Caffeine is a natural compound found in tea and coffee. It's known for its stimulant properties and is generally used in carbonated beverages, sports drinks, and other products. Both brewed beverages are highly popular and widely consumed globally.
Caffeine binds to the adenosine A1 receptor and blocks the adenosine action. This is followed by the release of acetylcholine, which is responsible for the stimulating effect. However, the recommended daily caffeine intake must be kept in mind.
Why Is Caffeine Popular?
Caffeine lifts the mood, enhances metabolism, and improves physical and mental performance significantly. However, it must be consumed in a controlled amount that is lifestyle and body specific. Overdosing on caffeine, although rare, can do more harm than good.
Caffeine is also added as anhydrous and in its pure form to various pre-workout powders. It's mixed with popular sports drinks and is often used to get active quickly. Each brand recommends different caffeine daily intake values across the products. Regardless of its wide consumption, some people are caffeine intolerant and are more susceptible to the side effects.
Check whether caffeine is good for your workouts.
Recommended Caffeine Daily Intake
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) kept an upper limit of 400 milligrams daily, equivalent to about four or five cups of coffee. At this amount, caffeine is safe to consume and won't cause dangerous side effects. However, in the case of pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and people on medication, caffeine may also trigger side effects at lower levels.
The FDA has not published the recommended caffeine daily intake for children, but the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the consumption of caffeine and other associated beverages by children and adolescents.
Check out the side effects of having too much caffeine.
Side Effects of Caffeine
Consuming more than the recommended caffeine intake can cause several side effects, such as:
1) Sleep Issues
The most common side effect of caffeine overdose is insomnia. In this condition, the time it takes to fall asleep gets prolonged.
Caffeine remains inside the body for about five to six hours, which is why it is not recommended to drink coffee in the evening or at night. If you have sleep issues, it is also best to avoid caffeinated sports drinks and beverages.
Learn about the mental health benefits of getting more sleep.
2) Increased Heart Rate
Acetylcholine and adrenaline can regulate the functioning of the heart. Caffeine causes blockage of adenosine receptors. This causes an effect known as tachycardia or a rise in heart rate.
Overdosing beyond the recommended caffeine daily intake can trigger irregular or increased heart rate. However, this rise in heart rate is not life-threatening unless you have a medical history of heart disease.
Learn how to take care of your heart naturally.
Consumption beyond the recommended caffeine daily intake can trigger anxiety. It triggers the release of adrenaline, a hormone that controls the 'fight-or-flight' response.
Overdosing with caffeine causes nervousness, jitters, and anxiety. The severity of anxiety increases with the amount of caffeine taken. This can cause increased resistance to the adenosine A1 receptor, which can be reversed by gradually reducing the intake of this compound.
Check out this list of foods that can trigger anxiety and depression.
4) High Blood Pressure
The levels of acetylcholine and adrenaline can regulate blood pressure significantly because both hormones are responsible for the constriction and relaxation of arterial walls.
Consuming more than the recommended caffeine daily intake can cause prolonged constriction of blood vessels. Vasoconstrictions can cause elevated blood pressure, and people with high blood pressure are advised to follow recommended caffeine intake value.
Learn how to control your blood pressure naturally.
Consumption of coffee or caffeinated products beyond the recommended daily caffeine intake can cause specific side effects. Most of these are mild and can be overcome easily. If you are suffering from any medical issues, consult your doctor about your recommended caffeine intake. If you are experiencing any side effects mentioned above, reduce or discontinue your caffeine intake immediately.