Nothing touches your soul in the morning quite like that first sip of coffee. Whether you like your coffee hot or like it over ice, everyone can agree that coffee makes the world go round. What happens though if your morning fix extends well past 10AM? While caffeine has been shown to have numerous benefits, you can have too much of a good thing. Dehydration, increased heart rate, and insomnia are just a few of the downfalls of caffeine over-consumption. If you are addicted to caffeine and have experienced any of these symptoms, you might want to keep reading.
While caffeine does not technically dehydrate you, studies have shown that coffee has similar effects to a diuretic. A diuretic is simply a medical term for passing fluids. This means that your trips to the restroom may increase in frequency when consuming caffeinated beverages. At present there are no definitive studies proving the link between increased frequency in trips to the bathroom and caffeine. However, consumers of caffeinated beverages have reported an increased sense of “urgency” after drinking caffeine. This can vary on your tolerance level for caffeine; those with a low tolerance will likely feel the effects of caffeine as a diuretic more so than those with a higher tolerance. In any case, dehydration can be easily avoided by drinking water throughout the day. Remember, if you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.
Even though caffeine cannot replace sleep, caffeine works by blocking the sleep-producing chemicals in our brain and increasing adrenaline production. Look, we’ve all been there. It’s 2pm and the day is just barely half way over. You have no idea how you’re going to make it through the last half. You feel like a mouse trying to climb a mountain and reach for a refreshing large iced coffee. It’s only 2PM and you don’t plan on going to bed for another 8 hours. Who is it going to harm? After that first sip you notice the clouds part, the sun comes out, the birds start singing, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel that is your long workday. But when you get home, you notice you have a tough time winding down for the evening. That’s because when caffeine enters your blood stream, it can take up to six hours for one half of the amount of caffeine to leave your body. If you drank 250 milligrams at 2pm, six hours later you will still have 125 milligrams keeping you awake.