Many rely on caffeine to get them through the day – and for good reason. Caffeine can help improve energy and performance. It can fight fatigue. It can even have a positive impact on certain health conditions, like inflammation, obesity, migraines, and cardiovascular disease.
But having one too many cups can leave you feeling less than ideal. So, how can you tell when you've indulged in too much caffeine?
Common Symptoms of Too Much Caffeine
Everyone’s body metabolizes caffeine differently. This makes it difficult to know how much caffeine you should have on any given day. Once you cross that caffeine line, you might find yourself experiencing one or more of these common yet milder symptoms:
- Dehydration or increased thirst
- Headaches or dizziness
- Sodium or water retention
- High blood pressure
- Digestive issues, like diarrhea
Though rare, it’s possible to overdose on caffeine. This can result in more severe and concerning symptoms, like:
- Increased heart rate, irregular heartbeat, or palpitations
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Severe dehydration
If you experience one of these telltale signs shortly after having caffeine, you may have taken a bit too much. If necessary, be sure to seek medical attention.
What Do You Do When You’ve Had Too Much Caffeine?
If you’ve had too much caffeine, chances are you’ll notice it within the first 45 minutes after consuming it. When that happens, the effects can last for as long as 3-5 hours or, up to 10 hours. Yikes!
Learning what to look for when it comes to too much caffeine is an important first step. This will help you recognize when to cut it off.. But what should you do if you accidentally have too much? Here are three ways to help you manage some of the more mild symptoms:
- Drink water. You may have heard that caffeine, specifically coffee, can be a diuretic. It can also stimulate your bladder. This double whammy can lead to dehydration. So, to offset it, make sure to drink plenty of water and reach for foods that are high in water such as watermelon, cucumbers, and strawberries.
- Eat high-fiber foods. When you have food in your stomach, it can help slow the absorption of caffeine in your body which minimizes the secondary effects of caffeine in the bloodstream. Even better is to eat foods that are high in fiber such as lentils, seeds, nuts, and starchy vegetables. (Plus, fiber can also bulk up your stool and help to relieve diarrhea caused by the caffeine.It’s a win-win!)
- Get moving. The extra caffeine in your body can give you a nice energy boost but might leave you feeling a bit shaky. Try burning off the excess energy by doing a little exercise. Grab your yoga mat for a power yoga session, or throw on your shoes for a quick stroll!
Caffeine in moderation isn’t a bad thing, especially when it comes from green tea (one of our favorites!). Better to keep the black coffee to a minimum to avoid the jitters or upset stomach that can follow.
Keep an Eye on Your Caffeine Levels
We’ve all been there – when you realize you’ve had one cup too many. Once it’s down the hatch, you can’t do much about it. However, there are a few super-simple ways you can minimize the unwanted side-effects.
If you suspect caffeine could be contributing to your health challenges, we’ve got even more ways to help you kick the habit and improve your overall health without losing the quick ‘pick-me-up’ effects. Let us know and we’ll get you on the road to better health right away!