It is well-known that too much caffeine can be bad for your health. Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, and chocolate as well as many popular beverages and over-the-counter drugs, has been used for its stimulating effects for decades. Indeed it’s one of the most commonly used psychoactive substances in the world. But like any other drug or stimulant, there are limits to how much you should take. Too much caffeine can cause unpleasant side effects such as headache, anxiety or nervousness, difficulty sleeping and a fast heartbeat (tachycardia). In rare cases, it can lead to a heart attack or even death from overdose.
This article will highlight the use of this substance and how it affects the body’s functioning.
How Does Caffeine Work?
Caffeine produces its stimulating effects by blocking adenosine, a natural brain chemical that promotes sleep. By blocking the adenosine receptor sites, caffeine keeps you awake and alert. Because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, it can increase heart rate and blood pressure. For this reason, people who already have high blood pressure should limit their caffeine consumption.
Benefits of Caffeine
It is suggested that caffeine is suitable for people with low blood pressure and heart problems. Caffeine increases your blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels. This means that more oxygen reaches the cells, and thus you feel more energetic. It might also help reduce the severity of symptoms of shingles, a viral condition that causes painful blisters to appear on the skin.
Alternatives to Caffeine can help you in making better diet choices and promote better health overall. It is generally safe for healthy people to be used in moderation, and indeed most people can use it without difficulty. Caffeine has been used for medical purposes for its sedative properties to relieve pain and anxiety. It is consumed in various forms, including capsules, tablets, soft drinks, and coffee.
Caffeine is effective in reducing the symptoms of tinnitus (ringing in the ears). It also helps reduce fatigue and sleepiness associated with medications taken after heart attacks. Using Caffeine may help reduce alcohol consumption since it can mitigate the effects of alcohol intoxication.
Caffeine can temporarily reduce migraine symptoms and relieve symptoms associated with cluster headaches when quickly consumed before an attack. It is also known to ease the symptoms of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks and social phobias. It can also keep you feeling alert while fighting fatigue and sleepiness when suffering from depression or jet lag.
Advantages of Caffeine
• It stimulates the central nervous system and also triggers the release of endorphins, which are chemical substances that produce a feeling of well-being. It is useful in the treatment of migraines, especially those brought on by hormonal changes. Also, it helps control the symptoms of cold and flu.
• Caffeine can increase metabolism and improve energy levels. It is beneficial for weight loss, as well as strengthening the immune system and preventing premature aging. This drug also helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and ensures alertness.
• It improves physical performance. You can work for longer hours and have alert senses for a more extended period when you drink caffeinated drinks before doing any physical work. This drug also helps athletes to improve their performance during workouts by preventing dehydration and improving endurance levels.
• It improves mood and helps to fight depression. People who are depressed often consume caffeine in various forms. It is also not recommended for high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, ulcers, asthma or urinary problems.
People Who Should Avoid Caffeine
As you know, caffeine is a stimulant and therefore can be very harmful to people who suffer from some of the following conditions:
• Bipolar disorder
• Low blood pressure
• Heart problems
• Diabetes mellitus
• Irregular heartbeat.
No evidence drinking caffeinated drinks will cause any of these problems. But if you have any of these conditions, it is best not to drink more than three cups of coffee a day. You should consult your doctor if you are concerned about your condition and are considering drinking coffee or tea regularly.
Are Caffeinated Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?
Not at all, since it gets washed down with saliva in the mouth and is also acidic, which prevents tooth decay. But if you drink too much sugary coffee or tea often, it can cause cavities and tartar.
1. This drug causes stimulation of the nervous system, followed by heart rate increases and a heightened sense of alertness or wakefulness. Many people report feeling jumpy, restless or irritable after drinking too much caffeine.
2. Many people have reported feeling anxious after drinking a large amount of caffeine. This is because the brain tends to overproduce adrenaline, which can cause distress. This happens when the person is over-stimulated and unable to sleep properly due to abnormal brain activity.
3. In some cases, caffeine can also affect the brain’s ability to concentrate on simple tasks, leading to impaired judgment. This is usually worse after exercise or high-intensity activity since the brain has fewer available resources for paying attention and performing complex tasks.
