Although it's a delicious drink that many of us rely on to help us get through a busy workday, drinking too much coffee has many side effects, some of which are potentially harmful. Some of these signs are more obvious, while others are subtler. If you're worried you might be drinking too much coffee (or too many caffeinated drinks in general), this list might help you discover whether you should cut down on your coffee habit. Are you drinking too much coffee? These are the signs to look for.
Coffee contains a variety of compounds that can lead to your stomach producing an excessive amount of stomach acid. Too much stomach acid can cause an upset tummy. While you might be tempted to take antacids to help combat it, you should consider cutting down how many cups of coffee you have in a day to get rid of your sore stomach.
That extra cup or two of joe you might drink to help you meet a big deadline or prepare for a job interview can make your nerves worse. Coffee can interfere with your ability to sleep and ignite your fight or flight response, making you feel far more anxious than you otherwise might. This anxiousness can lead to stress and high blood pressure over time. If you're someone who suffers from anxiety and drinks a lot of coffee, curbing your coffee intake might make you less anxious.
One of the effects of caffeine is that it stimulates the central nervous system, which can cause jittery, shaky feelings, make your heart race, and you may find that it's difficult to concentrate. Drink some water to help combat the coffee jitters and don't be tempted to pour that nth cup to send you over the edge.
Coffee has laxative properties, which is why it can be good for normal bowel function. However, drinking too much coffee can give you diarrhea. If this is a problem you're experiencing, stick to one or two cups and consider spacing them out.
If you drink coffee all day long, you might experience trouble falling and staying asleep once it's time to hit the hay. Coffee has a half-life of 5 hours, which means it can take several more hours for the caffeine to fully leave your system. To avoid caffeine-related sleep issues, keep your coffee drinking to the mornings and don't have any coffee after lunch.
While you've probably heard a bit of caffeine can be good for a migraine (which is why it's often added to over-the-counter headache medication), drinking too much coffee over long periods can cause headaches. If you're someone who regularly drinks five or more cups of coffee a day, you might be plagued with caffeine-related headaches. You might also experience headaches if you're a long-time coffee drinker looking to cut down. To avoid caffeine withdrawal headaches, gradually cut down how many cups you have a day – for instance, from five to four, four to three, and so on, and you'll be less likely to experience caffeine headaches.