Caffeine Side Effects
Most people are surprised by the long list of caffeine side effects. Caffeine is the most widely used drug in our society, yet many habitual caffeine users are completely unaware of how it affects their entire body.
How Much is Too Much?
Everyone processes caffeine differently. I have gone through phases where a cup of coffee made me so jittery I broke or dropped everything in my path. Now, I can have one serving of caffeine without any noticeable effects. The goal of this page is to open your eyes to the myriad of caffeine side effects.
A six ounce cup of coffee has between 100-120 mg of caffeine. Some say that is all the caffeine you should have in a day. But three cups, or 300-400 mg, is a reasonably healthy daily dose, which may not produce troublesome caffeine side effects. But what if you add a couple caffeinated sodas (45-60 mg) or tea (35-70 mg)? And some dark chocolate (25 mg)? Before you know it, you’ve reached caffeine levels that can affect your health.
Caffeine can make it hard to fall asleep, reduce the amount of time you sleep, and disrupt your normal sleep cycles! If you're waking up tired, look at how much caffeine you're using.
If you are having trouble sleeping, cut out caffeine. Some studies suggest that caffeine's affect on sleep can even happen when you only have caffeine in the morning, even if you're "used" to caffeine. If insomnia or waking up tired are plaguing you, it's worth trying to stop having caffeine to see if it helps.
If you are experiencing ANY anxiety, restlessness, sleep disorder, or panic attacks, caffeine is NOT for you! Caffeine may not be causing your symptoms, but it may well be aggravating them. Super high amounts of caffeine have also been associated with depression. (But does a lot of caffeine cause depression or do depressed people use a lot of caffeine...)
Caffeine is associated with ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. (Sometimes it's the coffee and soda rather than the caffeine itself.) Many caffeine addicts depend on their morning cup to help them have a bowel movement. Relying on a drug for help in this area is a clear sign that you are too dependent on it! Unfortunately, being slammed with constipation when you try to cut back on caffeine tends to discourage those trying to quit the habit.
Support your digestive system
if you are cutting back on caffeine.
Caffeine raises your blood pressure. For many folks this is not a problem, but if you are dealing with high blood pressure, caffeine is not for you!
One research study found that postmenopausal women who have more than 300 mg of caffeine daily lost more bone in the spine than women who have less.
Even moderate amounts of caffeine increase your chances of fibrocystic breast disease. Consuming 500 mg or more doubles your chance of the condition.
The Silver Lining
Some research has shown positive effects of moderate caffeine consumption. For example, one study showed caffeine lowers your risk of gout. Another showed that moderate caffeine use decreases your chance of type II diabetes and Alzheimer's.
Moderation is KEY!
If you are experiencing insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, nausea or digestion problems, racing heartbeat, muscle tremors, headaches or anxiety, caffeine is not for you.
Keep your caffeine intake under 300mg per day to avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms and caffeine side effects. Caffeine is a performance-enhancing drug. Studies have shown that caffeinated people do better on memory tests. But like many drugs, the more you take it, the more you need to feel the same affect. Better to use caffeine in moderation, so that when you need that extra boost, one serving is enough to help you.
If you even suspect caffeine might be affecting your health, why not try to cut back or cut out caffeine? It is worth a try! Give it AT LEAST 21 days 100% caffeine free to see if you feel healthier without it before resuming in tiny amounts.
Now that you've discovered Caffeine Side Effects, return to the Healthy Lifestyle Home Page.