Caffeine is a stimulant found in tea, coffee, cocoa, soft drinks, energy drinks and bars, and some non-prescription medication. It is a psychoactive drug popularly used to stay awake and attentive.
Caffeine overconsumption is highly uncommon, but it is frequently linked to beverages or ingredients containing extremely high doses of this stimulant. Caffeine side effects can sometimes lead to fatal conditions; ventricular fibrillation is the most common cause of death from caffeine overdose. The lower cardiac muscles vibrate instead of contracting regularly, resulting in this situation.
What are the Consequences of Consuming Excess Caffeine?
Let us look at some of the most common caffeine side effects resulting from overconsumption.
While caffeine’s most coveted feature is its ability to keep people awake, the same aspect makes it harder to achieve adequate restful sleep. So pay attention to the amount and frequency of caffeine.
Excessive Blood Pressure:
Caffeine seemingly has a short-term effect on blood pressure; it especially impacts those not used to its regular consumption more. It also increases the blood pressure in fit individuals with moderate hypertension when they exercise. If you have hypertension, it is crucial to monitor and schedule your caffeine consumption.
Heart Rate Increase:
Caffeine in large doses may start causing an irregular heartbeat or rhythm in some individuals. These impacts differ significantly from person to person.
Frequent Urination and Urgency:
Caffeine’s stimulatory actions on the bladder cause increased urination, a common adverse caffeine side effect.
Caffeine may alter the body’s ability to utilize sugar, potentially worsening diabetes.
Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially fatal disorder in which injured muscle fibers enter the bloodstream, causing renal failure and other complications. A rare cause of this condition is excessive caffeine consumption.
Caffeine has laxative effects; it increases bowel motions by enhancing the contractions that help food pass through the digestive system. However, heavy caffeine intake can lead to frequent stool passing and even diarrhea.
Caffeine, while providing energy, can also cause exhaustion as its effects wear off. Consume caffeine in moderation to avoid rebound fatigue.
Caffeine inhibits the action of adenosine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that causes fatigue. It simultaneously triggers the release of adrenaline, the “fight-or-flight” hormone linked to enhanced energy. These functions may become more prominent with increasing doses, resulting in anxiety and uneasiness.
Those who consume substantial quantities of caffeine regularly may experience physical or emotional withdrawal if they go without it for several hours.
How to Overcome Caffeine Side Effects?
Abrupt reduction in caffeine consumption can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, weariness, restlessness, and trouble concentrating on tasks. It also has a variety of physiological effects, ranging from appetite suppression to increased alertness.
Here are some strategies that might help deal with the caffeine side effects.
Reduce the amount of intake gradually:
This approach is the key to tackle caffeine side effects. Each day, drink one less can of soda or a lighter cup of coffee. Alternatively, avoid caffeinated drinks late in the day. This strategy will allow your body to adjust to the lower caffeine content and reduce the likelihood of withdrawal symptoms.
The majority of decaffeinated beverages have the same appearance and flavor as their caffeinated equivalents.
Keep an eye on the labels:
Start tracking how much caffeine you consume through foods and beverages, especially energy drinks. Pay attention to the labels. However, keep in mind that your estimate may be off because certain caffeine-containing meals and drinks are not labeled.
Reduce the brewing time or switch to herbal tea:
Decreasing the brewing time of coffee limits its caffeine content. Alternatively, opt for caffeine-free herbal teas.
Too much of a good thing is bad. And the case is not different with caffeine. So be sure to enjoy your caffeine in moderation.