Many of the food we eat contain caffeine. Coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and both prescription and nonprescription drugs have this substance.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, thus we feel alive and energetic after consuming a food or drink with caffeine. It makes us feel and believe that it can help us stay alert the entire day. However, too much consumption of caffeine-rich food can bring negative health effects, such as the following:
- Caffeine raises the level of fatty acids in the blood.
- It causes various digestive problems, such as heartburn and GERD.
- It relaxes the muscles of your intestinal system, thus making digestion less effective.
- Caffeine has been shown to possibly cause miscarriage or may slow the growth of a developing fetus when given in doses greater than 300 mg (an amount equal to three cups of coffee) a day. Also, caffeine intake by the mother during pregnancy may affect the heart rhythm of the fetus.
- It can also cause ulcer by increasing the secretion of both acid and pepsin in the stomach, which could exacerbate an existing ulcer.
- It may cause certain heart diseases such as cardiac arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats. Doctors often advise patients with heart disease to avoid caffeine.
- It raises your blood pressure.
- It has a diuretic effect that causes increased and frequent urination.
- It can cause sleep deprivation, especially if caffeine intake is high and in the evening.
- Studies show that caffeine may cause decrease cone density and cause osteoporosis among women.
- It may also cause “caffeine nerves” which is characterized by palpitations, shaky hands, and wobbliness of the legs.
- It can result to caffeine addiction that causes nervousness, irritability, agitation, headaches or ringing in the ears.
- With excessive caffeine intake, your pancreas will have to produce extra insulin to reduce extra blood sugar. Thus, it will require your pancreas to overwork.
- If abused for so long, it can cause detrimental effects on the esophagus, increasing the risk of acquiring peptic ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- Finally, it makes you more exhausted and less alert the next day when effects of caffeine are already gone.
While caffeine intake is not addictive, it can be habit forming. Taking too much caffeine can make you dependent on it that when stopped abruptly, such that you may experience headache, fatigue, or drowsiness. Because of this, you should avoid dependence on caffeine at the earliest possible time. Take caffeine at a minimal level, if it cannot be avoided completely.