Can Your Caffeine Addiction Kill You?
Yes, caffeine overdose is a very real thing and not as rare as you think.
Think you can’t live without your morning coffee? Well it looks like you can also die from it. A recent article outlines the coroner’s report that confirmed a woman found in dead in bed had died from caffeine poisoning.
While they didn’t say how much caffeine and pointed out this case was considered “highly unusual”, it’s not unheard of. There are 2.5k members of the Facebook group “caffeine toxicity death awareness support”.
The Caffeine Myth That Can Lead To Caffeine Overdose
It’s a myth that caffeine gives us “energy”. What we consider energy is more like an adrenaline rush. That feeling you would get if someone jumped out from behind the corner yelling “boo”. Sure that wakes you up and gets your heart pumping; but, not with energy. Instead , it is simulating your central nervous system with a “fight or flight” response. It will make you feel awake and alert for a while, then you’ll crash later in the day where you will repeat the process with more coffee to again repeat the process. Do that for a long time and it WILL take a toll on your body. Too much caffeine can manifest in many ways:
- Increased anxiety, nervousness
- Inability to relax or restlessness
- Restless sleep
- Muscle twitches
- Digestive issues
- Racing heart
- High blood pressure
- and more
How much is too much Caffeine?
No one is going to like this answer: it depends. The FDA has set a maximum safe limit at 400mg per day. But our ability to tolerate caffeine will vary with a lot of factors like age, weight, and metabolism.
And manufacturers are not required to label how much caffeine is in their products. That means it’s really hard to tell how much caffeine you actually consume and while you are not likely to have a caffeine overdose from one serving, the cumulative effect of too much caffeine will most likely create a lot of negative side-effects.
The Vicious Cycle of Caffeine Addiction
And here is something you won’t hear often: being addicted to caffeine makes caffeine ineffective. You will need to drink more caffeine to stimulate your body and get the effect of feeling “alert” you expect. That would be the reason a large coffee retailer recently launched a 2x caffeine product.
Caffeine Addict or Control Freak
Coffee seems to be one of the most polarizing subjects in America. You either passionately love your coffee and can’t image ever giving it up, or you have discovered caffeine is an evil drug and should be avoided at all costs never to be touched again. The truth is someone in between.
While I was consuming 3x the recommended daily safe limit of caffeine I would have still argued “I can’t cut back, I NEEED that to get through the day.” I wrote all my symptoms off to stress. Work, school, home, family, my boss, the bills; they are what stressed me out and made me feel anxious, sleepless, and jittery. It couldn’t be my coffee. I love my coffee. It helps me get thing done and be successful. Except it didn’t.
Instead, what I’ve found is that I didn’t have to quit caffeine to feel great and have less stress. I just had to give up my caffeine addiction. Needing a cup of coffee was my problem, not wanting one.
Reducing Caffeine is Hard. Right?
In a 2019 survey 66% of regular coffee drinkers agreed “It is important to limit my caffeine intake.” So if they know they need to control their caffeine intake, why do people fail to modify caffeine intake an average of 2.7 times?
Because caffeine withdrawal symptoms are brutal and can undermine the best of intentions. A caffeine addiction won’t let you walk away just because you changed you mind and want a different relationship. Caffeine addiction won’t be ignored. Within 12 hours caffeine withdrawal symptoms will kick in, so bad for some people that they will miss work because of them:
Musscle pain or stiffness
And they don’t go away overnight. While officially, medical professionals generally say symptoms will last about 14 days, people have reported the symptoms lasting at some level for months.
But there is good news for those wishing to give up their caffeine addiction: a simple, stepwise approach can often eliminate the need for a “fix” without suffering the most severe withdrawal symptoms. Johns Hopkins recommends the best way to give up a caffeine addiction is to gradually reduce caffeine consumption over time by substituting low caffeine products. Johns Hopkins confirms “Using this method allows people to reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms.”
One of the reasons people may fail in their DIY effort to step down caffeine is that they choose to substitute with decaf coffee, While decaf may seem to be a practical choice, it actually has inconsistent levels of caffeine. The caffeine in decaf can fluctuate based on the bean and the brew. That means you might be getting too much or too little caffeine to effectively manage your caffeine intake from cup-to-cup.
Because caffeine withdrawal symptoms are brutal and can undermine the best of intentions. A caffeine addiction won’t let you walk away just because you changed you mind and want a different relationship. Caffeine addiction won’t be ignored. Within 12 hours caffeine withdrawal symptoms will kick in, so bad for some people that they will miss work because of them.
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Reducing Caffeine Can Be Easy
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Quitting caffeine does not have to mean suffering through headaches, feeling irritable, or moody.
It doesn’t even have to mean giving up coffee!
We’ve taken a more effective approach to energy: a sweet low caffeine candy that dissolves on the tongue that skips digestion, so caffeine works 10x faster than coffee, energy drinks, or even caffeine pills. By delivering a microdose of caffeine super fast, CAFFEINEcontrol lets you reduce caffeine while getting the improved energy and focus you need to get things done. You can quickly and easily kick caffeine addiction to the curb — without caffeine withdrawal!