Overdose of caffeine
Coffee is healthy. The myths like “Coffee weakens your nerves, makes you pale and sick” have long been refuted. However, consuming large quantities of coffee can have consequences that are undesirable.
- Overdose of caffeine
- Coffee overdose? The most important facts
- Too much coffee consumption – symptoms
- Too much caffeine
- Caffeine addiction
- How does caffeine addiction come about?
- Caffeine overdose
- What to do?
- Coffee and sugar
- Coffee and alcohol
- Coffee and medication
- No coffee with iron deficiency
- Coffee consumption and life expectancy
Coffee overdose? The most important facts
- In theory, excessive coffee consumption can result in an overdose. To do this, you would have to consume more than one gram of caffeine, which means that you would have to drink at least 12 cups of espresso in a row.
- Seven or eight cups a day can also have a positive effect on the body.
- An overdose of caffeine leads to palpitations, motor problems, nerve irritation, sleep disorders and can trigger nightmares and cognitive disorders.
- The bitter substances in coffee, if consumed in large quantities, can spoil your stomach.
- Caffeine is harmful to children under the age of 12, and the same applies to the fetus in the womb.
The popular drink can pose some dangers if consumed excessively. (Image: BillionPhotos.com/fotolia.com)
Too much coffee consumption – symptoms
Medical professionals consider around four cups of coffee a day to be healthy, and larger quantities have shown very positive effects in new studies. However, everyone reacts differently to the caffeine contained in coffee. If you drink too much coffee, you can tell by the following symptoms:
- Irritated nerves, inner restlessness, nervousness or increased anxiety, as well as over-sensitivity to external stimuli.
- Racing heart caused by a faster heart rate.
- Difficulty breathingand shortness of breath , driven by high blood pressure.
- Eye twitching.
- Migraines and headaches.
- Stomach discomfortas a result of an overdose of the bitter substances in coffee.
Too much caffeine
Coffee contains caffeine and just like other caffeinated beverages, whether energy drinks or black tea, the stimulant can cause side effects in excess. These include insomnia, headaches, nervousness or problems in the gastrointestinal tract. Tremors and blurred vision also occur. A loss of fine motor skills is also possible. In addition, bizarre nightmares, thought carousel and thought lawns were described. These symptoms mainly occur in people who otherwise consume very little or no caffeine.
An unconscious reminder of the possibility that coffee can trigger palpitations? (Image: Masson / fotolia.com)
If you consume high doses of caffeine over a long period of time, you can develop an addiction. The easiest way to find out for yourself is by giving up caffeine. If withdrawal symptoms occur now, you will notice that you are dealing with an addiction. Typical symptoms of caffeine withdrawal are:
- A headache,
- Energy loss,
- chronic fatigue.
- You react irritably, feel “lousy” and depressive moods are possible.
These withdrawal symptoms start 12 to 24 hours after the last burst of caffeine and last for up to nine days.
How does caffeine addiction come about?
Caffeine is similar to adenosine and blocks its receptors. Adenosine, as a component of ribonucleic acid RNA, protects the body from exhaustion, caffeine does not, which is why higher doses cause irritability. As caffeine consumption increases, the body reacts to the lack of adenosine and forms additional receptors to absorb more adenosine. As a result, consumers now need to consume more caffeine to produce the same effect.
We speak of an overdose of one gram or more of caffeine. In the worst case, this triggers a circulatory collapse. First of all, caffeine is a good injection of energy: it stimulates the release of stress hormones, the heart beats faster, and blood pressure rises. We notice this as increased concentration and increased performance. With up to around 400 milligrams, that’s perfectly fine.
As a guideline, an espresso contains 80 milligrams of caffeine. So to get close to an overdose, you’d have to drink at least twelve espressos in a row.
The situation is different for children under 12 years of age and pregnant women – caffeine penetrates the placenta and can hinder the growth of the fetus. Caffeine is generally not recommended for children, and no more than 200 milligrams per day is recommended for pregnant women.
What to do?
If you have a caffeine overdose, seek medical help. You can only relieve the symptoms yourself, as caffeine is a fat-soluble substance that circulates through the body. You can eat cabbage dishes because they contain enzymes that accelerate the use of caffeine.
The combination of coffee and sugar leads to increased blood sugar levels. (Image: exclusive-design / fotolia.com)
Coffee and sugar
Coffee is extremely healthy, but in combination with other substances it can quickly lead to unwanted side effects. One of these substances is sugar. Sugar and caffeine together are a short-term energy boost. Since caffeine promotes blood circulation, the sugar gets into the body all the faster. The combination of coffee and sugar therefore raises the blood sugar level and that is only good if we use the energy again quickly, for example in competitive sports.
Coffee and alcohol
Coffee and alcohol make an even more explosive mixture than coffee and sugar. Above all, those affected misjudge themselves. You get just as drunk as if you drink the alcohol without coffee, but the caffeine makes you imperceptible to your high. That was the result of a study by Temple University in Philadelphia.
As a result, if you only drink alcohol, you will find out more quickly that you are drunk because you are getting tired. Now, if the caffeine leads to wakefulness, you are mistaking wakefulness for sobriety. This puts you in dangerous situations, for example because you believe you can drive a car.
In the study, the researchers gave mice caffeine and pure alcohol – once separately, once together. Under the influence of ethanol, the mice became less anxious and moved more. Under the influence of caffeine, they became more anxious and moved less. The combination of the two made them less anxious, even cocky. The clear result: caffeine does not weaken the effects of alcohol, but alcohol weakens the effects of caffeine.
Coffee and medication
Coffee enhances the effects of paracetamol and ibuprofen. Under no circumstances should you drink coffee if any medicine contains caffeine. This can lead to the consequences of a caffeine overdose described above, especially heart flutter. Some antibiotics prevent the body from breaking down caffeine. Gyrase inhibitors can cause insomnia in combination with coffee. Many doctors generally say: If you take medication, avoid coffee, unless it is proven to be safe for the specific medication.
If you are taking medication you should ideally avoid coffee. (Image: leszekglasner / fotolia.com)
No coffee with iron deficiency
If you are iron deficient, you shouldn’t drink coffee. The tannins it contains mean that iron simply passes through the body. This also applies to tannins found in black tea and mate tea.
Coffee consumption and life expectancy
The latest studies see moderate coffee consumption as a contribution to a healthy diet. Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death than non-coffee drinkers. This is shown by a large-scale study by the National Institute of Health in Rockville of almost 500,000 British people.
Even in larger quantities, coffee increases life expectancy. With the amount of coffee, the risk of death even decreased, with one cup by eight percent, with up to seven cups a day by as much as 16 percent, regardless of genetic polymorphisms and slow or fast caffeine metabolism. With amounts above seven to eight cups a day, you will at some point approach an overdose of caffeine and this can have negative consequences.