup of coffee to start your day.
But that will only start the same cycle all over again.
#20 Caffeine Toxicity And Death
Caffeine death is rare. But it’s not that rare.
There are about 2,500 people in the caffeine death support group on Facebook. Just a few days ago a personal trainer died after ingesting a home-made caffeine beverage.
This is enough of a problem that in 2018 the FDA started regulating the sale of bulk caffeine as a public safety issue because people where overconsuming caffeine and causing themselves harm.
It’s not that rare. And it’s not a joke. Too much caffeine CAN kill you.
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