Getting a cup of strong coffee is what many people crave first thing in the morning. And why not? Coffee, after all, has many health benefits. From kickstarting your day with a boost of energy to delivering nutrients and antioxidants to improve your immune system, coffee does it all - and that’s why people love it so. However, too much or the wrong timing of anything, no matter how good, and what you get instead of benefits are side effects.
This is true for coffee too. A new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition indicates that drinking a cup of strong, black coffee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can spike your blood sugar levels dangerously high. Doing so regularly, especially after a night of bad sleep, can increase your risk of diabetes as well as heart disease. The researchers recommend that your first cup of coffee should be taken after you’ve had your breakfast instead.
You should know, however, that this is not the only side effect of having coffee. The following are some other things that may happen if you have too much coffee.
1. Sleep issues: There’s a reason why experts recommend you shouldn’t have coffee before bedtime. Coffee is a great stimulant, and its ability to wake you up and keep it that way is what most people appreciate the most. Naturally, if you have it before bedtime you will face delayed sleep, disturbed sleep or even insomnia. Make sure that your last cup of coffee is two-three hours before bedtime to avoid this.
2. Anxiety: Coffee boosts alertness by triggering the release of adrenaline but this can also lead to anxiety and a severe case of jitters if you have too much coffee. If you already have caffeine sensitivity then the effects of excess coffee on your system can lead to anxiety attacks or nervousness. The best way to counter this is to assess your reaction after a regular cup of coffee. If you feel dizzy, nervous or your hands shake after, it’s best to avoid coffee in large amounts.
3. Digestive problems: Coffee also has a laxative effect and can stimulate bowel movements. If your digestive system is sensitive or you suffer from issues like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), then it’s likely that the consumption of excess coffee can cause indigestion, loose motions or even diarrhea. If this does happen to you, then you might want to cut back on your coffee consumption or opt for tea instead.
4. Dependency: Studies show that caffeine triggers the same brain chemical reactions that certain drugs do but caffeine consumption does not lead to a similar kind of addiction. However, excessive consumption of coffee does lead to a psychological and physical dependency over time. In such cases, the absence of coffee can lead to withdrawal symptoms like headache, irritation, lethargy or fatigue. Keeping a check on both the frequency as well as quantity of coffee consumption is therefore vital.
5. High BP and heart rate: As mentioned before, coffee is a stimulant that boosts alertness and wakefulness. Excess consumption or the consumption of coffee by those with a sensitivity can spike your blood pressure as well as heart rate. Chronic coffee over-consumption can also lead to hypertension or heart rhythm issues. This can, in turn, increase your risks of cardiovascular disease. Keep a check on the dose of coffee you consume to ensure that such side effects do not show up.
For more information, read our article on Coffee.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.