Caffeine has become so widespread in American society that you may not realize it’s an addictive drug. Caffeine is consumed in coffee and teas, chocolates, and energy drinks. These drinks may contain more caffeine than coffee.
Although it can have certain benefits, you should also remember that Caffeine may have side effects.
Positive effects of Caffeine
Caffeine can be found in many different plant sources, including tea leaves, coffee beans, cacao seeds and cocoa seeds. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system (CNS). People often drink Caffeine, usually in the form of tea, coffee, or energy drinks, to combat fatigue and improve attention.
Research suggests that Caffeine may not only make people more alert, but it also has other health benefits. These include:
- Improved memory: Research has shown that Caffeine can increase memory consolidation and long-term memory.
- Better mood: Recent research has shown that Caffeine can improve mood. One study found that a caffeine dose roughly equal to that in one soda improved subjective mood and performance.
- Increased metabolism – Studies have shown that caffeine intake can increase metabolism, which may help with weight maintenance.
- Lower mortality: A study showed that drinking two to four cups per day of coffee was associated with a lower risk of death.
Caffeine Side Effects
People may experience short-term side effects from caffeine consumption. These side effects are most common when Caffeine is consumed in higher amounts, usually more than 400 mg (mg) or more than four to five cups per day. These side effects can vary depending on how much Caffeine they consume each day.
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mind Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which mental health professionals use to diagnose psychological disorders, lists the following:
- Anxiety – Caffeine can increase alertness, but too much can cause anxiety or nervousness. Caffeine can cause your body to go into fight or flight mode, which could leave you feeling alert. The DSM-5 describes a condition called caffeine-induced anxiety disorder.
- Diuresis: Caffeine stimulates the bladder to increase urgency and frequency of urination. A study showed that excessive caffeine intake (more than 450mg per day) could increase the risk of developing urinary incontinence.
- Flushed skin: Caffeine dilates blood vessels, which can cause flushing in the face and other parts of the body.
- Gastrointestinal disorder: Too much Caffeine can cause stomachaches, gas, heartburns, constipation and nausea. Although stomachaches can be common with a lot of Caffeine, vomiting is uncommon. It would help if you did not drink any caffeine until your doctor has discussed the matter.
- Headache Caffeine is a common cause of headaches. Caffeine can trigger headaches if taken in large quantities. If you cut down on Caffeine, it can lead to a withdrawal headache. 8
- Insomnia – While Caffeine is often consumed to improve wakefulness, it can sometimes cause sleep problems. Some people have difficulty falling asleep or getting restful and restorative sleep. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to five hours, so it is best to stop drinking Caffeine before the afternoon.
- Muscle twitching Involuntary muscles cramps may be a side effect of Caffeine. There are many other possible causes. To see if your twitching stops, you can try avoiding Caffeine. Talk to your doctor if it doesn’t.
- Inexhaustibility: While this side effect may seem appealing, we all need to rest. You may not rest enough to allow your body to heal itself if you don’t get enough sleep. Although you may not feel tired, your body will eventually become exhausted if there aren’t enough breaks from activities.
- Psychomotor agitation – This type of stimulation can make it hard to calm the body.
- A rambling flow of thought or speech: This side effect is common and can make communication difficult.
- Feeling restless: You may feel a little agitated after taking Caffeine.
- Tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia are side effects that can cause changes in your heartbeat speed and frequency. These side effects should be considered serious. If you feel your heartbeat is irregular or too rapid, stop using Caffeine.
Many people don’t know about these side effects. Research on Caffeine has found that there are many positive effects.
Caffeine During Pregnancy
Caffeine intake during pregnancy can cause side effects. Research shows that excessive caffeine intake during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage. 10 Other research suggests that caffeine consumption during pregnancy could lead to low birth weight.