Most of us rely on a cup of coffee or tea in the morning to give a kick-start to our day on a refreshing note. This is because these beverages contain caffeine, and the US Food and Drug Association (FDA) has found that almost 80 percent of the American adults take some form of caffeine almost every day. Caffeine, in fact, does a lot more to our body than just keeping us awake. Caffeine acts as a stimulant for our central nervous system. However, once you know the long-term effects of caffeine on your health, you will surely think twice before having your third or fourth cup of coffee in a day.
Caffeine makes the brain more alert and decreases the risk of oral cancer and suicide, but creates confusion in the mind, increases the rate of heartbeats, contributes to headaches and muscle aches, increases blood pressure, irritability, jitters, fertility woes, pregnancy issues, tendency to urinate, risk of diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, and also, caffeine in the bones. Caffeine has no nutritional value of its own. It is tasteless and only the symptoms of caffeine can tell that the food contained caffeine in it. Minimum amount of caffeine makes people feel energetic, but intake of high amount of caffeine over time can cause withdrawal symptoms. It has been found that drinking more than 16 ounces of caffeine for a long period of time can affect your health negatively. However, other factors such as age, body mass index, and the overall health of a person can determine the level of caffeine tolerance in a person. This is why it is advised that caffeine consumption must be decreased over time.
Caffeine And The Central Nervous System
Caffeine is a stimulant for the central nervous system and alerts the brain. People who drink high-octane coffee and not the decaf one, prevent themselves from drowsiness, tiredness, helps in headaches, and also, in migraines. However, over indulging can lead to caffeine withdrawal, which is a condition when the blood vessels in the brain become used to caffeine’s effects, and stopping caffeine consumption causes headache, anxiety, drowsiness, and irritability. Caffeine withdrawal also causes tremors, confusion, vomiting, and hallucinations in some people. Overdose of caffeine can also result in convulsions.
Effect On Digestive And Excretory Systems
Caffeine can cause heartburn and acidity if consumed in very high amounts as extra caffeine does not get stored in the body. It can also cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Caffeine is released through urine after it gets processed in the liver when its amount is higher than it is required in the body, thus increasing the tendency of urination as well.
Effect On Circulatory And Respiratory Systems
Caffeine does not have any long-term effect on blood pressure, but people who experience irregular heartbeats, have high blood pressure and other heart-related problems, and breathing troubles, can suffer from convulsions due to irregular heartbeat and the heart might need to work harder. There has also been rare cases of caffeine overdose that has resulted in death due to convulsions.
Effect On Skeletal And Muscular Systems
When caffeine is consumed in large amounts, the absorption and metabolism of calcium is interfered that can result in osteoporosis, which is commonly known as bone thinning. In fact, caffeine overdose causes muscles to twitch and caffeine withdrawal can include symptoms of aching muscles.
Risks Faced By The Reproductive System
Large amount of caffeine in the body interferes with the production of estrogen and the metabolism to conceive a baby. It has been found that women who are trying to get pregnant must limit their caffeine consumption to 200 to 300 milligrams per day. In pregnant women, when caffeine travels in the bloodstream and crosses into the placenta, it acts as a stimulant that raises the baby’s heart rate and metabolism. Overdose of this component has also proved to slow down fetal growth and increase the risk of miscarriage.
So, when consumed in minimum or moderate amounts, caffeine can help your health and over-consumption can lead to many health risks.