How much coffee is too much coffee?

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Pop culture has the ability to glorify even the most basic things. Coffee is no longer just a beverage. It is the vehicle of an all-nighter, the liquid courage needed to face a Monday morning, and the magic potion that makes all last-minute work not only plausible, but also conquerable. Fortunately, it tastes just as good. Surely there would have been times when you’ve had one too many cups and then what it feels like to be wired.

too-much-caffeineThe devious little ingredient that inhibits you from sleeping a wink is called caffeine. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant which prevents the slowing down of brain activity, increases the production of adrenaline and magnifies your heart rate. Sadly, we must consider a reality wherein too much caffeine could have repercussions. Here are 6 ways in which it affects your body:

Gastrointestinal Disturbance and Stomach Ulcers

Basically, too much coffee is a powerful laxative. It keeps your bowel clean, but if you tread past the 400mg limit per day, it increases the contraction of the small and large intestinal muscles; thereby giving you diarrhoea. The acid content in your stomach also rises, making its way into the intestines at a rapid speed, potentially causing stomach ulcers or acid reflux. That’s a good enough reason to put a rein on your coffee consumption.

Alarm clock on night table showing 3 a.m.

Headaches and Insomnia

Our brain produces adenosine to slow down brain activity, when it has been overworked. That is your signal to take rest and allow your cell receptors to do the same. But sometimes, ambition gets in the way of our physical well being and we tend to tackle adenosine with copious amounts of coffee.

When your brain’s desire to nap is met with your indignation, naturally, it revolts and punishes you with a killer headache, as a consequence of the overloaded receptors. So make sure to sleep when your body requires it! On the other hand, too much coffee can prevent you from getting any sleep. By amping up its stimulant powers, caffeine battles with adenosine and keeps drowsiness at bay. Consistently drinking a lot of coffee could make you insomniac.

Muscular Spasms

Muscle spasms refer to abrupt, involuntary contractions of a muscle. They could be painful but they pass just as quickly. When your muscles are overworked, you may sometimes feel like they are twitchy. In addition to straining your muscles, this could also happen due to deficiencies of potassium or magnesium and because of caffeine intake. Caffeine has the tendency to make your muscles tense and when they are wound up, you could experience muscle tremors.

muscularAs long as you only have 2-3 cups a day, your muscular movements should not be jerky or erratic. Dehydration, which is also a dire consequence of too much caffeine, does not help the case of muscle spasms either. When you find yourself frequently glancing at that coffee pot, remember the spring mechanism – the more it is coiled, the jumpier it is!

Dehydration

Even though coffee is a beverage and you may think that it’s something refreshing, it plays a major role in dehydrating your body, just like alcohol. It increases blood flow through the kidney and thins the blood. You may feel the need to urinate a lot more often, if your coffee consumption is beyond normal. As a result, the kidney produces more waste. The caffeine drains your body of fluids because of the constant urination and diarrhoea. Hence, you end up losing all of the nutrients that you need for healthy functioning. The next time you’re thirsty, ditch the cold coffee for a rejuvenating slushy. Trust me, your body will be grateful.

Reproductive System

Fibrocystic disease causes lumps on the breast which are painful. It is said to be linked to excessive coffee drinking. Since caffeine is absorbed in the bloodstream, it is very detrimental for pregnant women. It can make its way to the baby, increasing his/her metabolism and heart rate.

If you consume more than the normal amount of coffee, you could be in danger of a miscarriage or even risk growth of the baby. Further, women who have a habit of high caffeine intake may find it difficult to conceive. Surely, no beverage is worth that trouble.

Cardiac-arrestCardiac Arrest

People with weak hearts should stay away from over the top coffee consumption. In addition to increasing blood pressure, caffeine can impact the cardiovascular system. It can cause nausea and dizziness. Heart palpitations are also known to occur if you’ve lost count of the number of cups you’ve had, especially if the person consuming it is sensitive to the substance.

A study published in the World Journal of Emergency Medicine in 2014 titled, “Cardiac arrest: a case-based review” has found that young people who do not suffer from any cardiovascular diseases have had multiple cardiac arrests due to abnormal coffee intake.

There are many other ill-effects of consuming large amounts of coffee including hallucinations, stuttering, impairment of cognitive abilities etc. I know, it is heartbreaking to learn of so many health issues relating to coffee. But until someone comes up with a plan to nullify all of the above mentioned effects, we are going to have to exercise some self-control.

51634_article_fullWith that in mind, make sure your trips to Starbucks or Costa Coffee are not as frequent as to warrant serious concerns.

You only live once, but you might as well give it your best shot, right?

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