4. Other symptoms include gastrointestinal problems, irritability, dry skin and a rapid heartbeat.
Doses of Caffeine
There is no set amount or “dose” of caffeine that will produce the same response every time. Variables such as age, individual sensitivity, physical health and other medications can affect the amount that leads to unwanted side effects. The following is a general guideline for the amount of caffeine in different products.
Caffeine in soda or coffee: 200 to 300 mg per 8 oz. serving.
Caffeine is the most over-the-counter medication, including decaf: 200 to 400 mg per dose.
Energy drinks: 150 mg to 300 mg per can/16 oz. serving for 5 servings of 16 oz. Cans (160–340mg).
The ingredients of some diet pills, including Optifast, Alli, and others, are 250 mg to 2000 mg per day if taken as directed on the package label. Less than 200mg if taken as directed.
Some pain relievers: 80 to 200 mg per dose (the average over-the-counter dose is 100mg). Caffeine in coffee, tea, and soda: 50 to 100mg per 8 oz. serving. Decaffeinated coffee may contain 5 to 20mg of caffeine per 8 oz. serving.
The caffeine in tea and coffee is poorly absorbed at a steady rate of about 10–20% and is often used in foods to enhance their flavor or as an additive for soft drinks. The caffeine content of coffee varies widely depending upon the type and origin of the bean, roasting methods, grind size used and extraction methods employed; the average caffeinated content is between 80 mg/100 fluid ounces (0.8%) to 150–300 mg/100 fluid ounces (1.7–3.6%)
Intake of Excessive Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant used in many products such as coffee and soft drinks. Too much caffeine may not be suitable for your body since it can cause anxiety, insomnia or even lead to addiction. Previous studies show that too much caffeine in healthy adults may lower fertility rates and increase the risk of heart diseases in menopausal women. Side effects on children are not fully known but are unlikely to differ from adults.
How To Deal With The Overdose Of Caffeine?
Caffeine has a bitter flavor and an average tea or coffee drinker can detect it easily. To reduce its use, try unsweetened or sugar-free soft drinks. You can reduce your coffee intake to a cup of coffee per day which can also help in reducing caffeine intake.
People can also consume caffeine in many other products, such as chocolate, tea, and hot cocoa. However, cutting back on these products won’t significantly affect the level of caffeine in the body.
Another way of dealing with the overdose of caffeine is to use caffeine pills. These pills have already been cut down to a level that is safe for human consumption. You can also consult your doctor to determine whether or not it is safe for you to consume caffeine pills.
Precautions Before Using Caffeine
Many people who use caffeine for a valid reason do not experience any adverse side effects. However, for some people, caffeine exhibits some undesirable effects. It is best to follow the following precautions before using caffeine which help avoid these side effects:
Caffeine can be habit-forming or addictive. It’s best to avoid drinking more than 200 mg of caffeine per day if you’re not using it for medical purposes and try to limit your intake of pre-workout supplements and such, as well as avoiding raw coffee beans, which are known to be potentially dangerous when used in excess due to their high level of caffeine.
Doctors advise pregnant or nursing women to limit their caffeine intake. If you are a pregnant or nursing woman, try to avoid consuming more than 200 mg of caffeine in any form per day (such as coffee, soda and tea).
After taking a normal dose of caffeine, do not have anything else until you no longer feel the effects. Caffeine takes about 30 minutes to take effect and up to six hours for the body to eliminate it from the system. On the other hand, caffeine may make other conditions worse. It can worsen certain medical conditions like asthma and other threatening diseases.
Some people have a sensitivity to caffeine due to its chemical structure. If this is the case, it is best to avoid consuming large amounts.
Caffeine may be harmful to some people due to its toxins. A person can consume too much caffeine without knowing that they are suffering from overdose injuries and these injuries can quickly become fatal if left untreated.
Patients taking any of these medications/undergoing processes are advised to consult their doctor before consuming large amounts of caffeine:
Avandia, a drug used for weight loss.
Ergotamine derivatives such as Cafergot, Paregoric and others.
