15 Side Effects of Coffee That We Never Thought of

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Side Effects of Coffee

Coffee, for years now, has been everyone’s strength and weakness. We call it strength because its stimulated property works as an immediate booster and a weakness because there are various side effects of coffee that many coffee lovers do not even know.

This brew, made from roasted coffee beans, is like a magic concoction which re-energizes ones thinking and working ability. Since the early 15th-century people are hooked on to coffee and we have seen the origin of the notion of this drink from qahwa to kahveh, koffie to coffee. From Ethiopia to Arab to Turkey to Colombia to all over the world, coffee’s journey has been unbelievable and unforgettable. With so many options in coffee flavor and brew strength available today, we are spoilt for choice and thus the dependency on the drink is huge.

With around 60% of the world’s population being the primary coffee consumer, the demand for coffee is high. Talking about India, 40% of our people prefer coffee as their favorite beverage compared to others available. Filter coffee, milk coffee, masala coffee, black coffee, cappuccino, latte and be its coffee beans from Coorg, California or Colombia, coffee was and will always remain a constant with gigantic fan-following.

Morning is a synonym to coffee and the absence of it brings an irritable twitch in drinkers. It surely is all about a fine line between craving, habit, necessity, or even addiction. As much as coffee helps and benefits, excessive use of this drink harms us too. 

 “It doesn’t matter where you are from or how you feel, there is always peace in a strong cup of coffee!” 

Every coffee lover ever –

I am a Coffeeholic, I procaffeinate – my day starts and ends with it. The aroma & taste of a strong brew, livens me up and is truly the elixir of my life! I like my coffee- black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love. I believe in the astonishing power of this little Black Drink. Magic or not, it’s my support system – and I’m addicted and overly attached to it!” 

Let’s see various side effects of coffee while taking a look at its positive side:

Coffee has many positive effects

Coffee contains caffeine which not only charges one up but activates all the senses and ensures that body responses. It boosts one’s concentration levels and thinking and decision-taking ability. Everything is bound to get better with coffee. Be it mental or physical fatigue, the caffeine in coffee gets you back to the groove by increasing the mental alertness.

“It is the world’s safest drug – that’s psychoactive as well as gives a hit!”

Moreover, coffee has health benefits too. Studies show that consumption of coffee helps to prevent Parkinson’s disease, Gallstones, Type-2 Diabetes, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Lung Cancer, and Breast Cancer. But these are all high-level diseases and usages. In our general lives, this beverage is used in the treatment of a headache, low blood pressure, migraines, obesity and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Also, there are studies that show that usage of coffee boosts metabolism, general cognitive function, improves brain function, and rectifies mood swings and one’s reaction time.

Although the condition is that, these all work only when coffee is used in moderation and not excessively. If not, many side effects of coffee are there to give an intense attack on your health. Let’s count on reasons why coffee is bad for you.

What is Caffeine?

It is a chemical found in coffee, tea, cola, and other products. Caffeine works by exciting the central nervous system (CNS), heart and muscles. It’s a stimulant, a drug which gives the drinker a rush of adrenaline. Caffeine works immediately on the brain and blood vessels. If we talk about the brain, it blocks the function of a brain hormone called Adenosine. Once this hormone is blocked, caffeine increases activity in our brain and releases hormones like norepinephrine and dopamine, which usually reduces tiredness and makes one alert. It takes around 45 minutes for our body to absorb caffeine through its membranes and the effect stays on for 4-6 hours.

As per researchers, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is okay for adults. That is around four cups a day- be it coffee, tea, cola or anything containing caffeine! Not 4 cups of coffee, but 4 cups of caffeine. In short, low to moderate usage is fine and on the other hand, high doses of caffeine may have unpleasant and even dangerous side effects.

I know many people are addicted and often loose counts of the number of cups of the coffee they have had. But frankly speaking, in the long run, this kind of consumption hampers more than benefiting. A fact, people who aren’t used to caffeine, even less amount of it can have a major influence and react differently. So eventually, whether coffee will benefit or hamper you, it all depends on your body and your intake rate. In a nutshell, we can say that the availability of caffeine is responsible for side effects of coffee.

Harmful Effects of Coffee

Anything in excess is bad and so is coffee. Maybe that’s why the majority of the coffee consumers today are switching to filtered or decaffeinated versions of coffee to regulate their caffeine levels.

Before you consume your “nth” cup of coffee today, please hold, think, take time and reconsider. Listed below are a few disadvantages of coffee :

Side Effects of Coffee

1. OCD (Obsessive Coffee Disorder)

Excessive intake of coffee makes one dependent on it. It forms a habit. The urge of caffeine is at times so much that until a person wants his cup of coffee, he can’t process anything. Such an “addiction” is unhealthy as missing even a few cups of coffee yields to withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, brain fog, headaches, and constant tiredness. OCD is one of the most common side effects of coffee which directly hits on your work productivity.

2. Anxiety

Coffee is known to increase alertness. By blocking adenosine hormone and releasing adrenaline coffee rejuvenates a tired soul effectively and rapidly. But if taken in large quantities, 6 cups or more, it also leads to anxiety, agitation, nervousness, and restlessness. In some grave situations, panic attacks too. Coffee and anxiety issues are always co-related.

