What Happens To Your Body When You Overdo It With Caffeine

too much caffeine symptoms

Unsplash/Elizabeth Tsung

Calling all java junkies and energy drink enthusiasts. We know what it’s like to have a serious caffeine habit and, on most days, we fare just fine with that extra jolt in the middle of the afternoon. But there are those times when we accidentally overdo it and end up feeling all sorts of funky.

Surprise, surprise — there are a number of severe ways your body can react when you consume too much caffeine, and they only get worse for the caffeine-sensitive folks out there. So before you reach for your next Red Bull or espresso shot, know that this is what happens to your body when it’s pumped with too much of the popular stimulant.

Your anxiety reaches an all-time high.

When you trigger your body’s adrenaline release and fight-or-flight response (which is what caffeine does in the brain) for too long, that desired sense of alertness and focus can easily become one of serious anxiety and nervousness. It’s why so many people who struggle with anxiety disorders are advised to avoid caffeine in the first place. The intended benefit becomes a crippling side effect that can’t subside until the stimulant in your body is fully processed.

You develop insomniac tendencies.

We don’t need to tell you that caffeine messes with your natural sleep cycle, right? Well, imagine just how dysfunctional it becomes when your body is still metabolizing large doses of caffeine late into the evening. It’s the perfect recipe for a truly restless night, and it can even lead to consistent insomnia if you are regularly leaning into that extra cup of coffee you know you probably shouldn’t have.

too much caffeine symptoms

Unsplash/Devin Avery

You can experience heart palpitations.

If you give your body way more caffeine than it can handle on a regular basis, you might even begin to notice not-so-great changes with your heart. An increased heartbeat is a common reaction, followed by heart palpitations. Depending on your age, pre-existing conditions and caffeine intake, it can even lead to a heart attack due to how the stimulant constricts the blood vessels, increases blood pressure and decreases circulation all at the same time.

You have some painful stomach issues.

Oh man… where do we begin with this one? Often times, the form in which you down caffeine is a highly acidic drink like coffee. So when you overdo it, you set yourself up for serious acid reflux, heartburn and major stomach cramping. And because the stimulant is also a highly effective diuretic, you can experience severe diarrhea as well, which only further dehydrates your body and makes your digestive system (and pretty much everything else) feel even worse.

You feel uncomfortably jittery and restless.

And, of course, the most commonly known symptom of overdoing caffeine is the jitters. This reaction is typically the first symptom people experience when they’ve had too much caffeine. It’s not harmful to your health — it’s just really agitating and distracting. It’s definitely your body’s way of telling you that you are done with the stimulant for the day. And if you don’t listen to it, you could fall victim to any and all of the other rough side effects mentioned above.


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