Coffee and tea are very popular beverage choices. However, they contain caffeine – a substance that can boost metabolism, mood, and mental and physical performance. Many people drink caffeine for mental alertness, migraine, memory, and athletic performance. In most cases, drinking these beverages in low to moderate quantities is considered safe, but high doses of caffeine may have unpleasant and sometimes even dangerous side effects. So it’s advised to limit caffeine intake as much as possible.
Side effects of caffeine
Experts believe healthy adults can drink up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily. It means nearly 4 cups of brewed coffee a day is safe. However, one must know the possible side effects of caffeine, some of which are listed below.
One of the most prized qualities of caffeine is its ability to help people stay awake. But excessive amounts of caffeine can make it challenging to get restorative sleep. Furthermore, studies have found that high doses of caffeine decrease total sleeping time, especially in older adults. In addition, caffeine taken later in the day may interfere with sleep as its effects take several hours to wear off completely.
Rapid heart rate
High amounts of caffeine also possess stimulatory effects that can increase heart rate. Further, it can lead to an altered heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. However, this may not happen to everyone, and some people dealing with heart problems may be able to tolerate high amounts of caffeine without any adverse effects.
Caffeine brings about alertness by blocking the effects of adenosine – a chemical in the brain that causes exhaustion. At the same time, it also triggers the release of the adrenaline hormone, leading to a surge of energy. But at high doses, these effects may become more pronounced, leading to anxiety or nervousness. Furthermore, extremely high caffeine intake is reported to cause jitteriness, rapid breathing, and increased stress levels.
One of the most common side effects of excessive caffeine intake includes increased urination. It happens due to caffeine’s stimulatory effects on the bladder. In addition, people drinking high doses of caffeine regularly may develop incontinence in the future. Hence, people experiencing urgency or incontinence are advised to steer clear of caffeine beverages. It may lead to a gradual improvement in the symptoms.
If one wishes to reap the benefits of caffeine without the side effects, one must accurately evaluate one’s sleep, energy levels, and other factors.