Anyone of us who drink a lot of caffeinated beverages knows the effects it can have on our bladders. For years caffeine has been said to be a culprit in dehydrating your body, but that is a little misleading. It’s not actually the caffeine that dehydrates your body, but high amounts of it have a diuretic effect, aka it makes you pee a lot. All that caffeine stimulation doesn’t just affect one part of your body, it’s going to hit your kidneys as well. And being that the caffeine is a foreign substance, your body is going to do what it takes to get it out, especially when there is too much of it.
So, when you end up peeing a lot, you lose too much water and salt from your body, and that is what makes you dehydrated and thirstier than normal. With all that heart pumping, blood pressure raising, and adrenaline flowing, an overdose of caffeine can get you’re your sweat glands into the action. This sweatiness can further contribute to your body’s dehydration and need to drink water. Of course if you’ve been out in the sun and you’ve had a lot of caffeine, it’s going to worsen the dehydration and your thirst will be more urgent. if you experience this symptom, make sure you’re turning to life-saving water to help you out, not more caffeinated drinks.
You May Diarrhea
Surprise, caffeine stimulates your digestive system as well. Acid producing caffeine sends signals to your body to produce more bile, the stuff that helps break down waste and get it ready to go out. Too much bile caused by an overdose of caffeine builds up and can contribute to diarrhea. The caffeine also causes your intestines to expand and contract faster (they’re overstimulated, too) causing a laxative effect on your system. Although it’s not completely understood by the medical community a high amount of caffeine has this effect on your urge to go, but our digestive system is pretty sensitive, so generally your body will tell itself that what goes in must go out. This is especially true if it wants to get rid of too much of a foreign substance like caffeine. Especially when combined with all that peeing, diarrhea can further dehydrate your body.
You May Heartburn, Nausea, and Vomiting
Too much caffeine can have other quite unpleasant effects on your digestive system. When an excess of caffeine hits your stomach, some funky things can start to happen. Your stomach is already full of acid and caffeine just piles it on. This excess irritates the muscle at the end of your esophagus, making everything in your stomach, including the acid, start to flow upward, causing that burning sensation in your chest and esophagus. All that acid also irritates your stomach lining which can leave you feeling queasy. Although most people only experience nausea, there are some people who end up vomiting from too much caffeine intake. Coffee, being the diuretic that it is, means that it’s going to cause your body to give up it’s fluids, and you don’t always get to choose the most pleasant way for that to happen.
You May Headaches or Migraines
When it comes to headaches, caffeine can be a double-edged sword. A moderate amount of caffeine can be used to help ease headaches, in fact, a number of over-the-counter migraine medications include caffeine. It’s also possible that caffeine affects the neurotransmitters in your brain that help block head pain. So then why might you suffer from a headache after drinking too much caffeine? It’s not actually the caffeine that is causing the headache. Caffeine constricts the blood vessels in your head and when it’s gone out of your system, they expand again. Your blood vessels expanding back to their normal size is what can cause you to have a headache, also known as a rebound headache. If you’re in the habit of grabbing a cup of coffee or caffeine-laden painkillers whenever you get a headache, it’s important to recognize whether your headache is a symptom of too much caffeine so you can treat it with non-caffeinated pain relievers.
You May Fatigue
Since we’ve beaten you over the head with the fact that caffeine is a stimulant that keeps you alert and awake, it might seem a bit crazy that fatigue is a symptom of a caffeine overdose. But the fatigue you’re feeling after having a lot of caffeine is also a rebound effect—it wasn’t directly caused by the caffeine, but it was a result of it leaving your body. When your body is tired, caffeine can give you a false energy. It can be awesome to have so much energy to get what you need done, but ultimately, it’s only masking the underlying tiredness and the reasons why your body is tired. Caffeine is only a temporary fix and in the long run, it can stress your adrenals which will leave you chronically fatigued. So, if your body is tired, get it the rest it needs.
We hope that you found this list helpful, and you may have even recognized some of the symptoms we’ve talked about. It’s important to take care of your body—you’ve got it for the long haul. So many of us have become reliant on caffeine to function, to the detriment of our own health and ironically, our ability to function sometimes. We’ve done plenty of talking, now we want to know what you think. Please share a comment below or share this article with someone who might benefit.