HealthFinding the fine line between coffee's perks and risks

Finding the fine line between coffee's perks and risks

Can you overdose on coffee?
Can you overdose on coffee?
Images source: © Licensor | Yuliya Taba

4:39 PM EDT, April 19, 2024

While moderate coffee consumption presents various health benefits, it's crucial to understand the boundaries of safe intake. So, how much coffee qualifies as "too much"?

Caffeine dosage and toxicity

Coffee, when consumed in moderation, can safeguard the liver and brain, benefit the intestines and heart, reduce inflammation, and even prevent cancer and diabetes.

For adults, the recommended maximum caffeine intake is approximately 400 mg daily, roughly the amount in four cups of coffee. This can vary depending on the type of beans and the brewing method. Consuming more than 400 mg daily may result in symptoms of caffeine excess.

The lethal dose of caffeine is estimated to be around 10 g, equivalent to about 80 cups of espresso if consumed sequentially.

Symptoms of Excessive Caffeine Intake

Too much caffeine can lead to several symptoms that disrupt daily life and health.

1. Headaches and Migraines

An increase in caffeine intake can cause the brain's blood vessels to dilate. Over time, consistently consuming over the recommended amount may lead to chronic headaches.

2. Heart Palpitations

Caffeine can stimulate the cardiovascular system, increasing heart rate and sometimes causing irregular heart rhythms.

3. Irritability and Anxiety

As a psychostimulant, caffeine can heighten feelings of anxiety and irritability, particularly in individuals prone to anxiety disorders.

4. Sleep Problems

Caffeine can prevent adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep, from working effectively, potentially resulting in insomnia.

5. Chest Pain

Stimulant effects may cause pain or discomfort in the chest, especially in those with pre-existing heart conditions.

6. Frequent Urination

The diuretic properties of caffeine may lead to dehydration.

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