Caffeine, a naturally occurring drug, is found in coffee beans, tea leaves cacao pods and fruits of plants. It forms a part of various popular products and beverages, like sodas, tea, coffee, colas, energy drinks, chocolates, medicines, etc. It is produced synthetically also and used in food products as an addictive. A moderate dose of caffeine would include one to three cups of coffee a day, while a heavy dose could be four to seven or even more cups a day. Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, which helps ward off drowsiness and restores alertness and energy. However, its overuse can lead to central nervous system disorders and even heart attack. Caffeine, when consumed moderately, can boost your metabolism, but it can adversely affect your body when taken excessively. Researchers have indicated that men are more susceptible to caffeine, as compared to women. Read on to explore the side effects of caffeine.
Negative Effects Of Caffeine
Some common effects of excessive caffeine consumption include headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, mood swings, vomiting, nausea, palpitations, restlessness, muscle tremors and sleeping difficulties. The severe negative effects of caffeine consumption are:
- Since caffeine is a stimulant, it acts as a diuretic, which means that a person tends to urinate more frequently when it is consumed in excess. This reduces water content in the body, which can lead to dehydration.
- It increases blood sugar level, blood pressure level (BP) and body temperature. Patients with diabetes or high BP problems should reduce their intake of caffeine, though they may not necessarily eliminate it from their diet.
- Heart patients are more seriously affected by caffeine, as it can cause cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) in some people.
- Consumption of caffeine at night can cause insomnia.
- Kids and young adults often complain of bad headaches, since most of them drink sodas and energy drinks. This can be a link to attention deficit disorders.
- A person's body can suffer from calcium deficiency, when he/she takes too much caffeine, since a lot of it is lost in urine and stools. With time, bone density reduces and leads to osteoporosis (a disease where bones break easily or are even fractured). Such drinkers are advised to substitute their caffeine products with milk, low fat yogurt, and other high-calcium foods or calcium supplements.
- Absorption of the chemical magnesium, which is significant to maintain healthy bowel levels, is also obstructed due to caffeine consumption.
- Intake of caffeine should be limited to one cup a day, by patients suffering from Crohn's disease, ulcers and gastro-intestinal reflux, since it increases the secretion of acids and pepsin in the stomach.
- Studies have revealed that intake of more than six cups of coffee in a day by pregnant women can lead to increased miscarriage risks or low-birth weight babies.
- Caffeine can also cause fibrocystic breast disease and increase breast tenderness.
Note: The severity of caffeine effects may vary from one person to another.