Written by Isabelle on October 13, 2020

10 signs you're drinking too much coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide, and tea isn't too far behind. Many people rely on caffeinated beverages to get the day started and to finish the day strong. But when do we need to consider whether we are crossing the line and taking in too much caffeine?

Many of us enjoy our caffeinated beverages because of their stimulating effects. There is also evidence that caffeine could help with improving energy, cognition, and exercise performance. That said, while we often talk about the benefits of caffeine, we don't always talk about the potential downsides.

How to know if you drink too much caffeine
It is first important to note that everyone may have a different threshold for how much is too much for them. We each metabolise caffeine differently. Some people are fast metabolisers, and others are slow metabolisers, so this will affect how much you are likely able to tolerate.

ISS CEO Dr Adam Fletcher notes that many people underestimate how long caffeine stays in your system, “if you’re managing your night-time light sources but still finding it difficult to fall asleep, just make sure you’re trying to avoid it for five to six hours before bedtime,” he says.

Here are a few common side effects that you might experience if you’re drinking too much caffeine:

  • Fast heart rate (tachycardia or palpitations)
  • Jitteriness
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Sodium and water retention
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Dehydration
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Digestive issues (such as frequent bowel movements, indigestion, acid reflux)

Consider what you're drinking, too.
Oftentimes, excessive levels of caffeine can come from drinking energy drinks, which may have high levels of caffeine alongside sugar.

So, what do we do?
I think the first thing to do is look at the quality of the caffeine you are drinking, and what else is present in your beverage.

Then, one of the most important steps is to understand how much caffeine you need to ingest—and over what period of time—in order to reap the benefits without the negative consequences. Our app, PeakAlert, can actually be a great tool to help you monitor this, because it allows you to train your own algorithm to achieve peak performance via personal advice on sleep and caffeine.

“Many people under-estimate how long the effects of caffeine can last when it comes to sleep. PeakAlert can help to manage the balance, especially for those of us who rely on caffeine for alertness sometimes,” Dr Adam says.

Bottom line.
Everyone is different, and everyone will have different set points regarding how much caffeine they can tolerate and should drink. But it is important to keep an eye out for any signs of too much caffeine, in order to take care of your health. There are definitely strategies to consider that can help you accomplish your goals without crossing the line of your body's limits.


Blog post written by Isabelle

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