In general, most types of tea contain caffeine, a substance that may enhance your mood, metabolism, mental and physical performance.
Studies have shown that it is safe for most people when consumed in moderation.
However, high doses of caffeine may have unpleasant, and even dangerous, side-effects, studies have revealed.
Further research has shown that one’s genes have a major influence on one’s tolerance to it. Some people can consume increased levels of caffeine than others without experiencing negative side-effects .
On the other hand, individuals who aren’t used to caffeine may experience symptoms after consuming what is typically considered a moderate dose.
Here are 9 side-effects of too much caffeine:
- 1- Anxiety
Caffeine is known to increase alertness. It works by blocking the effects of adenosine, a brain chemical that makes you feel tired. At the same time, it triggers the release of adrenaline, the “fight-or-flight” hormone associated with increased energy.
However, at higher doses, these effects may become more pronounced, leading to anxiety and nervousness.
In fact, caffeine-induced anxiety disorder is one of four caffeine-related syndromes listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Extremely high daily intake of 1,000 mg or more per day has been reported to cause nervousness, jitteriness and similar symptoms in most people, whereas even a much less moderate intake may lead to similar effects in caffeine-sensitive individuals.
- 2- Insomnia
Caffeine’s ability to help people stay awake is one of its most prized qualities. However, too much caffeine can make it difficult to get enough restorative sleep.
Studies have found that higher caffeine intake appears to increase the amount of time it takes for individuals to fall asleep. It may also decrease total sleeping time, especially in seniors.
By contrast, low or moderate amounts of caffeine don’t seem to affect sleep very much in people considered “good sleepers,” or even those with self-reported insomnia.
You may not realize that too much caffeine is interfering with your sleep if you underestimate the amount of caffeine you’re ingesting.
Although coffee and tea are the most concentrated sources of caffeine, it is also found in soda, cocoa, energy drinks and several types of medications.
3- Digestive Issues
Many people find that a morning cup of coffee helps get their bowels moving. Coffee’s laxative effect has been attributed to the release of gastrin, a hormone the stomach produces that speeds up activity in the colon. Furthermore, decaffeinated coffee has also been shown to produce a similar response.
Caffeine also seems to stimulate bowel movements by increasing peristalsis, the contractions that move food throughout your digestive tract.
Given this effect, it’s not surprising that large doses of caffeine may lead to loose stools or even diarrhea in some people.
Even though for many years coffee was believed to cause stomach ulcers, a large study of more than 8,000 people didn’t find any link between the two.
On the other hand, some studies suggest that caffeinated beverages may worsen gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) in some people. This seems to be especially true of coffee.
- 4- Muscle Breakdown
Rhabdomyolysis is a very serious condition in which damaged muscle fibers enter the bloodstream, leading to kidney failure and other problems.
Common causes of rhabdomyolysis include trauma, infection, drug abuse, muscle strain and bites from poisonous snakes or insects.
Going without Caffeine for several hours may lead to psychological or physical withdrawal symptoms in those who consume large amounts on a daily basis.
6- High Blood Pressure
Caffeine seems to raise blood pressure when consumed at high doses or prior to exercise, as well as in people who rarely consume it. But this effect may only be temporary, so it’s best to monitor your own response.
7- Rapid Heart Rate
Large doses of caffeine may increase heart rate or rhythm in some people. This effect appear to vary greatly from person to person. If you feel it, consider reducing your intake.
Although caffeine provides energy, it can indirectly lead to fatigue when its effects wear off. Aim for moderate caffeine intake to help minimize rebound fatigue.
9- Frequent Urination and Urgency
High caffeine intake has been linked to increased urinary frequency and urgency in several studies. Again, reducing your intake may improve these symptoms.
The Bottom Line
Light-to-moderate caffeine intake seems to provide impressive health benefits in many people.
On the other hand, very high dosages may lead to side-effects that interfere with day-to-day living and might even cause serious health issues.