Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed beverages around the world. It is universally utilized as an effective way to wake up in the morning. What makes coffee and other beverages effective in doing this is the chemical known as caffeine. Although it may seem harmless and usually that is the case, it is definitely possible to consume too much caffeine. Overdoing it when it comes to caffeine can result in considerable health issues that you may want to know about.
How much caffeine is too much?
In order to avoid health issues and side effects of too much caffeine requires that you know how much is too much. Although some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, generally speaking, 400 mg of caffeine per day is safe for a healthy adult. This amount of caffeine is equivalent to approximately four cups of brewed coffee or two “energy shot” beverages or 10 cans of cola.
Liquid and powder caffeine
Although it is possible to have too much coffee or cola, in regard to caffeine, you do need to be particularly more careful with liquid and powder versions of caffeine. These forms of caffeine are much more efficient in putting the chemical into the body and can reach toxic levels, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Having toxic levels of caffeine in the body can cause major health issues and can even kill you.
Pregnancy and children
Caffeine can be particularly unsafe for those who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant. It can also be detrimental to children as well. Those who are pregnant should completely abstain from caffeine intake. While breastfeeding an infant, one should limit intake of caffeine to less than 200 mgs per day. Generally, children should not be allowed to consume any caffeine.
Side effects of too much caffeine
There are a variety of side effects that can arise from consuming excessive caffeine. It is common for people to experience headaches and irritability. Overconsumption of caffeine has been known to cause insomnia and nervousness. You may also find that you need to urinate frequently or have an inability to control urination. A fast heartbeat and muscle tremors are common. There is some evidence suggesting caffeine can play a role in causing poor heart health.
Mixing with other substances
Caffeine can be more dangerous when it is consumed along with other types of substances. Many medications and health supplements interact negatively when mixed with caffeine. Some of these medications include ephedrine and theophylline. Echinacea is an herbal supplement that does not do well with caffeine. Consuming caffeine while drinking alcohol or other drugs can also be detrimental and should be avoided.
How to cut back on caffeine
If you find that you need to mitigate your caffeine habit there are several strategies you can employ to do so. One option is to keep track of exactly how much caffeine you are currently consuming each day and then start reducing consumption gradually. You can also choose decaffeinated coffee and other drinks. Also, do not forget to check the labels of medicines since they may also contain caffeine.