You start your day with a morning cup of joe, and by lunchtime, you’re already on your third cup just trying to pass the midday slump. You head to the gym after work but not without sipping on an energy drink first. By the evening, you reach for your favorite tea, which leaves you tossing and turning until you fall asleep.
There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to caffeine. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine intake (about three to four cups) throughout the day is safe for most healthy people. However, this amount varies depending on the person’s sensitivity to caffeine, as well as other variables, like whether a person is pregnant or breastfeeding.
The good news is that the side effects of too much caffeine are temporary and can be remedied once you return to moderate levels of consumption. Below are five symptoms that might mean you’ve gone overboard on your caffeine intake.
Insomnia is a great indicator that you’ve had too much caffeine, as it’s known to decrease the amount of slow and REM sleep you get at night. REM sleep consists of accelerated respiration, increased brain activity, eye movement, and muscle relaxation.
Because caffeine acts as a stimulant on your nervous system, it can trigger anxiety. The jitters you experience after caffeine intake are similar to that of experiencing a scary event because caffeine ramps up your “flight or fight” response. Too much caffeine can even trigger an anxiety attack.
Increased heart rate
Similar to how adrenaline ramps up your heart rate, so does too much caffeine. When you have one too many cups of coffee, you’re also raising your blood level of epinephrine, which can increase blood pressure and the heart rate.
Upset stomach and nausea
If your stomach hurts every time you have an energy drink or coffee, then it could be your body’s way of saying it’s had enough. Caffeine increases your stomach’s acid production, which can lead to stomach pains, nausea, heartburn, and inflammation.
Headaches and migraines
For some people, too much caffeine can lead to migraines. And for people who consume caffeine regularly, headaches can actually be a sign of withdrawal. Since the effects of caffeine headaches vary for every person, it is important to monitor your caffeine intake and to drink one eight-ounce glass of water to offset its dehydrating effects.
xx, The FabFitFun Team