What are the long term effects of caffeine?
Caffeine is a component in many plants, including coffee and tea.
The main purpose of it is to act as a toxin to defend the plants against herbivores.
Caffeine in limited quantities is beneficial to our health but in excessive quantities is harmful.
However, the long term effects of excessive caffeine consumption are unknown.
The effects of excessive caffeine intake (more than 4-5 cups of strong tea or coffee) include:
- Increased urination
- Increased heart rate
- Stomach upset
- Increased blood pressure
- It can cause restlessness in unborn babies and hyperactivity in kids
How does caffeine affect your body?
Over 400 milligrams of caffeine is harmful to the body.
The effect of caffeine on various systems of the body are as follows:
Central Nervous System (CNS)
Caffeine is a stimulant and causes mental alertness once it reaches the brain.
It is a common ingredient in medications that are meant to treat drowsiness, migraines, and headaches.
Digestive and excretory systems
Caffeine stimulates the production of stomach acid and can cause heartburn, acid reflux or a stomach upset.
Excess caffeine is stored in the liver which exits through urine.
Hence, drinking excessive coffee or tea increases the urge of urination.
Respiratory and circulatory systems
When caffeine reaches your bloodstream, it increases your blood pressure for some time due to the increase in adrenaline production.
Excess caffeine can lead to irregular heartbeat and breathing.
Excess caffeine interferes with the absorption and utilization of calcium.
Therefore, can lead to osteoporosis.
Caffeine in normal amounts has no significant effects on the muscular system.
Caffeine can cross the placental barrier and therefore can affect the fetus.
It can increase the heart rate of the fetus and metabolism as it is a stimulant.
How does caffeine affect metabolism?
Apart from increasing alertness in the CNS, it has considerable effects on other systems of the body as well.
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system to send signals to the fat cells that prompt them to break down stored fat.
This is brought about by increasing the level of hormone epinephrine or adrenaline in the blood.
Apart from this, caffeine increases the overall rate of metabolism, which is caused by an increase in the burning of fats.
How can I boost my metabolism to lose weight?
There are multiple ways one can boost their metabolism in order to lose weight. Some of these include:
Eating high proteins during every meal: It is paradoxical that eating food can actually help burn calories. This is known as the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF).
Of all the categories of food we eat, proteins have the highest TEF and can increase your metabolic rate by 15-30%.
Eating high amounts of proteins keeps you feeling full for long periods of time and thereby, reduces excessive caloric intake.
Drink plenty of water:
Drinking water has innumerable benefits to your body.
It helps you feel full and thereby prevents overeating.
Apart from this, drinking water helps boost metabolism.
However, drinking cold water has more calorie burning effect because the body uses its heat to bring cold water to the body temperature.
This helps burn more calories and helps you lose weight.
A regular high-intensity workout:
Following a regular exercise regime is recommended for people of all ages.
However, if you are looking to lose weight, doing high-intensity workouts is recommended as it helps you burn more calories.
- Drink coffee: Caffeine in coffee is said to increase the rate of metabolism by 3-11% and also promotes fat burning. So, drinking coffee in limited quantities can help you burn fats and lose weight.
- Drink green tea: Just like drinking coffee is helpful if you are looking to lose weight, green tea also has similar effects. It boosts metabolism and thereby, helps you lose weight.
Is 1000 mg of caffeine too much?
Caffeine is healthy when consumed in limited quantities but is harmful when excess amounts are consumed.
Approximately 250-300 mg of caffeine is said to be a moderate amount that can be consumed.
According to the Agricultural Department’s latest dietary guidelines for Americans, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine is safe for adults.
Exceeding 600 milligrams a day is said to be dangerous.
Hence, 1000mg of caffeine is definitely too much.
How many Red Bulls can you drink in a day?
Red bull is a drink that is known to keep you mentally alert and gives you instant energy, much like coffee.
The reason is that one regular can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine.
Considering that the safe limit of caffeine consumption is 400mg, one should not have more than 4-5 regular cans of Red Bull in a day.
However, pregnant women or those breastfeeding must avoid or limit their caffeine consumption to less than 200mg per day.
How much caffeine is in 5-hour energy drinks?
The amount of caffeine in 5-hour energy drinks is 3-5 times the amount of caffeine in a typical soda.
The amount of caffeine in ‘extra strength’ variant contains up to 242 mg of caffeine.
However, the real problem arises when these energy drinks are mixed with alcoholic drinks or are consumed by younger people who tend to be more sensitive to caffeine.
Drinking 5-hour energy drink can also cause further problems in people who already have other health conditions.
The genetics behind caffeine metabolism
Caffeine is known to be beneficial to our health when consumed in limited amounts.
However, everyone reacts to it differently once it is in their system.
There are some people who are known as slow caffeine metabolizers in whose case caffeine builds -up in their system and can have adverse effects.
This is said to occur due to their genetic make-up and variations in the CYP1A2 gene.
This gene codes for the CYP1A2 liver enzyme that is responsible for metabolizing caffeine.
So, the variations of this gene are responsible for how you react to caffeine and whether you are a slow or a quick caffeine metabolizer.
Caffeine tolerance in an individual is gene deep.
The enzyme CYP1A2 is responsible for metabolizing caffeine in the body and determines whether the individual is a slow or a fast caffeine metabolizer.
A person who is a fast metabolizer of caffeine would mean that their system metabolizes caffeine fast and eliminates it out of the body and they are said to have a high caffeine tolerance.
Such people have two copies of the fast variant.
There are some people who have one slow and one fast copy of the variant and are said to be moderately tolerant to caffeine.
However, those individuals who have two copies of the slow variant are slow metabolizers of caffeine and are said to be poorly tolerant of it.
Is caffeine bad for your kidneys?
