You might enjoy caffeine in your tea and coffee and find it very refreshing. But how does caffeine affect the body?
Consuming caffeine in large amounts offers more negative effects than positive ones. If you love the effects caffeine has on your body but are unaware of the underlining effects, read this article!
Also see the Best Herbs for Energy!
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system.
It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping you stay alert and prevent the onset of tiredness.
People who consume caffeine find themselves more alert, focused, and wakeful. This psychoactive drug is the most widely consumed in the world. Yet no one considers it illegal.
Among the two most widely consumed forms of caffeine are tea and coffee. The two have been consumed for centuries now.
In fact, Historians track the first brewed tea as far back as 2737 B.C. Coffee was reportedly discovered many years later.
Later, caffeine also started appearing in soft drinks that hit the market in the late 1800s. Soon, energy drinks were also a new way of consuming caffeine.
Nowadays, 80% of the world’s population consumes caffeinated products each day.
What products have caffeine?
Caffeine can be found in a variety of ingredients in many different products. Here are a few ingredients that have caffeine in them:
- Coffee beans: Coffee beans contain anywhere from 1-2% caffeine by weight. It means that an average cup of coffee has about 95 mg of caffeine, though this can vary depending on the strength of the brew and the size of the cup.
- Tea leaves: Tea leaves contain 2% to 5% caffeine, depending on the type of tea. Black tea leaves have the most caffeine, while white and green teas have less caffeine. The time the leaves are brewed also affects the amount of caffeine in the cup of tea. The longer the leaves are brewed, the more caffeine is released into the water.
- Kola nuts: The kola nut has been used for centuries in West Africa as traditional medicine and as a source of caffeine. Kola nuts contain about 2% caffeine, which is more than twice the amount found in coffee beans. The kola nut is a key ingredient in many popular beverages, including cola drinks, energy drinks, and iced teas.
- Cacao beans: Cacao beans contain 1-2% caffeine by weight. This means a 100-gram serving of cacao beans has about 70 mg of caffeine.
- Foods and beverages: Today, you can find several factory-made, packed food and beverage items that have caffeine in them. Such items include energy drinks, sodas, chocolate, and some over-the-counter medications.
Is caffeine good for you?
People often use caffeine for two reasons. First, they find it to provide energy. And secondly, they feel the ”need” to consume coffee. Here are a few positives of drinking caffeine.”
- It is no secret that caffeine can improve alertness and memory when consumed in small amounts.
- It can also help to temporarily relieve fatigue, stress, and drowsiness.
- Not to forget the flavor you get in the form of coffee, tea, or drinks. It is somewhat addictive, and the addictive nature of the drinks comes from the caffeine itself.
However, excess of everything is bad. Consuming caffeine can lead to restlessness, anxiety, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. Caffeine is addictive and can cause withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using it.
Why is caffeine bad for you?
It is important to be aware of the potential risks of drinking caffeine, especially for those who are way too addicted to the drink.
When consumed in large amounts, caffeine poses negative effects on the mind and body. Some of the negative effects of caffeine on your body are discussed below:
1. Restlessness and shakiness
Caffeine can cause your body to become overstimulated. This can lead to symptoms like restlessness, anxiety, irritability, and shakiness.
Caffeine can also cause tremors and muscle twitches. In extreme cases, it can even lead to seizures.
If you’re prone to anxiety or panic attacks, you might want to avoid caffeine altogether. Even small amounts of caffeine can aggravate symptoms.
Caffeine consumption may trigger headaches due to the increased blood flow around the brain and increased pressure on the nerves. This headache can be cleared in 1 or 2 weeks are quitting the use of caffeine.
Headaches can occur because of caffeine withdrawal symptoms, this usually disappears after the body adjusts to being caffeine free.
“Chronic repetitive exposures to caffeine increase the risks for development of analgesic-overuse headache, chronic daily headache, and physical dependency.”
Caffeine stays in the body for several hours after consumption, so drinking coffee or tea late in the day can make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
Most people find it useful as they can work until late hours, but it leads to insomnia long-term.
In addition to causing insomnia, caffeine can worsen existing sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.
4. Digestive issues
Caffeine can harm your digestive system as well. Caffeine can cause indigestion and heartburn and can upset your stomach. It can also lead to diarrhea and constipation.
Caffeine can also aggravate existing digestive problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
No matter how much you enjoy tea or coffee, If you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to avoid caffeine altogether.
Dizziness is a common side effect of caffeine. It can cause a feeling of lightheadedness and unsteadiness. In severe cases, it can lead to fainting.
Caffeine can also worsen other conditions that cause dizziness, such as anxiety and migraine headaches.
If you experience dizziness after drinking caffeinated beverages or taking caffeine pills, it’s best to cut back on your intake or avoid them altogether.
