If you enjoy coffee just as much as any other person, then you’re one of the smart coffee drinkers out there who take their cup of joe in moderation. However, if you’re one of the few who just can’t put their cup down and treat coffee as if it’s water, then you might feel the effects of caffeine overdose. Yes, there is such a thing as drinking too much coffee.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in coffee, tea, and even chocolate. While it is a natural substance, it’s still considered a drug because of its effects. As a drug, caffeine stimulates your central nervous system and speeds up the messages traveling between the brain and the body.
The recommended amount of caffeine consumption for a healthy adult is up to 400 milligrams per day. Consuming more than the prescribed amount could lead to caffeine overdose and addiction. If you’re consuming a lot of caffeine every day, you should consider the following signs that could indicate if you’re on your way to caffeine overdose.
According to the Harvard Medical School, consuming a lot of caffeine can mimic symptoms of anxiety. If you already have symptoms of anxiety, drinking coffee will actually worsen the feeling of being anxious. This is further amplified whenever you drink coffee with lots of sugar. In fact, caffeine-induced anxiety disorder is one of four caffeine-related syndromes listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
This seems like a no-brainer since coffee is known as the go-to wake-up call of many people before going to work. However, too much caffeine can actually make it difficult for you to get enough restorative sleep as it increases the amount of time it takes for you to doze off. If you have the habit of drinking coffee late at night, then it can still interfere with your sleep. This is because caffeine takes a couple of hours before its effects wear off.
You also have to realize that coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine out there. If you’re already drinking a couple of cups of coffee a day, plus tea, soda, and energy drinks, then you’re already well on your way to an overdose.
Rapid Heart Rate
Since caffeine acts as a stimulant, one of its known effects is to cause your heart to beat faster. In some cases, it can even lead to altered heartbeat rhythms, called atrial fibrillation, which is common to young people who like to consume energy drinks with high doses of caffeine.
However, rapid heart rate doesn’t seem to occur to everyone. Some people with heart problems are able to tolerate high amounts of caffeine without any adverse effects. While that may sound like a good thing, it gives people a false sense of security by thinking that they can withstand the effects of having too much caffeine.
Despite all of caffeine’s benefits, there’s no denying that coffee can become habit-forming, even leading to addiction. As mentioned before, caffeine is still a drug that can be abused.
Caffeine similarly triggers certain brain chemicals as cocaine and amphetamines do. While it doesn’t cause classic addiction the way other drugs do, it can still lead to psychological or physical dependency, especially when taken at very high doses.
Those are just a few of the most common symptoms of consuming too much caffeine that many people may not realize they’re experiencing. Coffee is one of the most beloved drinks that people all over the world share a great fondness for. But like any other food and drink, having too much of the good thing can be bad for you. As always, enjoy coffee in moderation so you can get its full benefits without the risks.
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