Frequent urination or inability to control urination Stomach upset Muscle tremors Even a little makes you jittery Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than are others. If you're susceptible to the effects of caffeine, just small amounts — even one cup of coffee or tea — may prompt unwanted effects, such as restlessness and sleep problems.
That's about three cups per coffee drinker in the United States, where 83 percent of adults can't imagine life without their favorite cup of java. Add to that tea, caffeinated soft drinks and those infamous energy drinksand you won't be surprised to read that 90 percent of us consume caffeine in some form or another each day.
Is this a bad thing? Recent research has shown that coffee, in particular, may help prevent diseases like stroke and certain cancers, lower our risk of Parkinson's and dementiaand boost our concentration and memory.
Partly that's because coffee beans are seeds, the National Institutes of Health NIH reminds us, and like all seeds, they're loaded with protective compounds.
Caffeine, a mild stimulant, also provides benefits: It's been linked to lower risks of Alzheimer's diseasefor example. But when it comes to caffeine, there really can be too much of a good thing. Those who study caffeine's lesser-known effects point to studies that indicate it can be worrisome for people with high blood pressurediabetes and osteoporosis.
Plus, caffeine can interact poorly with some common medications, and it can worsen insomnia, anxiety and heartburn. It would make things easier if the caffeine content were listed on food labels so you would know if you've exceeded the mg level that most health experts say is a safe, moderate amount for the day — about the amount in three 8-ounce cups of coffee, depending on how strong you brew it — but so far that's not happening.
So before you turn on that coffeemaker or grab a grande cup from your favorite cafe, here are some things to keep in mind. First, the bad news about caffeine and coffee Remember: Caffeine is a drug, says Steven Meredith, a researcher in behavioral pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
While low to moderate doses are generally safe, caffeine is addictive and users can become dependent on it and find it difficult to quit or even cut back, he says.
Caffeine dependence was even named as a new mental disorder this year. Anyone who's ever quit cold turkey knows it can trigger pounding headaches, mental fuzziness and fatigue for a couple of days until the body adjusts. Other effects of too much caffeine: It increases anxiety and disrupts sleep patterns, leading to a vicious cycle of restless sleep, relying on caffeine to help with daytime fatigue, followed by more insomnia.
Caffeine interacts with some medicationsincluding thyroid medicationpsychiatric and depression drugs, the antibiotic Cipro and the heartburn drug Tagamet. It increases blood sugar levels, making it harder for those with type 2 diabetes to manage their insulin, according to a number of studies; it also can slightly raise blood pressure.
If you have difficulty controlling either your blood pressure or diabetes, switching to decaf may help, says Rob van Dam with Harvard's School of Public Health.
Caffeine Counts The amount of caffeine in a particular coffee drink depends on the brew and beverage size: Restaurant espresso 1 oz. Mayo Clinic Caffeine potentially leads to some spinal bone loss in postmenopausal women if they typically drink more than three cups, or mg of caffeine, a day, but don't get enough calcium in their diet, says Linda Massey, emeritus professor of nutrition at Washington State University.
An older woman should make sure she gets at least mg of calcium daily — through food or supplements — to offset caffeine's effect on calcium, adds Bess Dawson-Hughes, M. Coffee itself can also mess with your stomach. If you have problems with acid reflux or heartburn, then coffee and even tea might not be right for you.
And if you have high cholesterol and you don't want your coffee adding to the problem, you need to use a paper filter to trap the cafestol, a compound in coffee that raises LDL cholesterol levels, says van Dam.
Here's what you need to know if you have a touchy tummy Coffee's not your friend if you're prone to heartburn. Coffee is highly acidic and is irritating to the gastrointestinal tract.
Switching to decaf won't help: In fact some research has found that decaf increases stomach acid even more than caffeinated coffee. Neither will switching methods of brewing or roasting. Avoiding coffee is the only solution.
Caffeine's not your friend if you have acid reflux. Caffeine seems to be the main culprit by relaxing the sphincter muscle that normally keeps stomach acid from bubbling up the esophagus. Decaf coffee has significantly less of a reflux effect, studies have found.
Now, the good news about caffeine and, of course, coffee Caffeine has been shown to protect against a host of problems. Some studies have found that those who drink lots of coffee but not decaf seem to be four to eight times less likely to develop Parkinson's disease, according to the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and "that is more likely to be due to caffeine" than to any nutrients in coffee, says van Dam.
Some other benefits of coffee: It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. A caffeine habit in your 40s and 50s — three to five cups daily of the high-octane stuff, not decaf — seems to reduce by up to 70 percent the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia in your 70s, a University of Florida study found.
Other studies have found that regular caffeine consumption may help slow the rate of cognitive decline in older adults.
Coffee cuts suicide risk.Conducted systematic review of the potential adverse effects of caffeine consumption in healthy populations. • Included evaluation of cardiovascular, behavioral, reproductive & developmental, bone & calcium, and acute effects.
The precise amount of caffeine necessary to produce effects varies from person to person depending on body size and degree of tolerance to caffeine. Caffeine has a number of health effects on the body and brain.
Depending on how you consume it, caffeine could improve memory, boost athletic performance, and be good for the heart.
But too much. While the nutrition facts of coffee and other caffeinated drinks come with some convincing perks, certain experts would disagree and feel that there are better ways to boost your energy levels.. Caffeinated drinks — including tea, coffee and “energy drinks” — are all complex beverages containing hundreds of biologically active compounds, and the health effects of chronic caffeine.
Do you find that you feel even more sleepy after drinking a caffeinated beverage? If that sounds like you, it's entirely normal. The answer lies not with the caffeine not working but rather its effects on your body that make you feel tired after coffee.
Caffeine is used in: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature infants for both prevention and treatment. It may improve weight gain during therapy and reduce the incidence of cerebral palsy as well as reduce language and cognitive delay.
On the other hand, subtle long-term side effects are possible.