Caffeine occurs naturally in coffee beans as a psychoactive substance. It has several uses including making a good additive to energy drinks and sodas. However, it may have some side effects.
Caffeine works in your body by improving your mood, boosting your metabolism, and increasing your mental and physical performance. When this substance is consumed in low or moderate amounts, it can be safe. That said, when taken in higher doses, caffeine can lead to dangerous and unpleasant side effects.Apart from consuming caffeine in coffee, it can also be included as an ingredient in some drugs, including those of cold, pain, and allergy.Since consuming caffeine in higher doses is not beautiful, this article will discuss some side effects associated with it.
Many people, especially the book-warmers usually use caffeine for its ability to keep them awake. However, higher doses of caffeine can make it difficult for you to get quality sleep. One published study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information made it clear that a higher intake of caffeine can prolong the time one takes to fall asleep and at the same time making him sleep for fewer hours. The study pointed out that this is more common in elderly people. On the other hand, sleep quality and pattern for those who took low or moderate caffeine amounts, was not affected at all.
If you are not careful, you may not even account for the amount of caffeine you take and this may make it hard for you to tell when and how much it has interrupted you.Tea and coffee are two drinks that contain high amounts of caffeine. However, caffeine is also concentrated in sodas, energy drinks, cocoa, and several medications. According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 500 mg of caffeine may be contained in just a can of energy drink, while some may pump up to 350 mg.
Some of the factors that determine how caffeine may affect your sleep include genetics. The time a person takes caffeine is yet another factor. As compared to taking caffeine in the morning, caffeine taken later in the day may impact negatively on your sleep as it wears off slowly in your blood.
Research has shown that the average time it takes caffeine to completely wear off in your blood is five hours, but depending on an individual’s genetics this time frame may vary between ninety minutes and nine hours.
2. May Cause Anxiety
One of the reasons why caffeine is widely used is its ability to increase alertness. It does this by inhibiting the effects of adenosine which is responsible for inducing feelings of tiredness and at the same time stimulating the release of fight-and-flight hormone – adrenaline which increases energy production.
When taken in higher doses, the effects associated with adrenaline may be more pronounced, causing anxiety and nervousness. Anxiety due to caffeine use can be so severe that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders listed it under the four caffeine-related syndromes as “caffeine-induced anxiety disorder.”
Those who take up to 1,000 mg and above of caffeine per day may experience jitteriness, nervousness, and sweating whereas individuals who are sensitive to caffeine may present with the same symptoms even at moderate doses.
3. May Lead to Muscle Breakdown
Muscle breakdown is a rare issue but when it occurs in extreme intake of caffeine, it may lead to rhabdomyolysis. This is an extremely serious condition that occurs when broken muscle fibers penetrate the bloodstream, eventually leading to complications such as kidney failure.
Rhabdomyolysis is usually caused by drug abuse, infections, trauma, and bites from poisonous insects, arthropods, or snakes, as well as muscle strain. Besides these conventional causes, the National Center for Biotechnology Information has found that a higher intake of caffeine can also lead to rhabdomyolysis. You need to reduce your intake of caffeine to approximately 250 mg per day to avoid the risk of rhabdomyolysis.
4. May Result in Addiction
It is indisputable that caffeine can be so addictive coupled with the fact that it has promising health benefits. Researchers believe that caffeine addiction is majorly caused by physical or psychological dependency more so if taken chronically at higher doses.
One study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information examined 213 users of caffeine. After going for 16 hours without taking it, some of the participants who were daily users, experienced fatigue, increased headache, and withdrawal symptoms. This was unlike those who didn’t consume it daily.Based on this finding, by frequenting your intake of caffeine by regularly drinking coffee or caffeinated drinks, you may as well become addicted.
5. May Cause Digestive Problems
Many people have reported that taking coffee in the morning makes them poop. Research has shown that coffee has a laxative effect, it can lead to increased production of gastrin and cholecystokinin, which are digestive hormones responsible for bowel movement.
One study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that caffeine can also increase peristalsis which stimulates bowel movements. Therefore, if you take caffeine in high doses, it is not surprising that you will definitely present with digestive issues like diarrhea or loose stool.Additionally, studies have linked consumption of caffeinated drinks with increased symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in some individuals.
6. Can Lead to High Blood Pressure
No research so far has shown that consumption of caffeine can increase the risk of stroke or even heart disease. However, some studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, have shown that caffeine consumption may result in raised blood pressure.
Reasoning from this perspective, the risk of heart disease or stroke can be increased by elevated blood pressure. This is because it can lead to arterial damage gradually which inhibits the flow of blood to the brain or heart.Fortunately, effects on blood pressure with caffeine intake are temporary. All the same, you need to pay to the dosage of your caffeine, as higher doses may prolong these effects.
Caffeine is a widely used beverage in the world. It is commonly included in coffee, sports drink, energy drinks, chocolate, and dugs. Caffeine intake is safe in low or moderate use. However, higher doses of caffeine can lead to muscle breakdown, anxiety, and addiction among other side effects.