If you are someone who enjoys coffee, then you should know how the long term effects of drinking coffee. Drinking coffee can be very good for your health, in most cases because of the caffeine it contains. But as we expect if certain limits are exceeded, coffee consumption can also be harmful, as various studies have shown.
Do you want to know what negative effects caffeine can have as a result of prolonged coffee consumption? We will reveal how them to you in this guide.
Caffeine is a chemical compound found naturally in coffee, which has stimulating and slightly diuretic effects: indeed, it is known for its ability to temporarily reduce fatigue and increase the attention and energy of individuals.
However, it can also be harmful to health: anxiety, insomnia, addiction … we give you here 9 reasons to consume with moderation!
Caffeine, what is it?
Caffeine is a chemical compound found naturally in coffee, which has stimulating and slightly diuretic effects. It is especially valued for its stimulating effect of the nervous system and cardiovascular system since it helps to temporarily reduce fatigue and increases the attention and energy of individuals.
It is consumed primarily in the form of coffee, tea, sodas and energy drinks.
Thus, caffeine can have significant effects on the condition of people, but it depends mainly on each individual: indeed, people are more or less sensitive to the effects of caffeine, and the recommended doses can vary according to each.
In any case, tea and coffee are natural sources of caffeine and are always preferable to sodas and energy drinks that contain large amounts of added sugars and other health-damaging products.
In general, it is considered that approximately 360mg of caffeine per day is a safe amount.
Long term effects of drinking coffee: why it is important not to consume too much.
Caffeine is known to make people more alert. Indeed, it blocks the effects of adenosine, the brain chemical that causes the sensation of fatigue. At the same time, caffeine promotes the production of adrenaline, the hormone that increases our energy.
However, with an increase in consumption, these effects may become more pronounced, which can lead to anxiety and nervousness.
Very high consumption of 1000 mg or more per day can cause nervousness and restlessness in the majority of individuals, and more moderate amounts may have similar effects on caffeine-sensitive people.
In addition, even moderate doses may cause an increase in breathing rate and increased stress if consumed at once.
A study of 25 healthy men found that those who ingested about 300 mg of caffeine experienced twice as much stress as those who took the placebo, regardless of whether they were habitual consumers or not.
One of the most popular effects of caffeine is that it helps people stay awake. However, too much caffeine can make falling asleep difficult and prevent people from having a truly restful sleep.
Studies suggest that the higher an individual’s caffeine intake, the more time they take to fall asleep. It can also decrease the total amount of sleep, especially in the elderly.
It is important to take into account that the effects of caffeine on a person’s sleep also depend on genetic factors: different individuals are more or less sensitive.
Similarly, the consumption of caffeine at night can particularly affect sleep since its effects will not have dissipated yet: on average, caffeine remains in the system of an individual for 5 hours, but depending on the person it can last between one hour and a half and nine hours.
It is therefore important to pay attention to caffeine consumption schedules to optimize your sleep.
3- Digestion problems
Coffee often helps people to accelerate the activity of their colon, thanks to its laxative effect which favors the production of gastrin. Caffeine itself also promotes digestion by increasing muscle contractions allowing the food to progress along the digestive system.
Given this effect, it is therefore not surprising that high consumption of caffeine causes diarrhea problems in some people. Similarly, one study found that caffeine, and coffee in particular, worsens the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux in some people.
4- Muscle deterioration
Rhabdomyolysis is a situation where the cells of the muscle, degrading rapidly, release their contents into the bloodstream, which can cause serious problems, especially in the kidneys. There are some rare cases of rhabdomyolysis associated with excessive caffeine consumption.
To avoid any risk of rhabdomyolysis, it is advisable to limit your dose of caffeine to about 250mg / day, unless you are used to consuming more and have no health concerns related to it.
A detailed review found that even though caffeine triggers the same chemical compounds in the brain as other drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, it does not have the same addictive effect as these drugs.
However, caffeine can cause physical or mental dependence: in fact, in one study, 213 caffeine users were asked to complete a questionnaire after not having consumed caffeine in the previous 16 hours.
Participants who consumed caffeine daily had more headaches, fatigue and other symptoms of withdrawal than those who did not eat it daily.
Thus, even if this compound does not seem to create a real addiction, if an individual regularly drinks coffee or other beverages with caffeine, there is a good chance that he will become dependent on its effects.
Caffeine does not increase the risk of heart disease or stroke in most people, but several studies suggest that it can raise blood pressure because of its stimulating effects on the nervous system.
Fortunately, this effect seems to be temporary and seems to affect most people who are not used to consuming caffeine. However, heavy consumption of caffeine appears to increase blood pressure at the time of physical activity in healthy people as well as in people with slightly elevated blood pressure.
Thus, paying attention to the doses consumed and the time of consumption is important, especially if the individual already has high blood pressure.
7- Acceleration of the heart rate
The stimulating effects of caffeine can cause an increase in heart rate. Cases of atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder, have occurred in young people who consume large amounts of energy drinks high in caffeine.
However, this effect does not occur in all individuals: indeed, individuals with heart problems can sometimes tolerate large amounts of caffeine without any side effects.
Thus, the effects of caffeine on the heart rate are rather mixed, and it is up to individuals to pay attention to their feelings: if you feel that your heart rate accelerates by consuming drinks with caffeine, it is advisable to decrease your consumption.
Caffeinated beverages are known to increase the energy of individuals, but when caffeine leaves their system, a feeling of great fatigue can set in.
Indeed, a review of 41 studies found that even though energy drinks actually increased alertness and improved participants’ mood for several hours, they were generally more tired than usual the next day.
This effect, of course, can be avoided by consuming caffeine all day, but it will affect the individual’s sleep.
9- Urgent and frequent urination
Caffeine has a stimulating effect on the bladder, and it is not uncommon to note that one goes to the toilet more often on days when more drinks containing caffeine are consumed.
In fact, these effects have mainly been studied in the elderly, with overactive bladder or incontinence but it has also been proven that people with healthy bladders were more likely to develop incontinence if they ate a lot of caffeine.
In fact, participants who consumed more than 450 mg of caffeine a day were at greater risk than those who consumed less than 150 mg a day.
If you consume a lot of caffeine and feel that your urination is more frequent or urgent than it should be, try to reduce the amounts consumed to see if the symptoms improve.
According to the study that resulted, it depends again on the dose. People who drink a lot of coffee should take this into account.
Drinking coffee is good if taken in moderation and there is no evidence that a disease or condition is contraindicated. Like all good things in life, moderation is the key to getting the most out of caffeine.