In moderate amounts, caffeine is not bad for your kidneys.
However, there are some things one must keep in mind.
Drinking caffeine can bring about a quick yet short-term increase in your blood pressure levels.
So, drinking excessive amounts of caffeine can lead to kidney damage.
People with kidney diseases must exercise caution while drinking caffeine-containing drinks like coffee.
How do you get the caffeine out of your system?
If you crossed the caffeine line and ended up consuming more than the recommended limit per day.
There are ways you can use to get that caffeine out of your system:
- Flush it out by drinking lots of water
- Exercise to let the caffeine metabolize
- Have some herbal tea like chamomile tea to reduce the effects of caffeine
- Have vitamin C rich fruits
How long until caffeine is completely out of your system?
Caffeine which is known to cause immediate mental alertness reaches its peak level in blood in about 30-60 minutes.
It has a half-life of about 3-5 hours, which means that that is the time taken by your body to eliminate half of the ingested caffeine.
The rest of it remains in the body for a long time.
What is the best drink to flush your kidneys?
When there is a lot of caffeine in the body, it can affect the kidneys.
There are various drinks you can have that will help flush your kidneys and the best drink to help you do that is water!
Apart from that, other drinks include:
- Fresh fruit juices
- Kidney cleansing teas
- Vegetable juices
Is caffeine harmful to your body?
The overdose of caffeine is harmful.
Anything above 5 gms of caffeine is lethal to an individual and can cause havoc in the body.
There have been many instances where coffee and energy drinks have been consumed together leading to the death of an individual.
How do I give up caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulator and people have withdrawal symptoms on abruptly stopping its consumption.
However, you can follow the following suggestions to reduce the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal:
Cut back on caffeine slowly
Do not abruptly stop caffeine consumption.
Doing it slowly helps your body get used to the reduced amount of caffeine and reduces withdrawal symptoms.
Reduce other caffeinated beverages
In order to reduce caffeine consumption, one must avoid all other caffeinated beverages apart from just cutting down on coffee.
One of the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal is dehydration.
So, drinking lots of water when you decide to cut down on caffeine is a useful thing to do.
Do not lax on sleep
Getting enough sleep can help you fight fatigue, which is a common caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
Consume natural drinks and fresh produce when you feel low on energy.
Is it safe to sleep with a caffeine overdose?
If an individual is suffering from a caffeine overdose, is it almost impossible for them to sleep.
Caffeine is a CNS stimulant and keeps your mind alert.
Due to this, caffeine is known to mess up with your sleep cycle.
In fact, many people who take high amounts of caffeine during the day, take sleeping pills or anti-depressant medications to try and get sleep at night.
Can morning coffee affect sleep?
Yes, based on how much caffeine has been consumed in the form of coffee, morning cups of coffee can affect sleep.
Coffee is said to be a good drink to have before a short nap as you tend to feel fresher compared to a nap without coffee.
But, one should avoid having coffee at least 6 hours before bedtime.
How addictive is caffeine?
‘Caffeine is addictive’ is partly true and partly a myth.
This is because it doesn’t disturb one’s physical, mental or economic life like drugs or alcohol addiction do.
However, caffeine does cause mild dependence since it is CNS stimulant.
Also, if you stop consuming caffeine abruptly, you may experience some physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
What does caffeine do to your heart?
Excess caffeine in the blood increases the level of adrenaline which has a direct effect on your heart.
Adrenaline increases blood pressure, increases the force with which your heart beats and the heart rate.
So, in patients with already present heart conditions like irregular or abnormal heart rhythms, caffeine can cause more damage.
Does caffeine worsen anxiety?
Since caffeine is a stimulant, it can aggravate anxiety in someone who is already suffering from it.
Caffeine increases adrenaline in the blood and so triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response.
This can also precipitate an anxiety attack.
Too much caffeine in the blood can also make one irritable and make them overreact to situations.
Yes, if you are prone to anxiety or suffer from anxiety syndrome, it is best to avoid caffeine at all costs.
Does caffeine cause weight gain?
Consuming caffeine in less or limited amounts (limited to a maximum of 1-2 cups of coffee) every day is said to be beneficial as caffeine causes fats stored in the body to burn.
However, having moderate or excess amounts of coffee (over 4-5 cups) affects the liver’s capacity to utilize the fat stored in its cells, thereby leading to weight gain and obesity.
Does alcohol contain caffeine?
Regular consumable alcohol does not contain caffeine.
However, there are a few alcoholic caffeinated drinks, also known as energy drinks that contain both alcohol and caffeine.
The effects of alcohol and caffeine are quite the opposite which can cause delayed intoxication and other symptoms.
What is the effect of caffeine on the menstrual cycle?
Caffeine may not be the right drink to have during your periods, especially if you are already suffering from a plethora of painful and uncomfortable symptoms.
Other effects of caffeine on your body during your periods include:
- Aggravated mood swings
- Increased digestive troubles
- Caffeine aggravates blood pressure that occurs during the start of your period
But, women who process caffeine faster can safely consume coffee, but in limited quantity.
If you are taking medications, or are around menopause, the effects of caffeine on your body may vary.
How does caffeine affect your blood pressure?
Consuming caffeine can cause a short sudden spike in your blood pressure, even in a normal individual.
There are two postulated causes for the same:
- Some researchers believe that caffeine blocks a hormone that is responsible for keeping the arteries widened.
- Others believe that caffeine stimulates the release of adrenaline, which leads to an increase in blood pressure.
The combination of ibuprofen and caffeine to alleviate headaches.
There have been cases documented that studied the effectiveness of the combination of ibuprofen and caffeine to relieve acute headaches.
Caffeine administered along with ibuprofen has a better analgesic effect than either of the components alone.