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Effects of Caffeine on the Body

Caffeine works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping you stay alert and prevent the onset of tiredness.

Effects of Caffeine on the Body

Many of us rely on a morning cup of coffee to help us get through the day and we should also know about the effects of caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants.

It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping you stay alert and prevent the onset of tiredness.

Once consumed, caffeine is quickly absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream.

From there, it travels to the liver and is broken down into compounds that can affect the function of various organs.

Caffeine helps you stay awake by connecting to adenosine receptors in the brain without activating them. This blocks the effects of adenosine, leading to reduced tiredness.

Some of the effects of caffeine are,

Central nervous system: Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant. When it reaches your brain, the most noticeable effect is alertness.

You’ll feel more awake and less tired, so it’s a common ingredient in medications to treat or manage drowsiness, headaches, and migraines.

Too much caffeine can give you headaches. This is primarily linked to caffeine withdrawal.

The blood vessels in your brain become used to caffeine’s effects so if you suddenly stop consuming caffeine, it can cause a headache.

Other symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include:

  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • drowsiness

In some people, sudden withdrawal may cause tremors. Symptoms of an overdose include:

  • confusion
  • hallucinations
  • vomiting

An overdose can result in death due to convulsions. Overdosing happens by consuming large amounts of caffeine, most often in energy drinks or diet pills.

Digestive and excretory systems: Caffeine increases the amount of acid in your stomach and may cause heartburn or upset stomach.

Extra caffeine doesn’t get stored in your body either. It’s processed in the liver and exits through your urine.

This is why you might have an increase in urination shortly after having caffeine.

If you have experience stomach problems, like acid reflux or ulcers, ask your doctor if it’s okay for you to have caffeine.

Circulatory and respiratory systems: Caffeine is absorbed from your stomach. It reaches its highest levels in your bloodstream within an hour or two.

Caffeine can make your blood pressure go up for a short time.

This effect is thought to be attributed to either an increase in adrenaline or a temporary block on the hormones that naturally widen your arteries.

In most people, there is no long-term effect on blood pressure, but if you have irregular heart rhythms, caffeine may make your heart work harder.

If you have high blood pressure (hypertension) or heart-related problems, ask your doctor if caffeine is safe for you to consume.

An overdose of caffeine may cause rapid or irregular heartbeat and breathing trouble.

In rare cases, caffeine overdose can result in death due to convulsions or irregular heartbeat.

Reproductive system: Caffeine travels within the bloodstream and crosses into the placenta.

Since it’s a stimulant, it can cause your baby’s heart rate and metabolism to increase.

Too much caffeine can also cause slowed fetal growth and increased risk of miscarriage. In most cases, a little caffeine is safe during pregnancy.

There’s some evidence that large amounts of caffeine can interfere with the estrogen production and metabolism needed to conceive.

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