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Caffeine: When Is It Too Much?


Everyone’s favorite thing in the morning is a cup of coffee, right? The boost of bitter energy and caffeine helps get 150 million Americans up and going every day. That’s around 50% of the population on a more conservative number. Some people assess it to be more like 60%-70% of Americans. Coffee isn’t the only way we can get that hit of energy though. A lot of people turn to soft drinks like sodas or even one of the many energy drinks that are on the market. These drinks all can contribute to complications from caffeine, but exactly how much of it is too much?


The Numbers

Well, that really depends on the person. Some people are sensitive to caffeine, and those people should take a lot less than their average counterparts. Teens and children are similar in that their bodies can’t process a large amount as well as a healthy adult could.
Those amounts are:
Adults: 400mg/day of caffeine. That’s about 4 cups of coffee or 8 cans of soda
Sensitive Adults: Tolerance varies. Generally, less than 100mg/day or 1 cup of coffee. Tea might be a better alternative.
Teens: 100mg/day of caffeine or 1 cup of coffee at most.
Children: Shouldn’t have any really


Why is more than that bad?

Caffeine is a stimulant for humans. That means that it is ratcheting things up in your body and exciting things. It plays a lot of different roles in a lot of different systems. As an adult, your body is better able to handle excess amounts and process it without major consequences. If you go beyond what your body can handle, you can expect:


-Caffeine has a half-life of about 5 hours. That means after 5 hours, there is still half the amount that you took in your system. If you chug 400mg at lunch, by dinner you still have 2 cups worth of coffee floating around, keeping you alert and awake. This can start the cycle of restless nights followed by lots of caffeine throughout the day to make up for the restless sleep.

• Anxiety

-Its ramping up your central nervous system to make you feel more alert and sharper. This is also the same kind of brain system that activates in periods of danger and high stress. If you have an anxiety disorder, it could make things much worse. If you don’t, you might still experience the “jitters” or other anxiety-like symptoms.

• Sweating

This is linked in with the anxiety as well. It stimulates sweat glands and has an impact on the transmitter chemicals that the glands use to turn on and off.

• Heart racing

-This can be very uncomfortable. For most people, it won’t be dangerous. Although if you have any issues with palpitations or with your heart in general, the caffeine could make it worse.

• Dehydration

-Everyone knows that caffeine will make you pee a lot. That isn’t a secret. We typically say that drinking things like tea and coffee are a net zero for hydration. You are drinking mostly water, but because it makes you pee more, it’s a wash. Your thirst goes away, but no hydration is happening.

• Heartburn/indigestion

-One of the stimulating effects of caffeine takes place in the stomach and intestines. What happens is the caffeine exciting the things that produce stomach acid. This leads to an uncomfortable burning or pain in the chest/throat. It also makes your intestines move things faster through your body, so it might cause you to spend more time on the toilet.

• Eventual caffeine addiction and withdrawals

-Using it regularly will cause you to start feeling really tired without it. For a lot of people, it can trigger terrible headaches, irritable bowels, and being really irritable in their demeanor.

• Death

-This is a bit ominous and extreme, but happens when you reach toxic levels of caffeine. This happens more so to teenagers that consume energy drinks or adults using them with diet supplements. This can cause major issues with the heart and its rhythm that could prove to be fatal for some people. That being said, for most people, that amount is astronomical. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000mg depending on your size and how your body can process the caffeine.

In Closing...

Caffeine is a drug that the whole world is hooked on. It can be super helpful for a majority of people in getting their day-to-day life taken care of. But like with anything in life, moderation has to be used. Too much of the hyper bean juice might make you feel worse, or have a lasting impact on your health. If you have concerns about this, talk to your doctor about alternatives to coffee. We would love to help!

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