Most people only use it as a second alarm in the morning. Others take it several times during the day, to “charge” themselves. There are also those who avoid it because otherwise they would not be able to close their eyes at night. Caffeine, in addition to being contained in every cup of coffee that is not decaf, actually does much more than keeping you awake and helping you through the day. This substance is a central nervous system stimulant that, in different ways, has an effect on different organs of the body. We talked about this topic with Professor Daniela Lucini, Head of Exercise Medicine at Humanitas.
Knowing the effects is important to learn how to balance the consumption
Knowing the real symptoms of caffeine and its long-term effects on the body can help you not to exaggerate with coffee.
The first reason is that caffeine is addictive if consumed daily. The body develops a tolerance to caffeine that is determined by age, body mass and general health. If you want to reduce the amount of caffeine you take, it is better to decrease consumption slowly.
The organ to feel the most effects is the brain: drinking coffee stimulates the central nervous system, making those who drink it feel more awake and less tired. That’s why it’s the ingredient commonly used by drugs to treat or manage drowsiness, headaches and migraines. However, if you exaggerate the effect is the opposite: too much caffeine can give headaches, anxiety, irritability, drowsiness and tremors.
More than 4 cups of coffee a day hurt the stomach
The other body system on which caffeine has a direct effect is the digestive system. Drinking coffee increases the level of acidity in the stomach and can cause burning and painful spasms. That’s why people with stomach problems such as reflux or ulcers should refrain from consuming it.
Too much coffee is the enemy of hypertension and osteoporosis
Caffeine is first absorbed by the stomach and, within an hour or so of being ingested, it enters the bloodstream. It is believed that this effect is attributed to an increase in adrenaline. Most people do not change their blood pressure. But if you suffer from irregular heart rhythms and arrhythmia, caffeine can make your heart work harder. Too many coffees can lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat and respiratory problems.
Even the musculoskeletal system does not benefit from too high a dose of caffeine, which can interfere with the absorption and metabolism of calcium. In addition to worsening osteoporosis, too much caffeine can also cause muscle tension.
“Coffee is an exciting substance whose effects are different from person to person – concluded Professor Lucini: for most people the effect is dose dependent. That’s why moderation is a good rule for everyone. However, this also applies to theine and theobromine, a substance contained in chocolate. Not to mention energy drinks, which combine alcohol.