Some people may rely on caffeine for extra energy. It is a stimulant of the nervous system and causes you to become more alert with a boost of energy. Sounds good, right? Along with that boost of energy come some negative side effects.
Depending on the amount of caffeine you consume, one or more of the following side effects may occur:
- Increased anxiety
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Stomach irritations
- Decreased quality and length of sleep
- Abnormal heart rhythms
The effects of caffeine will differ for each individual as well as the intensity of the side effects. How much is too much? Every person responds differently to caffeine so what works for one person could be too much for another person. The key is to watch for negative side effects. Extremely high intakes of caffeine can trigger serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, or even death.
The Mayo Clinic recommends the following daily limits of caffeine:
- Adult: less than 400 mg/day
- Adolescent: less than 100 mg/day
- Child: 0 mg/day
If consumed regularly, an individual can become dependent on caffeine. As little as 100 mg/day can cause dependency so it is very important to monitor your intake. The chart below shows some of the commonly consumed caffeinated beverage and the amount of caffeine they contain.
As you can see, caffeine can add up quickly when you consume one or more caffeinated beverages a day. If you become dependent and are looking to break your dependency you should decrease you daily intake slowly. You may experience some fatigue while decreasing your intake. Find alternate ways to increase your energy, like getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, and exercising daily. If your fatigue persists even when implementing these healthy behaviors, consult a doctor. An extreme amount of fatigue could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Next time you want to reach for caffeine for a boost of energy try tea, flavored water, coconut water, a protein shake, or fruit juice mixed with sparkling water.
One of my favorite non-caffeinated drinks is Strawberry Lime Electrolyte Water.
Give it a try. Enjoy!