While coffee can have several potential benefits, such as giving you energy and improving your mood, there are still negative aspects to drinking it. It can affect both your mental and physical health in a negative manner.
The following might be some things to consider when taking your daily dose of caffeine:
When we drink coffee, we are triggering the release of adrenaline which puts us into a state of ‘fight or flight’ to increase our energy. It makes us more alert to our surroundings. Thus, having a high dose of caffeine in our system can lead us to feel more anxious and nervous. This means that if you often find yourself feeling jittery, your heart is racing or nervous then it would be best to cut back on your caffeine intake.
Increased blood pressure
Caffeine tends to cause a short spike in our blood pressure, even if we don’t suffer from it. High blood pressure has a number of risks associated with it, such as heart disease. Not everyone is affected in the same way, thus, to check if caffeine is spiking your blood pressure, check it before you drink coffee and again around 30 minutes later. If it increases by around 5 to 10 points, then it might be time to gradually start cutting down on your coffee intake.
The main aim of coffee drinkers is to help them stay awake. Due to this, drinking too much coffee can make it difficult for you to get enough sleep. The effects of caffeine can take several hours for them to wear off. Thus, if you are finding it difficult to sleep at night, reduce the amount of coffee you take or take it earlier in the day and see if you’re able to sleep better.
Drinking coffee can become a habit we do every day, and while it isn’t an addiction the same way that nicotine or cocaine can be, it may still cause dependency issues. Our bodies become used to the effects caffeine causes, and thus, if you remove the caffeine, your body may go into withdrawal. The main common withdrawal symptom is headaches. Thus, if you decide to stop drinking coffee, make sure to do it gradually so as not to shock your body.
Most times, when people drink coffee, it makes their bowels start to work. This means that consuming large amounts of caffeine can lead to loose stools in some people.
If your coffee intake is causing you any of the above side effects, then it might be best to reconsider the amount of coffee that you drink or even switch to decaffeinated coffee.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Mandy Brincat is a Gestalt psychotherapist who enjoys working therapeutically with adults on various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing. She also has experience working with anxiety, victims of domestic violence and eating disorders.
Gunnars, K. (2018, August 30). Coffee — Good or Bad? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coffee-good-or-bad
Spritzler, F. (2017, August 14). 9 Side Effects of Too Much Caffeine. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-side-effectsTaylor, M. (2022, May 31). So Coffee Isn’t, Like, Actually Bad for You, Right? SELF. https://www.self.com/story/is-coffee-bad-for-you