What are the dangers of consuming too much caffeine?

What are the dangers of consuming too much caffeine?Between coffee, tea, soda pop, energy drinks, and even chocolate, 90% of the world’s population consumes caffeine every day without considering how it is actually affecting them. In reality, caffeine is a stimulant made from a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid. Caffeine is found in the seeds, leaves, and fruit of various plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects who try to feed on the plant.

Doesn’t that sound appetizing?

There are benefits to caffeine and it is actual safe, when consumed in moderation. Caffeine will give you a boost of energy and has been known to combat drowsiness.  Many studies have also shown that it can improve your memory and make you more alert.

There have also been recent studies relating to liver function that claim caffeine is quite effective in clearing the liver of accumulated toxins. Caffeine not only boosts your breathing rate and heart rate, but it also appears to affect the muscles directly. In order for a muscle fiber to contract, calcium must be released. Caffeine’s blocking effect on adenosine receptors appears to trigger a bigger burst of calcium, resulting in a stronger contraction. Other studies have shown that 140 to 400 milligrams of caffeine taken thirty minutes to an hour before a workout can significantly improve your speed and endurance. That’s quite a big list of benefits from something that you already enjoy drinking, so maybe that means you should drink even more?

Although it is safe and even beneficial in moderation, too much caffeine can be dangerous. Caffeine excites your nervous system, so it can put more pressure on your heart to keep up with your stimulated state. While this happens, your heart rate speeds up to accommodate the extra work your body is doing and having a rapid heart rate can be dangerous, especially if you have a heart condition or suffer from irregular heart rhythms.

As mentioned caffeine will help keep you awake and alert, so it is not surprising that having too much will interfere with your sleep patterns. It is a good idea to stop drinking caffeine a few hours before going to bed and not to consume more than two or three caffeine beverages per day. Even if you haven’t had caffeine recently, having a lot over the course of the day can still affect your ability to fall asleep at night. For some people, this starts an endless cycle where they don’t get enough sleep at night which causes them to rely more on caffeine during the day.

Some people cannot deal well with the increased stimulation in their brain and nervous system, which happens when you consume too much caffeine. This could potentially lead to anxiety caused by an inability to deal with caffeine’s effects on the body. Many people experience a body tremor or jitteriness after drinking too much coffee, which is a side effect of over stimulating the nervous system. A person who stops drinking caffeine after having a long-term dependency on it might even suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes it is in the form of tremors, other times it is a combination of symptoms like headaches, nausea, and fatigue.

The more you consume, the more likely you will experience the negative effects of caffeine. You can continue to enjoy that cup of coffee each morning, just don’t follow-up with a soda pop at lunch, and then drink a black tea with your dinner. A cup or two per day is okay, just make sure you balance it with plenty of water and other decaffeinated beverages.

Next step towards health:

  1. More info on Benefits of Coffee
  2. Science behind Coffee
  3. Books:  Coffee vs Tea
  4. Products:  Supreme Antioxidant

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One Response to “What are the dangers of consuming too much caffeine?”

Pingback from Why everyone’s day should start with a “good” breakfast Simple Health Tips
Time January 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm

[...] you start your day with a cup of coffee and a sweet pastry, you are usually consuming high amounts of sugar. Sugar will give you an [...]

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