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Is Too Much Caffeine Bad for You?

author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Is Too Much Caffeine Bad for You?
Excess caffeine consumption has been linked to heart problems.

You may rely on your daily cup of coffee to get you through a meeting or a caffeinated soda to power through the afternoon. If you consume caffeine in moderation, this can be a good thing. However, when you drink excess caffeine per day, this can have a number of harmful health effects, ranging from increased risk for osteoporosis in certain women to heightened inflammation in your blood vessels.

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Moderate caffeine consumption is considered approximately 250 milligrams per day, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This is equivalent to drinking about three cups of brewed coffee each day. Heavy caffeine consumption is considered between 500 to 600 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is more than four cups of brewed coffee. Consuming this amount of caffeine is enough to cause adverse side effects. However, caffeine affects people in different ways. If you are a daily caffeine drinker, you are less likely to be affected than a person who drinks caffeine infrequently.

Immediate Effects

When you consume excess amounts of caffeine, you may experience immediate unpleasant effects. These include feelings of nervousness, restlessness, fast-paced heartbeat, muscle tremors and an upset stomach. These side effects can impact your behavior as well, causing you to feel irritable or on edge. In this way, caffeine can be bad for you if you personally feel or act badly as a result of excess consumption. Listen to your body. If you tend to respond negatively to caffeine consumption, avoid it.

Other Adverse Effects

While more research has yet to be conducted to make definitive conclusions regarding caffeine and your health, excess caffeine consumption has been linked with increased risk for heart problems because caffeine can raise your blood pressure. Also, elderly women who consume excess caffeine and do not get sufficient calcium seem to experience greater risk for bone loss. Excessive caffeine intake is also linked to fibrocystic changes in the breast -- the growth of fibrous tissue. Consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening can also make it difficult to fall asleep, causing drowsiness during the day.


If you consume caffeine-containing beverages in moderation, you may experience health benefits instead of drawbacks. Moderate coffee drinkers are associated with experiencing a reduced risk for chronic liver disease Drinking coffee in particular has been linked with health benefits ranging from protecting against diabetes to reducing the likelihood gallstones will form. One of the reasons coffee in particular has been singled out as a healthy caffeine-containing beverage is that it is high in antioxidants, which can help fight against inflammation and disease.

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