Iron supplements and other dietary supplements such as the Cernosil compound and Stilbesterol should also be avoided because they may interact with the caffeine and lead to a potentially fatal overdose injury. However, this should be verified by your health care provider.
Alternatives for Caffeine
The caffeine in tea, coffee, and soda is the most common stimulant used by several people. However, some alternatives can be used which help reduce the intake of caffeine in your diet.
· Decaffeinated coffee and tea: these alternatives do not have any caffeine and provide all the benefits of a regular cup of coffee or tea.
· Herbal teas are also a good option to get rid of the craving for caffeine. Some examples include chamomile, peppermint, lavender or ginger tea.
· Green tea : Green tea contains a small amount of caffeine and has antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer. Green tea is also said to lower cholesterol, improve brain function and improve overall health.
· Springwater : Springwater contains no caffeine and it is very popular in the U.S.A. Some people use it instead of water or drink it with lemon, lime or orange juice to add flavor instead of using tea or coffee.
· Yerba mate or Maté : Yerba mate is more popular in South America, where it’s used to make “mate”, a traditional hot, bitter drink. It has 200-300 mg of caffeine per 1 cup serving and can be served cold or hot.
· Pineapple juice : Pineapple juice is an excellent source of vitamins, calcium and antioxidants. It contains no caffeine and does not have any adverse effects on the health either.
· Caffeine-free beverages : you can drink any of the following drinks without caffeine: water, coconut water, herbal teas, juices, and various fruit juices and smoothies. These beverages will not provide any toxic side effects to your body.
· Mint tea : Mint tea does not contain caffeine but has a low amount of tannins (a type of polyphenol). Tannin helps with clearing the body faster from toxins after a meal.
· Nutritional supplements : You can take nutritional supplements that help reduce your caffeine intake. These supplements may contain various herbs, vitamins or amino acids that have antioxidant properties.
· Phenylephrine : Phenylephrine is an over-the-counter drug that helps to deal with the side effects of caffeine withdrawal such as headaches and irritability. It has no adverse effect on the rest of the body or on your heart while it is being used.
· Green Tea Extract : Green Tea Extract is a common ingredient in many weight loss products. It is said to have beneficial effects on your metabolism.
· Dandelion Root : The root of this herb helps detoxify and cleanse your liver from toxins, which will also reduce the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.
Caffeine is a stimulant drug that acts on the central nervous system. This drug alters the brain’s chemistry, which leads to more alertness and energy. When an individual ingests too much caffeine, unpleasant side effects such as heart palpitations and stomach upset may occur. Some people develop tolerance to caffeine and do not experience these symptoms anymore.
However, it is possible to experience withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fatigue and restlessness when you cease using this drug. It is crucial to consume only recommended amounts of caffeine because any more can have dire consequences on your health.
Q. Does caffeine contribute to anxiety?
A. While caffeine is a stimulant, some people report having an increase in anxiety symptoms when consuming too much caffeine. There are several theories on this topic; some believe that caffeine may increase glutamate activity in the brain, also known as excitatory, and may contribute to anxiety.
Q. Does caffeine cause insomnia?
A. Although the exact mechanism of how caffeine causes poor sleep is not fully understood, it seems to be related to increased activity in the brain and a reduction in deep sleep. It appears that the high levels of arousal (and anxiety) are not conducive to good quality sleep.
Q. Does Caffeine cause headaches?
A. Many people experience increased headaches when consuming excessive caffeine (more than 400 mg per day). For some people, consuming as little as 100 mg per day can cause headaches.
Q. Does Caffeine Affect Birth Control?
A. We do not recommend consuming caffeinated products when you are on birth control. It does not increase your fertility and does not pose a risk to your health, but it is always best to consult with your doctor before consuming anything that may interact with birth control.
Q. Do High Caffeine Drinks Cause Heart Palpitations?
A. Yes, High caffeine drinks can cause heart palpitations. However, it is also important to note that even low levels of caffeine (less than 300mg) can cause the same issues. It is important to work with your doctor in order to create a healthy diet that minimizes anxiety and maximizes your energy level.