HEALTH WATCH: 19 Horrible Things That Can Happen If You Drink Too Much Caffeine

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Sarah Kimmorley

 The coffee hit is an essential start to the day for millions of people around the world each morning.

Australians spent almost $800 million on over two billion cups of coffee last year – and that’s just the start of the caffeine habit.

But like all drugs, overuse of caffeine has risks.

According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, a regular flat white could have as much as 282mg of caffeine in one serving.

Studies show more than 400mg per day can put a person at risk of adverse effects.

So after your double shot in the morning and your Coke with lunch, you may be doing more damage to your body than you realise.caffeine_how_much_is_too_much_3h4hg

Here are 20 dangers of partial and total caffeine overdose, in order from the first symptoms to be exhibited to the severe, later stage ones.

1. Increased heartbeat 
Caffeine acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system, increasing your heart rate. This can be expected as soon as 15 minutes after ingesting.

2. Heartburn/ Reflux
Caffeine has been shown to relax the esophagus, contributing to gastroesophageal reflux. This can either cause or exacerbate heartburn in susceptible individuals.

3. Jitters/ Restlessness
Caffeine stimulates hormones, such as adrenaline, sending your body into jitters and tremors.

4. Anxiety
The stimulant effect on the body form caffeine such as increased heart rate, increased adrenaline hormones and heightened senses, can cause an overwhelming sensation in some people causing them feel anxious.

5. Muscle Twitches and Spasms
A high volume or prolonged use of caffeine in the body can cause the muscles in the body to cramp or move erratically.

6. Rambling Thought and Speech
Along with many of your other senses, speech and thought speed up in response to the stimulant in caffeine. While this can be very useful for concentration, too much can cause confusion and stuttering.

7. Heart palpitations
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, it speeds up the heart rate and cause the heart to flutter or palpitate.

8. Diuresis
Caffeine increases the need to urinate because it increases blood flow through the kidneys and dilates the blood vessels hence making the kidneys produce more waste.

9. Gastrointestinal disturbance
Caffeine acts like a laxative, by increasing contraction in the small and large intestinal muscles. This can cause pre-digested food to move into the intestine, triggering stomach cramps.

10. Dehydration
Persistent diarrhea and urination can lead to dehydration, which can upset the body’s fluid balance depleting it of the water, vitamins and minerals it needs to order to function.

11. Insomnia
Caffeine inhibits the activity of a neurotransmitter called Adenosine. Adenosine is one of your brain’s natural tranquilizers. It puts you to sleep when levels are high enough. By inhibiting Adenosine activity, caffeine inhibits your ability to fall asleep.

12. Headaches
The combination of diuretic and stimulant pulsing through the body causes the receptors in the brain to become overloaded and leads to a headache.

13. Hallucinations
Hallucinations are believed to occur when an overdose of caffeine causes the body to become stressed. This is a result of high adrenaline levels and stimulant.

14. Addiction
Caffeine addiction or dependence begins because it originally creates the alert feeling that caffeine drinkers crave, and later becomes a chemical that the body needs to prevent going through withdrawals such as headaches, lethargy and depression.

15. Increase Blood Pressure
Caffeine causes your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline, which causes your blood pressure to increase.

16. Stomach Ulcers
Caffeine speeds up the process of gastric emptying, which may result in highly acidic stomach contents passing into the small intestine more rapidly than normal causing injury or ulcers.

17. Cardiac arrest
An increased blood pressure from high caffeine intake and the effects of the stimulant on the cardio-vascular system can have a devastating outcome for people with weak hearts.

18. Coma
When a person consumes too much caffeine, they go into what is known as caffeine intoxication where they become confused and disoriented. This is when a caffeine coma can occur, as well as seizures.

19. Death
People with caffeine sensitivities can die from caffeine overdose. While achieving a lethal dose of caffeine would be difficult with regular coffee, high doses with caffeine pills are a known cause of many caffeine overdoses.

This post originally appeared at Business Insider Australia. Copyright 2014.

Some Product Sources of  Caffeine
(in milligrams)

Coffee (6 oz. cup)

Drip

175

Percolated

132

Instant regular

64

Decaffeinated

3

Cola Drinks (12 oz)

Coca-Cola Classic

46

Coca-Cola, new

46

Coke Free

0

Pepsi

43

Pepsi Free

0-2

Dr. Pepper

38

Mountain Dew

52

Tab

50

Jolt

71

44 oz. cup of Coke/Pepsi

169/158

Tea (5 min. brew, 6 oz)

24-60

Cocoa and chocolate

Cocoa beverage (water mix, 6 oz)

18

Milk chocolate candy bar (8 oz)

48

Baking chocolate (1 oz)

35

White chocolate

0

Carob (chocolate substitute)

0

Nonprescription drugs

Caffedrine capsules (each)

100

NoDoz tablets (each)

100

Weight-control aids

Dexatrim (daily dose)

200

Dietac (daily dose)

200

Prolamine (dailydose)

Source: About.Com

280

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