Put That Coffee Down… 12 Harmful Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine is one of the most addictive substances the majority of us intake on a daily basis, yet we tend to dismiss it as a harmless pick-me-up. So many of us rely on it to wake up, keep us going throughout the day and even as a social stimulant when we want to stay away from alcohol. And although coffee smells heavenly, we should be aware of all of its effects, not just the power it has to keep us working for longer!
#1 Raised Blood Pressure
There’s no conclusive evidence as to why caffeine raises our blood pressure, but we know that it does, at least for a short period. Scientists think it may block a hormone that helps arteries widen, therefore causing the short-lived but dramatic spike in our blood pressure!
Photo: Daily Express
We all know how much a cup of coffee helps us re-energize ourselves, but that in turn also means it can disturb our sleeping patterns overall. If you have a cup of coffee after dinner, this is very likely to keep you awake far longer than you want. Having had a bad sleep, the next morning you’ll be reaching for the coffee again and so begins the insomnia cycle.
While a small amount of caffeine will not cause a headache or migraine, a large amount will lead to withdrawal symptoms shortly after, which includes bad headaches.
Photo: Health Ambitions
#4 Breast Tissue Cysts
In large amounts, the substance can indirectly affect reproductive hormones, which in turn affect the development of fibroadenomas, though are non-cancerous cysts. Even more commonly, women who already suffer from these cysts notice a change for the better when they cut back on caffeine.
Photo: How to Sleep Better
#5 More Likely to Cause Incontinence
Drinking more than two cups of coffee a day can lead to bladder problems and even incontinence! It’s thought that it not only acts as a diuretic but affects the muscles that control the bladder and urinary tract. So put the coffee down.
Photo: Shape Magazine
#6 Watch Your Indigestion
Caffeine substances like coffee are highly acidic, which can make your stomach produce more digestive acids. This means the symptoms of heartburn are worsened, so if you’re experiencing acid reflux multiple times during the week you should cut down on caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods or consult your GP.
#7 The More the Caffeine, The Worse the Cramps
There are mixed reports on whether caffeine can improve cramps or worsen the effects of menstrual cramps. For a number of women, caffeine restricts the blood flow all over our vascular system and as a result causes pain. To many of us, caffeine is an aid, one even used in over-the-counter medication for cramps! It’s best to figure out which camp you fall into, so if you’re suffering from bad pains, cut back and see if it helps.
Photo: Z Living
#8 Inhibits Collagen Production in Skin
Bet you never thought that the miracle must-have beverage you drink to keep you feeling fresh could actually be making you look a lot less fresh over time! An NCBI study argued that caffeine inhibits collagen production over time if we consume it regularly, making out skin less capable of healing itself and staying plump.
Photo: Cosmetics Design Europe
#9 Dehydration Ain’t Fun
As caffeinated drinks like tea & coffee are diuretics, meaning they increase the production of urine, they could lead to dehydration easily enough. If you’re losing too much water and not replenishing it enough, your body will drain itself of necessary water!
#10 Oh No… Diarrhoea!
An excessive amount of caffeinated beverages often lead to diarrhoea, and for a number of reasons. The acidity of many caffeine products such as coffee makes the stomach produce more bile and in turn cause diarrhoea! Coffee also makes our digestive muscles contract, sending a signal to get rid of the stomach’s contents.
#11 The Jitters
As caffeine is a stimulant that activates the central nervous system, it can have downsides for those of us who either indulge too much in it or those of us who are sensitive to its effects. Shaking, muscle tremors and even eye twitches are often direct results of a bad reaction to over-caffeinating yourself!
Photo: The Huffington Post
#12 Reduced Fertility
Worryingly, excessive amounts of coffee can lead to reduced fertility in women. Only two cups of coffee can reduce a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant by up to 27%! (According The University of Nevada School of Medicine)
Photo: Women’s Fitness