by Ken McBride

A lot of people depend on a cup of coffee in the morning or any form of caffeine supply for afternoons to be able to get through the activities of the day. Caffeine has such a wide range of availability that the U.S.FDA (Food and Drug Administration), has reported that almost 80% of adults consume caffeine daily one way or the other in the United States. The effects of caffeine are a lot more than helping you maintain alertness. For one, caffeine is a stimulant for the central nervous system which affects the body in various ways.

Being aware of how caffeine affects your body and even its almost irreversible effects, especially in the long run might just be what you need to consume coffee more mindfully. Here, these effects will be highlighted.


There is no nutritional value in caffeine as itself; it has no taste, which does not make it easy to identify it in whatever you are consuming, including quite some medications.

Caffeine very often has visible side effects; with a more controlled intake, it might be that pump of energy, but in the long run, over-consumption of caffeine might lead to some withdrawals. According to certain research, the safely recommended quantity of caffeine to be consumed daily is about 400mg of caffeine. Another factor to be mindful of is your cup size, the standard cup size for coffee is about 227 grams. Using a mug or getting your supply of coffee from a coffee shop, there is a high chance that you are taking in 16 ounces or more in often cases.  Reading labels properly might help with this factor.

When you maintain a constant quantity of caffeine consumption daily, it aids the tolerance development of your body systems to it. Some other factors that are determinants of your tolerance to caffeine include a person’s age, total body mass, and the overall state of wellbeing, etc. If you are looking to lower the quantity of your caffeine intake, just take gradual and mindful steps.

Central nervous system

Caffeine is a known stimulant for the central nervous system. At the moment it reaches your brain, the most visible effect is alertness. That is feeling more awake and almost no tiredness for longer in the day, which makes it a common constituent in medications to treat or manage headaches, migraines, etc.

Some research has as well reported that those who consume coffee regularly have less risk of developing certain medical conditions and reduced risk of suicide by 45%. These benefits are particularly limited to those consuming high-octane coffee, not just decaffeinated.

For instance, excessive caffeine can cause headaches, especially caffeine withdrawal. Blood vessels in the brain would have adapted to caffeine’s effects, suddenly quitting caffeine result in headaches.

Some other effects of caffeine withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Drowsiness

Symptoms of caffeine overdose include:

  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

In worse cases, overdoses result in death from convulsions. Overdosing occurs usually by consuming excessive caffeine, mostly from energy drinks or diet pills. The suggested safe quantity is 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is equal to about 4 cups of coffee.

Digestive & excretory systems

Caffeine boosts the acid quantity in your stomach and might result in heartburn or an upset stomach. Extra caffeine is processed in the liver and exit the body through urine, usually why you might need to urinate more frequently shortly after having caffeine.

For conditions like ulcers, you should confirm with your doctor before having caffeine.

Circulatory and respiratory systems

stressed at work

Caffeine is absorbed into the highest levels of your bloodstream in an hour or two.

Caffeine can raise your blood pressure for a while. This is usually caused by either a boost in adrenaline or temporary inhibition of hormones that cause your arteries to widen.  A lot of people don’t experience any long-term effect on blood pressure, although, caffeine may cause your heart to work harder. If you have any heart-related problems, confirm with your doctor before consuming caffeine. Over-consumption of caffeine might result in speeding up or irregular heartbeat and uneasiness in breathing. In worse cases, excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to death, either from convulsions or heartbeat disorder.

Skeletal and muscular systems

Excessive caffeine quantities may alter the breakdown and absorption of calcium. This alteration can result in bone thinning which is known as osteoporosis. Consuming excessive caffeine can as well cause your muscles to malfunction.

A symptom of caffeine withdrawal includes muscle cramps.

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