Most people drink coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks or some combination of these on a daily basis. While caffeine is generally fine in moderation, it can have negative impacts on health and wellbeing when too much is consumed. The effects of caffeine and the amounts that are healthy differ from person to person.
How Too Much Caffeine can Affect You
Consuming an excessive amount of caffeine can cause a wide range of problems. Some are simply inconvenient or annoying, while others can have major effects on your health.
Many people who drink a lot of caffeine experience excessive thirst. Frequent urination is also common. That can lead to the loss of vital nutrients. Drinking a lot of caffeine can lead to an increased heart rate and even chest pain.
Consuming caffeine within six hours of bedtime makes it hard for many individuals to fall asleep or stay asleep. Irritability and anxiety are other possible side effects of high caffeine consumption.
Caffeine can also change the way some types of medications are absorbed and can make them less effective. If you take medication on a regular basis, speak with your doctor about your caffeine consumption and whether you should make changes.
Some individuals are allergic to caffeine. It can trigger a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, high blood pressure and hives. If that happens, call 911 immediately.
Think About how Caffeine Affects You
People’s bodies break down and remove caffeine at different rates. That means that the same amount of caffeine can affect two people in very different ways. Pay attention to how caffeine affects you. If you notice negative changes in your mood, heart rate or sleeping habits, you may need to cut back.
It’s also important to note that the amount of caffeine can differ widely from one beverage to another. Even two cups of coffee with the same number of ounces can have different amounts of caffeine. This is why it’s important to check labels. You may be consuming more caffeine than you realize.
How to Cut Back on Caffeine
If you’re concerned about how caffeine is affecting you and you want to cut back, do it gradually. Giving up caffeine cold turkey can cause headaches. Work on replacing one caffeinated drink per day with one that doesn’t have caffeine, or have a cup of coffee that’s half decaf. If you currently rely on caffeine to fight fatigue, focus on drinking more water and eating more nutritious foods instead. If you have any questions or concerns, discuss them with your doctor.