How Much Caffeine Is Too Much? Know About Caffeine Addiction From Expert

Here is everything that you need to know about caffeine addiction along with its side effects on your health.

Charu Sharma
Written by: Charu SharmaUpdated at: Oct 18, 2021 23:10 IST
How Much Caffeine Is Too Much? Know About Caffeine Addiction From Expert

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Starting off your morning with a cup of tea and having that coffee to keep yourself energised throughout is a practice followed by most of the people. Where there are various types of coffees ranging from americano to frappuccino and from latte to frappuccino, some people out there are really proud of their caffeine addiction and coffee consumption. Little do you know that the beverage you all have been consuming due to its taste or to keep yourself energetic can actually have some downsides and can affect your health. While consuming coffee is not a bad thing, overconsumption can surely have some consequences. Here is everything that you need to know about caffeine addiction with Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, MBBS, Food, Lifestyle And Wellness expert.

What is caffeine?

Where we all have heard about caffeine addiction and its side effects, it is really important to know what caffeine actually is. To understand it in a simple manner, caffeine is a stimulant of the central nervous system that is commonly found in beverages such as tea and coffee. Caffeine is said to be the most consumed psychoactive drug in the world.

Image Credits- CNN

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Caffeine is said to help a person stay awake and reduce tiredness. When consumed, caffeine easily gets absorbed into the bloodstream through the gut and then breaks down to affect the functions of various organs. Caffeine works by blocking the effects of adenosine which works by relaxing the brain and hence makes you feel tired. Moreover caffeine is also responsible for increasing the levels of adrenaline in the blood and hence increase the activity of norepinephrine and dopamine neurotransmitters.

What is caffeine addiction?

As we have learnt about what caffeine actually is and the ways in which it works, let us take a minute to know about what caffeine addiction really is and how it can affect our overall health. Where caffeine helps to keep you awake and energetic, it surely has some downsides to it as well. Let us take a look at what Dr. Sidhant Bhargava has to say about this. “In its truest form coffee or caffeine is a drug. In the short term, it does have its positive benefits as it can provide you with elevated energy levels, enhances performance, helps to focus better and keeps you alert. With all these benefits it has some demerits of its own as well. At the end of the day it is an addiction and your body creates a tolerance towards caffeine. This means that over time caffeine will stop acting and hence you will need to increase your caffeine intake in order to get the same results.Until 400mg or 10 cups of coffee the pronounced adverse effects of caffeine do not kick in. Overconsumption of coffee can result in bad or disturbed sleep, increased heart rate, anxiety, acidity, etc. Although caffeine does have its negatives, it is not all bad.”

Like everything else coffee has its positives and negatives as well. Consuming coffee in a limited amount can be beneficial and help you in various ways where the overconsumption of the same has its own downsides and can affect your health.

Symptoms of Caffeine Addiction

Symptoms are something which help us in assessing a condition or disease at an early stage. Knowing about the symptoms of a condition can help in retrospecting it and getting a timely treatment. Here are some of the symptoms of caffeine addiction that will help you to know if you are consuming too much caffeine on a regular basis and if you are addicted to it.

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  • Headache
  • Feeling Shaky
  • Racing heart
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Disturbed Sleep
  • Increased Blood Pressure

Side effects of Caffeine Addiction

As said even the coin has two sides so how can caffeine or coffee be spared. With its magnificent benefits like decreased fatigue, improved alertness, better mental functioning and improved memory, overconsumption of caffeine-containing beverages can have downsides of its own. From increased heart rate to distubed sleep, here are a few side effects of caffeine addiction that you need to know about.

1. Disturbed Sleep

Where we all have been consuming coffee the night before an exam or that important presentation to keep ourselves awake, it is important to know that overconsumption of caffeine can result in insomnia or disturbed sleep. Consuming too much caffeine can actually make it difficult to get proper restorative sleep. According to some studies, overconsumption of coffee over a long period of time can result in sleeping difficulty in elderlies. 

2. High Blood Pressure

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It is important to know that an overconsumption of coffee is caused due to caffeine addiction. Various studies show that caffeine consumption can result in high blood pressure which leads to damaged arteries, stroke, heart attacks and restricted blood flow. Due to this increase in high blood pressure, caffeine can have a direct impact on your heart health.

3. Digestion Issues

Where a cup of coffee or tea in the morning is something people use to get the bowels moving. Due to its laxative effects caffeine leads to the release of a hormone that is commonly known as gastrin which helps in speeding up the colon activity. Where this increased colon activity can be helpful for people, it can also lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea in some due to overconsumption of caffeine.

4. Increased Heart Rate

While keeping your heart healthy should be your first priority in order to lead a healthy life, it is important to know that caffeine addiction is something that can lead to complications in your cardiovascular health. High intake of caffeine can have some stimulatory effects which results in an increase and rapid heart rate. 

Also Read: Are Women Strong Hearted As Compared To Men? Know From The Doctor

5. Rhabdomyolysis

Caffeine addiction that leads to an overconsumption of caffeine can actually result in rhabdomyolysis which is a condition in which the damaged muscle fibers enter the bloodstream and causes complications such as kidney failure.

Tips to control Caffeine Addiction

By now you know all about the symptoms of caffeine addiction and the downsides of it. Knowing all this should be alarming enough for you to decrease your caffeine intake and consume it in moderation. We understand that when something turns into an addiction it can be quite difficult to manage its intake. Here are some tips that you can follow to overcome your caffeine addiction and keep conditions such as insomnia and rhabdomyolysis at bay.

Image Credits- Times Of India

  • Pay attention- Where coffee helps you to stay attentive, it is hgh time that you pay attention to the way you feel after consuming caffeine. It is not just the physical symptoms but mental effects of caffeine intake as well that a person needs to pay attention to.
  • Assess Intake- An important thing that you need to take into consideration when contiling your caffeine addiction is what amount of caffeine you are consuming on a regular basis. Where it is not just your cup of tea or coffee that consists of caffeine but the soft drinks as well.

Everything is good and healthy if consumed in a limit, where overconsumption of healthy substances can also lead to various complications and might result in diseases. Caffeine or coffee is not a villain of your life or a foe to your health but can actually benefit you in ways when consumed in restricted quantities. Addiction to such substances can result in various illnesses and have adverse effects on your health over time.

This article is based upon a post by Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, MBBS, Food, Lifestyle And Wellness expert., on his instagram handle.