6. Muscle breakdown
Caffeine causes your body to release adrenaline, which leads to increased heart rate and blood pressure.
This “fight-or-flight” response is beneficial in small doses, but if you have too much caffeine, it can lead to muscle breakdown.
When your muscles break down, they release a protein called myoglobin into your bloodstream, which is harmful to your kidneys and can cause kidney failure.
7. Fast heart rate
A recent study has found that those who consumed caffeine had an increase in heart rate. The more caffeine they consumed, the greater the increase in heart rate.
While an increase in heart rate may not seem like a big deal, it can actually be quite dangerous. A fast heart rate can lead to palpitations and arrhythmias, which can be deadly.
Therefore, if you already have a heart condition, you should think twice before consuming caffeine.
One of the main problems of consuming more caffeine is dehydration. When dehydrated, your body does not have enough water to function properly.
This can lead to problems such as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. If you drink caffeinated beverages regularly, it is important to make sure that you are also drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Caffeine can have many negative effects on the body, particularly when it comes to addiction. Caffeine dependency can lead to a number of issues, including insomnia, headaches, and irritability.
When people become dependent on caffeine, they may find it difficult to function without it. This can lead to problems at work or school and can even affect personal relationships.
Caffeine dependency can also have serious health consequences. Those dependent on caffeine may be at risk for heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and anxiety.
Caffeine dependence can also worsen pre-existing conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders.
Anxiety is a common side effect of caffeine. Some people are more susceptible to it than others.
If you have anxiety, you’re more likely to experience anxiety from caffeine than someone without those conditions.
Caffeine can also make existing anxiety symptoms worse. If you’re prone to anxiety, it’s best to avoid or limit caffeine consumption.
Who should not have caffeine?
Certain groups of people are more susceptible to the negative side effects of caffeine and should avoid it if possible. Let’s discuss some of these groups below:
1. Pregnant women
Pregnant women are advised to avoid caffeine. Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect the fetus. It is a stimulant and can increase heart rate, blood pressure and low birth weight.
Caffeine can also lead to dehydration and make it difficult for the body to absorb iron. Therefore it is advised that pregnant women should avoid drinking caffeinated drinks.
2. People with sleep disorders
People with sleep disorders often have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Caffeine can make the situation worst for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Caffeine also interferes with the body’s natural sleep cycle. People with sleep disorders should avoid caffeine.
3. Breastfeeding women
A recent study has found that breastfeeding women who consume caffeine are more likely to have babies with sleep problems.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can enter breast milk. It can stay in the baby’s system for up to 14 hours. As a result, caffeine can cause sleeplessness and irritability in infants.
It is also associated with an increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Breastfeeding women should limit their excessive caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day. This is equivalent to about 2 cups of coffee per day.
4. People with chronic headaches or migraines
Migraines are a common type of headache that can cause intense pulsing or throbbing sensation in one part of the head. They’re often accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and extreme light and sound sensitivity.
While there is no cure for migraines, there are treatments that can help lessen the frequency and severity of attacks.
One such treatment is avoiding triggers, and for many people with migraines, unfortunately, caffeine is a trigger and is thought to narrow blood vessels in the brain, leading to more frequent headaches.
5. Ulcer patients
Caffeine is a stimulant that can speed up the movement of food through the stomach and intestines, and it can also contribute to heartburn and indigestion.
For people with ulcers, this can aggravate symptoms and lead to further damage to the digestive tract. In addition, caffeine can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, which is important for healing.
People with ulcers should avoid caffeine as much as possible or consume it with professional medical advice.
Also, If they do consume caffeine, be sure to drink plenty of water and eat small meals throughout the day to help keep your stomach acid levels down.
6. Patients with high blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common condition that can lead to serious health complications if left untreated.
While many medications and lifestyle changes can help lower blood pressure, one of the most important things for high blood pressure patients to do is avoid caffeine.
Caffeine can also make it difficult for patients to take their blood pressure medication as prescribed, as it can interfere with the absorption of the medication.
7. People with arrhythmia
People with arrhythmia are at risk of developing more serious heart problems. Caffeine can trigger or worsen arrhythmia.
Therefore, it is important for people with arrhythmia to avoid consuming caffeine. For such people, this can trigger an irregular heartbeat.
Caffeine can also make arrhythmia worse by causing your heart to work harder and increasing your blood pressure, which can lead to worse health situations.
So, how does caffeine affect the body?
No matter how energetic or alert you feel after drinking tea or coffee, it is evident that caffeine has negative effects on the human body.
Caffeine consumption can lead to increased anxiety and restlessness, dehydration, and difficulty sleeping. Caffeine is also addictive and can have withdrawal symptoms.
Therefore, it is crucial that you don’t submit to beverages that have caffeine in them but consume it in moderation because the weight of negative effects is higher than that of positive effects.
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