As someone who drinks a lot of coffee, my answer is no. There’s days when it seems like I just can’t drink enough coffee, but the experts probably have some different opinions on the issue.
According to the staff at the Mayo Clinic, a moderate amount of coffee isn’t harmful. Of course, their definition of moderate, is different from mine. They definite moderate as three to four cups a day, or 200-300 milligrams of caffeine.
They say that if you’re like me and drink four to seven cups or more, it can cause problems in some people. Four to seven cups equals 500-600 milligrams of caffeine and can cause mild problems like anxiety, headaches, nervousness, restlessness and irritability.
I can literally drink a cup of coffee and fall asleep a few minutes later, but one of the most common symptoms of drinking too much coffee is insomnia.
It takes the body about 4-5 hours to eliminate half of the caffeine from your system, 8-10 to eliminate 75 percent, so for most people, morning cup of java shouldn’t interfere with their sleep. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you should avoid drinking coffee for at least six hours before you plan on going to bed.
It can also create health issues like nausea or other gastrointestinal problems, fast or irregular heartbeat or muscle tremors.
That sounds a little scary to someone who drinks as much coffee as I do a day, but some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine, while others build up a tolerance to caffeine.
For better or worse, drinking a lot of coffee can lead to an addiction. WebMD calls it a “mild physical dependence.” In other words, it’s not like an illegal street drug, so you’re not going to rob your neighbors to get your next caffeine fix, but it can can some inconveniences if you don’t get the required cup of morning coffee.
The most common symptom of withdrawal is the dreaded coffee headache, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Other symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, irritability, feeling depressed and difficulty concentrating.
Not to sound like a television ad for the latest miracle prescription drug, but if you’re pregnant or nursing, have medical condition like high blood pressure, gastritis or ulcers, you should avoid caffeinated coffee.
What are your symptoms when you’ve had too much coffee? I think the worse that I get, is that every once in a while I’ll feel a little bit of anxiety which is usually caused by a mix of too much caffeine and stress.
Artwork by Kaeru.