Studies on the negative effects of caffeine have researchers challenging each other’s findings. Some believe that caffeine is overall unhealthy, while others feel harmful effects are only prevalent when too much caffeine is consumed. It is understood however that when minimal caffeine is ingested, there is little effect.
Caffeine acts as a stimulant by increasing the heart rate and augmenting blood sugar levels. It makes individuals more alert and can be a cure for fatigue. While ingesting small amounts of caffeine is perfectly safe, users can quickly become dependent on it and struggle to perform until caffeine is consumed. For example, if someone is accustomed to drinking tea or coffee every morning, their body adjusts to a shot of adrenaline at the beginning of every day. If this is taken away, they can feel the effects immediately causing exhaustion, low energy, and head pains. Depending on the person, it may take up to 2 weeks for the reliance to wear off.
Caffeine consumption becomes excessive when it reaches over 300 milligrams. This is equivalent to several cups of coffee and up to four sugary pops. Initially, the consumer may feel motivated and revitalized, but it can cause impactful negative consequences as well. In particular, sleep schedules can be interrupted, resulting in lack of rest. This in turn causes a negative cycle of requiring even more caffeine in the morning.
A study was conducted on individuals who worked the graveyard shift. It showed that since their sleep schedules were already abnormal, they consumed more caffeine than the regular person. And the more caffeine they consumed the more caffeine they required to stay alert. Once this reliance is in full force, the dependency is much harder to overcome.
Caffeine affects people differently. Those with lower body weight are generally more susceptible to the effects. People who suffer from anxiety also have a harder time copping with caffeine. This is especially true if anxiety sufferers are taking medication for their disorder as caffeine can hamper the effects of the medication to calm their nerves. Because caffeine causes the discharge of dopamines even the smallest amounts can have an adverse effect.
Similarly people with elevated heart rates, should avoid caffeine. This is understandably so since caffeine can increase and already raised heart rate.
The undesirable consequences of caffeine can be classified into two categories – mild and severe. Mild effects can include an inability to sleep, head pains, agitation, impatience, elevated blood pressure and trouble focusing. Severe effects include anxiety attacks, abnormal heart rates, insomnia, hopelessness and acute sleep deprivation.
Consuming caffeine can be both good and bad, but users should be mindful of the negative effects. Those with existing medical conditions should be cautious of potential outcomes and reduce the amount of caffeine intake.