The Side Effects of Ingesting Caffeine
What People Should Know About the Common Component of Popular Beverages
Waking up in the morning can be a challenge for many people. If it wasn’t for the glorious gift of coffee, many of these people would be nearly unable to function. People spend hundreds of dollars each year on their daily cup of Joe. Even during the day, it seems that the American public is nearly dependent on coffee. Why is coffee such an essential part of life?
If it wasn’t for the caffeine content in coffee, it is likely that it would be significantly less popular to people, especially young people. Caffeine is a stimulant that causes people increased mental alertness and a feeling of being energized. Because of this, it is the perfect chemical to aid people in getting up early and staying focused throughout the day.
While most people see caffeine as completely harmless, caffeine is actually a drug and can become addictive if ingested too often, leading to headaches, exhaustion, anxiety, and lack of focus if an addicted person stops having it. Caffeine is also found in tea, many sodas, energy drinks, and chocolate.
Having a small amount of caffeine each day isn’t shown to cause any negative impacts on a person’s health. However, as people, especially young people, become more and more dependent on the substance and begin having more and more each day, some side effects can start to develop. Here are some of the side effects that people who enjoy large amounts of caffeine should be aware of.
While it may seem obvious, many people who drink large amounts of caffeine suffer from insomnia and are unable to sleep at night. This is likely due to the caffeine’s stimulant effects leading to the sufferer not being able to fall asleep. Even if it is multiple hours after the caffeine was ingested, there still could be small amounts within the person’s bloodstream.
Drinking caffeine causes adrenaline to be released, increasing alertness and leading to an increased “fight or flight” response. This isn’t significant when only small doses are ingested, but at larger doses, people may begin to feel jittery, nervous, or anxious.
In fact, according to the American Psychiatric Association, there are four different anxiety disorders that are directly related to caffeine consumption—one of which is known as caffeine-induced anxiety disorder. Considering the impact anxiety can have on a person’s life and cutting out the chemical could make many people’s lives much better.
3. High Blood Pressure
This is a symptom that may not be harmful to most young people, but for older people and for people who are already at a higher risk for high blood pressure or other circulatory problems, keeping caffeine out of the diet could be extremely important. This is one of the few symptoms of caffeine ingestion that, in combination with other health conditions or if caffeine is taken in too high of doses, could be potentially fatal.
It has also been shown that, for people who suffer from hypertension, even if only mild, there is an increased risk of suffering from heart attacks. This is especially true for people who drink more than four cups of caffeinated coffee a day.
4. Increased Heart Rate
This side effect is to be expected from a stimulant. Just like high blood pressure, this could be dangerous for people suffering from other health problems. This could also be dangerous if too much caffeine is taken.
This symptom may come as a surprise, considering that the main reason that people consume caffeine is to stay awake and alert. However, drinking too much or drinking it too often can have the opposite effect, leading people to become increasingly tired during the day. When caffeine is consumed, it does not stop fatigue, but delays it. Once the caffeine is out of a person’s system, the fatigue will hit a person all at once, rather than slowly over time, leading people to drink more caffeine, only to become even more tired, and crash even harder once the caffeine wears off.
6. Frequent Urination and Dehydration
Caffeine is a well-known diuretic, meaning that consuming it causes an individual to need to urinate more often than they would if they just drank water. It is also known that a larger volume of urine will be produced in people who drink caffeine compared to those who drink the same volume of water. This can lead to the body losing more water than it should, causing minor dehydration in an individual.
Overall, caffeine is a common substance that is ingested by millions, if not billions, of people each day. For most of these people, caffeine and the side effects of drinking it poses little threat. However, for those who drink too much or for those with other health problems, it is important that they are aware of what caffeine may do to them. While the short-term effects of this substance may be convenient, it would be beneficial for people to learn how to function without using the powerful stimulant known as caffeine.