Caffeine is a stimulant of the brain and the Central Nervous System (CNS). It also stimulates some part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). It increases the activities of the CNS and speeds up messages from the brain to the body and vice versa. Caffeine is a psychoactive drug that is legally consumed in most parts of the world.
Caffeine can be extracted from seeds, fruits, nuts, and leaves of native plants in Africa and Asia. It is in coffee, cocoa beans, kola nuts, chocolate, green tea, black tea, sodas, energy drinks, cola drinks, and some baked goods. It is also in some over-the-counter medications, cough syrup, supplements, and slimming tablets.
Caffeine has good and bad effects on health. It can improve your mood and boost your metabolism. People can consume caffeine and experience differently depending on their genes, body weight, or size, but it’s safer when taken in low amounts.
These are the consequences of caffeine when taken too much.
Health Consequences of Caffeine
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Taking too much caffeine may increase your blood pressure. Though the intake of caffeine might not affect everybody’s blood pressure the same way. Check your blood pressure before and after taking a caffeinated drink to know if it affects it.
If the top number (systolic pressure) of your blood pressure reading is more than 120mmHg and the bottom number (diastolic pressure) reading more than 80mmHg, it means your blood pressure is high. It is advisable to cut your caffeine intake.
Fortunately, this effect may not last for a long time.
Consuming coffee before exercise increases blood pressure. Therefore, it’s advisable to avoid caffeinated drinks before exercises like weight lifting for example.
Those who are not used to taking caffeine may experience an increase in blood pressure due to their body system not being accustomed to it. If you have high blood pressure, limit your intake of caffeine, and do so gradually.
As a stimulant, caffeine acts on adenosine receptors by stopping its effects. Excessive intake of caffeine can cause anxiety, jitteriness, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobia disorders.
These effects happen even when you are not aware of them.
It can also worsen symptoms in individuals diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. To reduce the anxiety you should limit the consumption of caffeine and always check your body reactions to know how much you can resist.
The most known effect of this stimulant is its ability to keep you awake. As caffeine may increase alertness, it can also cause sleeplessness.
Studies have shown that higher caffeine intake can inhibit the timing of your body clock.
Too much caffeine can make it difficult for you to fall and stay asleep. It’s advisable to avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
Caffeine can affect sleep differently depending on your genetics. It has more effects on the elderly. Their body system takes time to process caffeine.
High caffeine intake can cause complications during pregnancy. Nursing mothers should limit or avoid caffeine. Parents should also limit caffeine intake for their children.
Rapid Heart Rate
An increase in a heartbeat can be due to a high level of caffeine intake.
Caffeine takes effects in the blood within 15-45 minutes of consumption. It has a half-life of about 4-5 hours. If an individual consumes 50 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, 25 milligrams (mg) of caffeine will remain in the body system after 4 or 5 hours.
This effect can develop into more serious conditions like heart diseases, heart stroke, and even sudden death.
Consumption of caffeine can increase urination frequency. Caffeine increases blood flow into the kidneys and enlarges the blood vessels to produce more urine from the kidneys
Too much intake of caffeine can cause excess sweat (most especially in people who are allergic to caffeine). This excess fluid loss can lead to dehydration.
That painful sensation that you feel in some parts of your head, going from intense to mild, might be caused by caffeine.
Caffeine cures headaches by restricting blood flow and returning dilated blood vessels to their normal state.
Caffeine is used in the production of some pain-relieving drugs. Drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen (paracetamol) contain caffeine.
Just as caffeine treats migraines, it can also be a trigger too.
Regular intake of caffeine can make your body accustomed to its effects. And too much of it can worsen migraines or even lead to chronic migraines.
As caffeine restrains dilated blood vessels when consumed, it enlarges the blood vessels when resisted. That is, when you try to withdraw from it, it causes what is known as caffeine withdrawal headache.
This withdrawal headache can last for weeks or even months.
It is advisable to gradually reduce your caffeine intakes to avoid withdrawal headaches.
Monitor the amount of caffeine you consume and its effects on your body.