3. Disrupt Sleep or Triggers Insomnia

Majority of the people who have coffee, are dependent on it only because it has the ability to let one stay awake and be alert and energetic. But extreme usage of coffee results in insomnia and restorative sleep issues. The time one needs to fall asleep increases with prolonged use of coffee and amount of “deep sleep” reduces drastically. It impacts not only your sleep quantity but quality as well. Try not to consume coffee post afternoon hours to help you sleep better at night.

4. Bleeding Disorders and High Blood Pressure

There have been a few studies that show numerous side effects of coffee. It says that excessive use of coffee hinders with the natural clotting process of the body while bleeding. It hampers the healing process of the body causing turmoil within. Coffee is also responsible for high blood pressure in human beings. Every cup of coffee after a moderate amount brings higher anxiety levels. In a long run, such conditions can often result in serious issues.

5. Glaucoma

It is a condition wherein pressure is built up in the eye often hampering the eye or eyesight. Consumption of elevated level of caffeine in coffee causes pressure to increase. It starts within 30 minutes of having coffee and lasts till 90 minutes. This condition is also associated with diabetes.

6. Hampers Skin

The caffeine in coffee dehydrates our body thus resulting in inflammation (redness), wrinkles, dry skin, breakage (pimples) and premature aging (collagen loss). These all are side effects of coffee. Caffeine causes blood vessels to constrict thus hampering enough blood supply at the surface of the skin. This results in a lack of antioxidants and nutrients which affects the skin health. Skin gets tanned easily and start looking unhealthy. We never knew that such bad effects of coffee can give a massive hit on our beauty too. You are what you eat!

7. Coffee Effects on Brain

Post several cups of coffee the brain slows down, thinking slow almost like a trance like situation. One can feels ringing in the ears, blur vision and experiences difficulty in breathing. It also hampers memory, concentration power and retention power. Few researches have come to the conclusion that excessive usage of coffee increases the chances of a blood clot in a person’s brain.

8. Digestive and Heart Issues

Caffeine in coffee acts as a natural laxative but with high usage of it disrupts the digestive tract resulting in stomach issues, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. In more serious situations, it causes IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and stomach ulcers. Studies show that excessive coffee also worsens GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) in many people.

It also causes rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeats. These can be turned into a heart attack. Also, drinking a lot of unfiltered coffee can increase total cholesterol and levels of triglycerides, which might increase the risk of heart attack or heart failure.

9. Diabetes

Research shows that caffeine contained in coffee changes the way diabetic people process sugar. Diabetic people are prone to side effects of coffee, as their body responds to such harmful effects very quickly. Caffeine increases as well as decreases blood sugar. No one knows how caffeine will react with any said person, it can’t be generalized because every person will have a different reaction to caffeine levels in their body. Use coffee with caution, especially if you have diabetes or even onset of it.

10. Frequent Urination

This is a common side effect of coffee. Due to caffeine stimulatory effect on the bladder, the frequency of urination increases and the capability to hold reduces.

11. Muscle Breakdown

Studies show that excessive coffee intake results in weakening of muscle ligaments and often breakages. Rhabdomyolysis is a serious condition that happens when damaged muscle fibers enter the bloodstream, damaging kidneys and other organs. In order to reduce the risk of muscle rupture, lower down your coffee intake to less than 250 milligrams per day.

12. Fatigue

Once caffeine of the coffee wears off, the already tired body which had to work overtime, breaks down and breaks bad. Bouts of fatigue, low energy levels and constant tiredness are a few issues to name a few.

13. Coffee in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Coffee, if consumed 2 or less cups a day, is safe for pregnant women. However drinking more is linked to an increased risk of premature birth, miscarriage and low baby birth weight. Pregnancy turns more complicated with more intake of coffee. While breast-feeding, 1-2 cups of coffee a day is safe for mothers as well as infants but if the intake is in larger amount, it can cause minor breastfeeding problems to mothers and sleep problems, crankiness and digestive tract issues for the baby. On a safer side, definitely avoid or severely reduce the intake of coffee when pregnant or breast-feeding.

14. Coffee & Children

Coffee is an adult-only drink. A child should not be given coffee as it hampers them at a much more intensity as compared to adults. Studies show that the side effects of coffee on kids is almost double as compared to adults. Consider all the side effects and that too doubled!

15. Osteoporosis (Thinning bones)

Excessive caffeine often causes hindrance in the absorption of calcium by the bones, thus resulting in weak bones and thinning of the bone structure.

Conclusion

As I am sitting and writing this piece, I am guilty of sipping my piping cup of hot coffee! It’s something I can’t do without. But I have to day that – Coffee is worth savouring, only if one knows the limit. If used in moderation, coffee isn’t any harm but if used extensively, coffee is nothing but a slow poison for your body.

Keep a check on the number of your coffee cups you consume. Lower it and enjoy your coffee without any guilt or tension so that you do not get any side effects of coffee.

Choose Well! Live Well!

Shruti Dave

Shruti Dave

Author at Aaj Ki Naari
As a defence wife and a mother of a demanding 4-year-old, I lead a nomadic life full of varied adventures and experiences. To tell my tales, I find writing the best way. With Aaj Ki Naari, I get the wind under my wings to pursue my love and passion for writing with a purpose.
Shruti Dave
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Shruti Dave

As a defence wife and a mother of a demanding 4-year-old, I lead a nomadic life full of varied adventures and experiences. To tell my tales, I find writing the best way. With Aaj Ki Naari, I get the wind under my wings to pursue my love and passion for writing with a purpose.