Coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks are the most commonly consumed caffeinated beverages. Caffeine is a substance that can help boost your mental and physical performance, in addition to your mood and metabolism. Studies suggest that caffeine is safe for people to consume in low-to-moderate amounts, but seldom do people do that. In fact, most people consume caffeine in excess, which causes some unwanted and dangerous side effects.
According to research, your genes may influence your caffeine tolerance. Some people seem to consume much more caffeine than others without experiencing negative side effects. On the other end of the spectrum, individuals who are not used to caffeine can experience negative side effects after a moderate dose. If you feel that caffeine is a problem in your life and your health isn’t thriving, you may need to lower the amount you consume. Keep an eye out for these side effects that result from drinking too much caffeine.
It is very common for people to drink a morning cup of coffee to encourage a bowel movement. Coffee has laxative properties because it causes the body to release gastrin, a hormone that accelerates activity in the colon. It’s not surprising, then, that high amounts of caffeine can lead to loose stools or diarrhea. Some studies suggest that caffeinated beverages, especially coffee, may also worsen acid reflux in certain people. If you suffer from digestive issues, consider cutting back on the amount of coffee you drink, or switch to tea to see if that helps your situation.
It’s important to note that caffeine does not cause classic addiction the way that cocaine and amphetamines do. That said, caffeine does trigger certain brain chemicals similarly to those drugs. The reality is that chronic caffeine consumption can potentially lead to a psychological or physical dependency. One study surveyed 213 caffeine users, who completed questionnaires after 16 hours without caffeine. Daily users experienced an increase in headaches, fatigue, and other withdrawal symptoms, in addition to strong caffeine cravings. Although caffeine does not cause true addiction, regular caffeine consumption can make you dependent on its effects.
Rhabdomyolysis is a serious condition that’s characterized by damaged muscle fibers entering the bloodstream. That can ultimately lead to kidney failure and other serious health complications. Trauma, drug abuse, muscle strain, infection, and bites from poisonous insects or snakes can cause rhabdomyolysis. Although it’s relatively rare, a few reports of rhabdomyolysis have been related to excessive caffeine intake. One woman developed nausea, vomiting, and dark urine after drinking 32 ounces of coffee containing 565 milligrams of caffeine. She recovered after receiving fluids and medication. To reduce the risk of rhabdomyolysis, aim to keep your caffeine intake to less than 400 milligrams per day.
Most people consume caffeinated beverages to stay awake, but too much caffeine can make it difficult to get restorative sleep. Studies have found that consuming large amounts of caffeine increases the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Additionally, consuming a lot of caffeine can reduce total sleeping time, especially in the elderly. You may not realize how much caffeine is interfering with your sleep, especially if you are not aware or honest with how much you consume. An energy drink, for example, can contain up to 350 milligrams of caffeine.
Depending on the time at which you drink that beverage, you may still have caffeine in your system when trying to fall asleep. Caffeine remains in your system for about five hours, but it can remain in there for up to nine hours. One study investigated how caffeine indigestion affects sleep. Researchers gave 12 healthy adults 400 milligrams of caffeine either six hours before bedtime, three hours before bedtime, or immediately before bedtime. The time it took to fall asleep and the amount of time they spent awake at night increased for all three groups.