Excessive coffee drinking can have many long-term problems. Coffee is a diuretic, causing moisture to be taken from places where it needed for proper body function and can cause constipation. Coffee increases calcium excretion, lending to calcium deficiency in the bones and possibly lending to osteoporosis and decreases in bone density especially in women. “Caffeinism,” a condition which involves insomnia, heart palpatations, diarrhea and nasea can be caused by too much coffee. We’re talking really excessive here though, three 8 oz cups of coffee is considered a moderate intake, whereas 10 cups is excessive. On the other hand, there are also studies that cite coffee is beneficial in reducing the risk of Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and some cancers.
The “healthy” amount of coffee a human being can have is about 300mg, or three cups of coffee. Obviously, going over a little more every now and then will not hurt. Too much caffeine can cause headaches, anxiety, and even diarrhea.
Caffeine is found in teas, chocolate, and sodas, although not nearly as much as coffee. So, watch what you eat if you already had your morning fix.
The health effects of coffee are often debated and studied, though even its healthy effects can be outdone by taking in too much. I should know.
When people ask me how much coffee I drink, I usually tell them “enough to make me immortal. Or at least see in the dark.” Unfortunately I get neither, unless you count not being able to close my eyes at night as being able to see in the dark. (I drink 3-6 cups a day, unless you’re talking the 8oz cups, in which case the number is 6-8)
Death by caffeine overdose is extremely uncommon, especially though drinking coffee, though it has happened. Too much coffee at once varies from person to person, though you’ll know it when you’ve had too much. If you feel sick, nauseous, or unpleasantly alert, you’ve passed your personal limit. That doesn’t mean the only dangers of excessive coffee drinking are overdose. You can slowly become chemically dependant on caffeine, resulting is withdrawal symptoms like headaches if you were to stop.
(If you find yourself feeling nauseous or jittery, my personal advice is to eat something starchy, fatty, or fiberous. Just so that you don’t have all that caffeine in an empty stomach. Its the same quick “remedy” used for drinking too much alchohol as well. It doesn’t undrink the coffee for you, but it softens the blow on your stomach lining.)
If you are feeling the effects of something like alcohol or caffeine, then the chemical is already in your blood stream, and short of dialysis or a blood transfusion, there is nothing you can do. The only way to prevent intoxication with food, is to eat before ingesting the intoxicant. The two substances compete for surface area in your digestive system, decreasing the absorption of the intoxicant. Just thought I would throw that out there before someone reading this acts on the belief a greasy burger will enable them to safely drive home after a night of heavy drinking.
MJ is correct in that you cannot undo intoxication, but normally all of the caffeine you intake is not absorbed all at once (unless you’re using caffeine pills). In most cases, your jitters will be from coffee, tea, chocolate, or any other caffeinated foods. Once you begin to have “the jitters,” you can bet that there is more caffeine in your system to yet enter your bloodstream, and eating foods that take a long time to digest will help prevent further intoxication and thus shorten the duration and intensity of your caffeine high. It is that same method used by bartenders when a customer begins to get too drunk — advertise a fatty, salty item on the menu to often the blow.
It’s somewhat difficult to drink too much coffee, but as the other answerers have reported, it is possible. A helpful and fun resource can be found here. The site tells you exactly how much caffeine is too much for your body to handle; mostly the results will show you that it is very difficult to accidentally consume too much.
I feel like the whole caffeine addition thing is a bit overblown. Even those who argue that caffeine addiction is a serious problem readily admit that kicking the habit is fairly easy to do as the withdrawal symptoms are relatively minor. I looked at Web MD and found a list of health benefits that have been tied in scientific studies to caffeine consumption. Here are a few of my favorites:
Additionally, coffee is rich in antioxidant vitamins (the sort that absorb the free radicals that cause cancer) and is low in calories. A 12oz cup provides only 8 calories.
There are two reasons why too much coffee (more than a couple cups a day) is bad for your body, and they are related to coffee’s high caffeine content and high sodium content. Too much caffeine can cause anxiety and acne breakouts, among other more serious symptoms. Too much sodium can lead to water retention, weight gain, and swelling of breasts in women. These things are a big bummer, and more chronic complications can result from prolonged overuse.
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