Coffee side effects: Seven physical warning signs you need to cut down

However, people can vary in their sensitivity to caffeine, a stimulant found in coffee that affects the central nervous system. What are the signs that you need to cut down or turn to decaf? Too much caffeine can lead to headaches, warned the Mayo Clinic, which is just one of seven physical warning signs you are drinking too much. Another symptom of the over-consumption of coffee is experiencing a “fast heartbeat”.

This is equivalent to 400mg of caffeine, but depending on which coffee you have, the caffeine content can differ.

The Mayo Clinic added: “Women who are pregnant, or who are trying to become pregnant and those who are breast-feeding, should talk with their doctors about limiting caffeine use to less than 200mg daily.”

This is equivalent to drinking around two cups of coffee daily – and that’s if you’re not drinking another caffeinated beverage, such as tea.

“Heavy caffeine use can cause unpleasant side effects and… [it] may not be a good choice for people who take certain medications,” said the Mayo Clinic.

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Medications and herbal supplements that may interact with caffeine include:

  • Ephedrine
  • Theophylline
  • Echinacea


Mixing caffeine with this type of medication – used in decongestants – “might increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke or seizure”.


Theophylline is “used to open bronchial airways”, and tends to have “caffeine-like effects”. This can lead to feelings of nausea and heart palpitations.


This herbal supplement, widely used to prevent colds, may also increase the unpleasant effects of caffeine.

The cycle goes as follows:

  • Drink coffee to remain alert during the day
  • The caffeine in coffee then keeps you awake at night
  • A shortened length of time sleeping, causing you to feel tired during the day

Difficulty sleeping isn’t the only issue caffeine might cause during the night.

Caffeine use may also lead to “frequent urination or the inability to control urination”.

In summary, if you experience any of the following seven signs, cutting down on caffeine might help:

  1. Headache
  2. Insomnia
  3. Nervousness
  4. Irritability
  5. Frequent urination or inability to control urination
  6. Fast heartbeat
  7. Muscle tremors



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