What are the Side Effects of Caffeine

Many people rely on caffeine to help them wake up in the morning. They also may rely of caffeine to boost their energy in the afternoon. Studies have shown that caffeine can have benefits for people who drink caffeine in moderation. It helps with muscle soreness from exercise, it provides more stamina for athletic activities, and as long as you don’t already have it, caffeine can prevent heart disease. On the other hand, if too much caffeine is consumed at once, side effects can occur. Caffeine is OK to drink, but make sure you’re consuming no more than 300 milligrams a day.

Side effects from drinking more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day can cause quite a lot of problems in the human body, both physically and mentally. Anywhere from PMS problems to addiction. Let’s take a look at some of the side effects that caffeine can cause.

Caffeine interacts directly with the nervous system. It stimulates the nervous system, and too much caffeine can cause the body’s “flight or fight” defense mechanism to engage. Panic attacks and anxiety are the result of the defense mechanism being pushed into overdrive. If someone already suffers from anxiety or panic attacks, the results from too much caffeine can lead to a heightened anxiety problem.

There’s some disagreement as to whether caffeine is addictive or not. It may not be as addictive as nicotine, but your body can come to rely of the results of caffeine, even if you’re only getting a low dose every day. People who consume more than the recommended amount of caffeine can feel the addictive aspect much more. Once the caffeine levels in the body’s system start to drop, a person can experience the following withdrawal symptoms.

HeadacheIrritabilityFatigueInsomniaDepressionDizzinessNauseaRinging in the earsInability to concentrate

Once a person experiences any of these symptoms, they have a tendency to reach for another cup of coffee to get rid of the problem.

Premenstrual syndrome can be bad enough for some women as it is. Too much caffeine can lead to enhanced PMS symptoms. Women who drink too much caffeine can have heightened symptoms such as bloating, headaches, and abdominal cramps.

You would think that since a caffeinated beverage like coffee is made with water, that you’d be getting hydrated by drinking it. It’s just the opposite. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and causes you to lose fluids, not gain them. It’s recommended that you drink one cup of pure water for every cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage you drink.

Speaking of diuretics, because of the diuretic aspect of caffeine, you’re not only losing fluids like water, but you’re also losing calcium. Caffeine actually speeds up the amount of calcium that is passed through urine. It is essential that anyone who has weak bones or osteoporosis limit their caffeine intake to less than 300 milligrams a day.

Excess caffeine may make bipolar worse in some people. In one particular instance a 36 year old man, who had a controlled case of bipolar, was sent to the hospital with symptoms of mania. This occurred after the man drank several cans of a particular energy drink that contained caffeine over the course of four days.

Glaucoma is a condition that happens when too much fluid pressure builds up in the eye. Caffeine can actually increase this pressure within 30 minutes of consumption, and can last for at least an hour and a half.

Depending on the type of coffee or tea you drink, you could get as much as 150 milligrams in one cup. If you use caffeinated drinks like coffee, soda, or tea as a pick me up in the afternoon, you may want to seek out other ways to boost your energy, rather than guzzle cup after cup of caffeine. If you drink coffee, soda, or tea because you enjoy the flavor, switch to a decaffeinated variety in the afternoon. You’ll still get the great taste, but you’ll avoid all of the side effects of caffeine. If you’re looking to decrease the amount of caffeine you drink, you should do it slowly to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. There’s no need to cut caffeine out of your diet completely, but it’s a good idea to limit yourself to the equivalent of two cups a day.

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