If you are not used to a lot of caffeine, it’s easy to tell when you’ve had too much of it. When you have too much coffee or caffeine-containing drinks you start to feel shaky, irritable and your heart is racing. You may be unable to sleep and even maybe become nauseous. That would be enough for you to be aware of how much coffee you will have the next time.
But if you are a person who is used to having a lot of caffeine throughout the day, and maybe even at night, it’s possible that you drink too much of it without getting strong symptoms of it. The shakiness and palpitations may not be strong or even present because you have built caffeine tolerance but that doesn’t mean the excessive amount of caffeine doesn’t affect your daily functioning. Yes, caffeine is a stimulant, it can have a lot of health benefits, and you might find it helpful for your mood and productivity, but too much of it can actually negatively affect all of those things.
Here are a few clues that you might be having too much of it:
- You Go to Bed Late
If you are a night owl ask yourself if that could be because of your excessive caffeine use. If you think you can handle a lot of coffee without it affecting your sleeping routine think again. Try to diminish the amount you drink and see if that changes when you go to bed and how quickly you can zone out and fall asleep. Research has shown that even the morning coffee has an effect on our sleeping, let alone the one you have in the afternoon or worse, at night.
- You Feel Tired Throughout the Day
This might sound illogical as caffeine is a stimulant that keeps you awake, but that’s precisely the reason why it can cause you to feel tired during the day. What happens is that the stimulating effect of caffeine disrupts your sleep, causing you to have lower quality sleep, especially if you have it at night. That’s the reason you feel less energetic during the day. A good night’s sleep is very important for your productivity and in that sense, caffeine can actually harm your productivity.
- Your Muscles Are Tense
If your muscles often feel achy and tense it could be because of poor sitting positions, lack of exercise or too much of it, but caffeine can also be the culprit of it. Caffeine has diuretic properties which means it promotes fluid exertion from the body which can cause dehydration. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are often to blame for muscle cramps and pain.
- You Find It Hard to Relax
Even if you don’t feel shaky, caffeine can cause you to be in a state of over-arousal and excessive anxiety. So if you have excessive amounts of caffeine your anxiety will always be on the higher side, especially if you already have an anxiety disorder. Limiting the intake can surely help you relax more easily.
- Your Stomach Often Feels Irritated
That painful feeling similar to the one you get when you are very hungry is often a result of stomach lining irritation. Coffee stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and that can irritate your stomach lining. The irritated stomach lining causes hunger sensations.
So, to sum it up, you don’t have to completely quit drinking your coffee but limiting the amount you have can certainly be only good for you. You may experience some minor withdrawal symptoms at first but that will surely pass. The recommended amount of caffeine for an average person is around 200 mg or two average cups, and while up to 400 mg of caffeine per day is considered safe, it is actually considered high dosage and anything above that can be harmful.