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The negatives of too much caffeine

The negatives of too much caffeine

Do you rely on endless cups of coffee to get you through the day? Or maybe it’s energy drinks that are your go-to pick-me-up? While these types of beverages can be enjoyed safely when consumed in moderation, too many drinks with high levels of caffeine can seriously affect your health.

If you are worried about the amount of caffeine you consume, then you may be interested to know what the negative effects of too much caffeine are. From headaches to muscle tremors, insomnia to addiction, read on to discover the many ways that caffeine can harm your overall health and wellbeing.



1. Difficulty sleeping


If you tend to reach for a cup of coffee or energy drink to get over the dreaded afternoon slump, then you may already be experiencing difficulty in falling asleep at night. In fact, even a small amount of caffeine throughout the day can soon add up and make drifting off at bedtime feel impossible.

Furthermore, prolonged over-consumption of caffeine can cause a sleep disorder known as chronic insomnia, which is a long-term sleep condition that causes sleep deprivation.


2. Stomach problems


If you are a coffee drinker, you are probably already aware that having your morning cup is a surefire way to get your bowels moving. While this is not necessarily problematic, you may start to experience a wide range of stomach complaints if you consume too much caffeine.

In the short term, you may experience loose stools or diarrhoea. However, too much caffeine over a long period of time may result in stomach ulcers. What’s more, if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), caffeine can make this health issue worse.


3. Anxiety


Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders and can seriously impact all aspects of people’s lives.

Caffeine is known for its ability to keep you alert, which, although seen as a good thing by many, can also cause anxiety in people already predisposed to this condition when consumed in unhealthy amounts.

Referred to as caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, this issue requires medical attention and may cause other symptoms such as a red face, shaking muscles, and twitching.


4. Addiction


When you think of addiction, substances other than caffeine probably appear in your mind. However, you can also become addicted to caffeine. In fact, energy drink addiction is at an all-time high, especially among younger demographics.

Research suggests that caffeine may trigger certain brain chemicals in a similar way to certain controlled substances, even though it does not cause the same type of addiction as many illegal drugs do.That being said, if you consume too much caffeine over a prolonged period of time, especially at high doses, it may lead to a physical and psychological dependency.



5. Fast heart rate


Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it increases your heart rate and makes you feel more alert and energised. However, when you consume too much of any stimulant, you run the risk of a rapid heart rate.

In some cases, caffeine in high or prolonged doses can also cause an altered heartbeat rhythm, known as atrial fibrillation. This is particularly common in young people who consume too many energy drinks. However, it is worth noting that this is not the case for everyone.


6. Extreme fatigue

 While you will initially feel more alert and energised when you consume caffeine, you are likely to experience feelings of fatigue once this stimulant leaves your system.

One study showed that people who drank caffeinated energy drinks felt more alert and experienced improved mood for several hours afterwards – but, the next day, they felt more tired and fatigued than usual.


7. Frequent urination

Do you find that you need to urinate more often after a cup or two of coffee? If so, it’s because coffee is a diuretic and caffeine actively stimulates the bladder.

Additionally, some studies suggest that very high caffeine consumption can sometimes lead to incontinence, particularly in women.


How to cut down on caffeine

If you are already experiencing any of the above ill effects of caffeine or you want to cut down your consumption before it’s too late, check out the below tips for cutting down on this popular stimulant:


  • Do not go “cold turkey”, as this can lead to unwanted withdrawal symptoms
  • Gradually reduce the amount of caffeine you consume on a daily basis
  • Try natural alternatives to energy drinks and coffee, such as Yerba tea and nootropic drinks. Make sure to read their labels as some may have added caffeine. A clear indicator that a drink has added caffeine is if the fine print says that the drink is not recommended for young children of pregnant women.
  • Speak to your doctor for help and advice on cutting back on caffeine.
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