What Are the Caffeine Side Effects on Your Body When You’ve Had Too Much?

5 min readMar 22, 2022

By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS

Caffeine is Loved for Its Wake-Up Power And Hated for its Addictive Nature. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Starting the day without coffee seems like a big mistake. However, it might be good for you, especially when you’ve been consuming too much caffeine. If you’ve tried to cut back on your caffeine intake and it backfired in the form of drowsiness, that’s a strong indication that you’re dependent on it. And that is a bad thing. Drink too much coffee and you’ll end up with high blood pressure, which can lead to or worsen a cardiovascular problem. But in small quantities, caffeine is good for you. Read on to find out how much caffeine is too much.

How Does Caffeine Keep Us Awake? — Hanan Qasim │ TED-Ed

Sides Effects of Caffeine

Caffeine is a natural plant derivative that works as a nervous system stimulant in the human body. It doesn’t take much time for it to be absorbed into the bloodstream, which accounts for its energy-boosting qualities. However, the side effects of caffeine extend beyond energy. It definitely has both pros and cons. From promoting weight loss to lowering the risk of depression and suicide, caffeine can prove to be a useful part of your diet. But don’t overdose on it if you don’t know how much caffeine is too much. Beyond certain limits, the benefits of this widely used drug can end as well as lead to problems instead.

So, is caffeine bad for you? The answer is no. For workplaces where sleep restrictions are strictly followed, such as transport, military, and hospitals, coffee can be used as an effective way to maintain and enhance cognitive and physical function. Caffeine affects the brain above all other organs. That is why you feel alert and active after drinking a cup or two of coffee or tea. There’s no harm in using it to stay awake a little longer; however, it is not a substitute for sleep. No matter how much caffeine you take in, lack of sleep will leave negative effects on your body.

Caffeine Keeps You Active, And Maintain a Healthy Weight. (Image Sources: Shutterstock)

One amazing benefit of caffeine is that, since it keeps you active, it helps you maintain a healthy weight and reduce body fat. For example, it’s harder to sit still in a chair when your body is on high alert. You’ll want to move around after consuming coffee. But if you drink too much of it, you’ll spend the entire day feeling anxious, shaky, and nauseous.

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

Your body does not need black coffee every morning to function. You can maintain good energy levels by making healthier choices. However, sometimes a cup of coffee comes in handy. So where should you draw the line? According to the FDA, adults should not drink more than three or four cups a day, i.e., 400 milligrams of caffeine. However, some people are more sensitive to the side effects of caffeine than others, which means the average varies from person to person. As for children, the FDA has not set a standard yet, but it is discouraged.

Signs of caffeine overdose include anxiety, headaches, nausea, a rapid heartbeat, and insomnia. Reducing caffeine intake is easy unless you’re addicted. That’s one of its biggest negative side effects. If you can’t perform daily tasks without caffeine, it means you’re dependent on it. Other symptoms of caffeine addiction and abuse are brain fog, depression, muscle breakdown, high blood pressure, headaches, and drowsiness. These symptoms appear a few hours after you withdraw from coffee. You’ll know just how bad your habit is once you try to go a day without caffeine.

Signs Of Caffeine Overdose Include Anxiety, Headaches, And Insomnia. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Now that we’ve understood how much caffeine is too much, it’s time to figure out how to remain within healthy limits. Replace coffee with water. Yes, that sounds boring, but you can make it fun by buying yourself a cute water bottle or adding different fruits to it. This way, you’ll want to drink water. You can also try different smoothies or herbal teas. If nothing gives you that kick, exercise. Exercising is the best way to improve your energy without any of the negative side effects of caffeine.

National Caffeine Awareness Month

March is a time for caffeine fact checks. It’s National Caffeine Awareness Month, the perfect time to learn more about caffeine’s side effects. After all, nearly 85% of the U.S. population consumes caffeine every day. The purpose of National Caffeine Awareness Month is to reduce the harm associated with a caffeine addiction and abuse and teach people to adopt healthier consumption habits. So, use this month to your benefit. Remember, change starts with you.

March Is Time To Learn More About Caffeine’s Side Effects. (Image Sources: Shutterstock)

First, learn what caffeine is and how it works. Next, understand how much caffeine is too much and what its side effects are. Then assess your own caffeine intake. If you find out that you’re too dependent on it, learn how to stop drinking coffee. Quitting coffee is not impossible, and there are many alternatives that can make you feel a lot better than caffeine ever can. For example, take a walk every time you crave some caffeine, or start exercising. Keep a water bottle with you at all times; staying hydrated can also reduce your caffeine dependency.

Once you’re set, teach others what you’ve learned. Share your struggles and techniques. You’ll be surprised how many people are trying to quit coffee these days. This is the result of increased awareness. So, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. Communication is a great way to help people. If you are not a fan of talking, share posts on your social media instead or put up posters in your workplace.

When you participate in National Caffeine Awareness Month, you encourage people to take better care of themselves. Your efforts can lead to a healthier community, workforce, and family. Plus, you can help aged people avoid further health complications.


Caffeine is loved for its wake-up power and hated for its addictive nature. The negative side effects of caffeine can lead to serious disorders like anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat. When consumed in small quantities, however, it can help with weight loss, give an energy boost, and reduce depression. In the end, it all comes down to understanding how much caffeine is too much and recognizing signs of addiction. If you need a push, National Caffeine Awareness is here — are you ready to be the change?

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