Health Topics

Caffeine Jitters

By DuPage Medical Group

You wake up exhausted and have a cup or two of coffee. In the afternoon, you may have another cup or a mug of caffeinated tea. After work, you have another cup of caffeinated tea and a piece of chocolate. Then, at night you toss and turn and wake up feeling exhausted again. And the cycle continues.

While caffeine can have positive effects, such as keeping you awake during work, it can also be harmful to your body and health if misused. Caffeine is classified as a stimulant drug. It’s okay to use regularly, however, too much can cause damage. Here is a guide to navigating the effects of caffeine.

The Good

-Occurs naturally in more than 60 plants (coffee beans, tea leaves, and cacao pods)

-Makes you feel awake and alert

The Bad

-Can cause headaches, nervousness, or dizziness

-Makes you dehydrated

-Cause you to be jittery or shaky

-Makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep 

The Ugly

-Makes your heart beat faster

-Can cause an uneven heart rhythm

-Raises your blood pressure

-Can cause you to become dependent on it 

If you find yourself dependent on caffeine and plan to quit, your withdrawal symptoms could include: headaches, muscle aches, feelings of depression, and irritability.

Understand the effects caffeine has on your body to ensure good health. Experts say 4-7 cups or more of coffee a day is too much caffeine. Try to limit your caffeine intake to 400 milligrams (mg) or less than 4 cups of coffee, 10 soda drinks (soda has other negative health effects), or two energy shots. Better yet, try swapping out water or juice for a caffeinated drink each day to decrease your caffeine intake.



Topics and Subtopics: Diet & Nutrition

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Family Medicine Internal Medicine
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