Caffeine testing is one way that some people take up in order to measure the amount of caffeine they consume in a day. They either buy caffeine testing products or make use of online daily caffeine intake calculators.
After all, one cannot have too much caffeine without feeling its side effects at least two hours after the intake. It is common knowledge that drinking too much coffee can lead to experiencing the jitters, as well as insomnia. But these two are not the only side effects that you can encounter when having too much caffeine in your system.
Five Negative Side Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine is good because it gives you a popping burst of energy and can keep you on your toes – at least for a couple of hours. That is because caffeine blocks adenosine, which is a chemical in the body that tells it to shut down when tired.
However, keeping the adenosine in the body continuously blocked is not something to be desired. After the initial caffeine high, the bad things that caffeine is known for sets in.
Some of the negative side effects that caffeine has, which you may not be aware of, are:
1. Panic attacks. Caffeine keeps us up because it triggers the fight-or-flight mechanism in our bodies. But after heavy doses of caffeine and after many hours of it being in our system, the fight-or-flight instinct gets reduced to panic attacks. Your hands become shaky, your skin sweaty, and you always expect bad things to happen to you.
2. Addiction. Caffeine is addictive. Once we get into the habit of getting our caffeine fix, our body begins to crave the boost that we get from it. If we fail to get the dose of caffeine that our body has adapted to, we become irritable, tired, and even depressed.
3. Dehydration. One would think that since coffee is liquid, it can hydrate you. Actually, the caffeine in coffee and any other foodstuffs that has it is linked with dehydration. That is mainly because of caffeine’s diuretic properties.
4. PMS. Women who drink a lot of coffee and eat a lot of chocolates tend to experience pre-menstrual syndrome more acutely than women who do not. The headaches, the bloated feeling and the belly cramps become keener with the added consumption of caffeine.
5. Emotional fatigue. Caffeine wakes up the body, but what it fails to do is to tell the body when to stop moving and simply rest. The body needs rest and when the body does not get it, it can lead not just to physical tiredness but also emotional fatigue.
But Caffeine Is Not Totally Bad
So far we have talked about the bad side effects that you can get from caffeine. But caffeine is not that bad at all. We can also gain some good side effects from caffeine, too.
1. Alertness. Caffeine keeps our minds alert, even for just an hour or two. Regular consumption of caffeine can keep our minds more active and increase our brain power.
2. Parkinson’s disease. Studies have shown that it is highly possible for caffeine to prevent the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease. The purported reason is that caffeine keeps the dopamine in the system active. Dopamine is the chemical that activates the pleasure centers in the brain.
3. Heart disease. Caffeine is said to prevent heart disease – as long as you do not already have it in the first place. That is because caffeine is an antioxidant, and antioxidants prevent heart ailments and some forms of cancer.
4. Diabetes. Caffeine triggers the production of adrenaline and cortisol – two substances associated with the body’s fight-or-flight response. When these chemicals are released into the system, they cause the liver to burn up more sugar. However, this works only with the caffeinated foodstuffs that are not sweetened.
5. Stamina. Again, this has something to do with the fight-or-flight response. Consuming caffeine before workout or doing any athletic activity slows down the adenosine that causes muscle fatigue. This makes you move faster and endure more.
Caffeine is good for the body, but it is also bad if the intake is too much. Too much is defined as more than 300mg of caffeine every day. In order to measure and monitor the amount of caffeine you are taking in daily and to reduce the negative side effects of caffeine, do some caffeine testing with your food.