coffee caffeine side effects

4 Negative Side Effects of Caffeine That You Should Be Aware Of

Caffeine is the world's most widely-used psychoactive drug. Many people consume caffeine on a daily basis for its stimulating effects. 

Seeking an energy boost to break out of their morning drowsiness, many adults start their day by drinking a cup (or perhaps multiple cups) of coffee. Caffeine is consumed primarily in the form of coffee; other common dietary sources of caffeine are teas, sodas, energy drinks, and chocolate. 

You probably have at least a general sense of the positive side effects of caffeine - with the most well-known and sought-after effect being the increase in energy and concentration that caffeine provides. However, there are a number of negative side effects of caffeine that you should be aware of as well.

Increased Anxiety Symptoms

Shortly after ingesting caffeine, you may experience “the jitters”. The caffeine-induced jitters can include unpleasant feelings of restlessness, increased heart rate, trembling, headaches, irritability, digestion issues, and frequent urination [1]. 

These symptoms are quite similar to those of anxiety.  Caffeine consumption has been shown to trigger or exacerbate symptoms of anxiety in those who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder [2]. It is advised that those with anxiety disorders avoid caffeine due to the distress it can cause.

Though people with anxiety are more prone to these negative effects of caffeine, even those who aren’t anxiety-prone may still experience “the jitters” after consuming it in large amounts.

Decreased Sleep Quality

The stimulating effects of caffeine can linger for hours after the caffeine is consumed. The half-life of caffeine is about 5 hours [3], and it is advised that you should avoid drinking caffeine 6-8 hours before bedtime [4]. Otherwise, you may find yourself restlessly tossing and turning at night if you consume caffeine later in the day.

Not only are you losing sleep time in these cases, but when you finally do drift off, your post-caffeine slumber will probably not be as restful and efficient. Caffeine consumption has been found to have negative effects on both sleep quantity and quality [5].

The implications of sleep deprivation go beyond experiencing an unpleasant grogginess. Getting good sleep is essential to overall health; poor sleep plays a major role in the development and progression of a wide range of physical and mental ailments [6]. Therefore, caffeine consumption can indirectly have a negative impact on your overall health by detracting from your precious and restorative sleep.

The Crash

What goes up, must come down - this idea is applicable to both gravity and the effects of caffeine. Though caffeine causes an elevation in energy and mood for a limited period of time, it often leaves its consumers feeling even more fatigued than before once these stimulating effects wear off. 

The symptoms of the “caffeine crash” often include drowsiness, trouble concentrating and irritability [7]. This happens due to a buildup of adenosine, a central nervous system depressant that supports sleep. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors when it’s in your system, but the adenosine continues to accumulate. Then, when the caffeine is metabolized and the adenosine can again be received by your receptors, the feelings of tiredness can come back with a vengeance [8]. 

Dependence and Withdrawal

If you consume caffeine on a regular basis and then go without it or reduce your intake, you may experience caffeine withdrawal. Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include [9]:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness

If you are a regular coffee drinker, you may experience withdrawal symptoms within 12-24 hours of caffeine deprivation, and possibly endure them for several days [10].

Are The Side Effects of Caffeine Worth It?

We’ve discussed a few negative side effects of caffeine in this article; however, it’s not all bad news. For many people, caffeine can have positive effects when consumed in moderation [11].

But what if you decide that the negative effects aren’t worth dealing with? Where can you turn for a physical and mental boost, if not caffeine?

We have good news for you! Medicinal mushrooms are thought to offer similar benefits to caffeine - but without the negative side effects. Whether you’re seeking an energy boost, increased concentration, or elevation in mood, there’s a medical mushroom to suit your needs [12, 13, 14]. Add studies on the mushrooms to justify the above. 

Tamim Teas offers 5 functional mushroom tea blends with deliciously nourishing benefits. Our teas can even satisfy your craving to sip on something hot and delicious if you’re trying to convert from caffeinated coffee to a more beneficial beverage. Experience the caffeine-free energy for yourself!