Do you depend on coffee to boost your energy? Are you drinking more than 4 cups of coffee a day? If yes, then you should pay attention to what have happened not long ago.
Recently, I learnt from newspapers that a 17-year-old English girl was rush to hospital with palpitations and breathing difficulties after she drank 7 double espressos within a few hours .
This rare incident occurred in August 2007. The young girl was helping at her family's sandwich shop. She chose to drink espressos to help her stay aware during her shift.
Isn't this horrifying? How can this happen?
According to doctor's diagnosis, the excessive caffeine contained in the coffee did help energise her initially, but it ended up making her heart beat faster than normal and gave her a fever: the high amount of caffeine had actually sent her body into a mild state of shock.
Like many of you, I am a coffee lover, too. If I don't have a cup of coffee for whatever reason on any single day, I will just have a feeling that something is missing in that day. But I am not addicted to coffee, and I normally limit my consumption to only 1 - 2 cups, occasionally more but definitely not exceeding 4 cups.
Why is that so?
I don't drink coffee to boost my energy, as the English girl and many other people do. In general, the caffeine intake should not exceed 450mg a day, which is equivalent to 4 cups of coffee. This is advice given by most doctors.
Of course, this also depends on the type of beverage one consumes. For instance, one shot of double espresso contains about 150mg of caffeine. So, one should drink not more than 3 cups of espressos per day.
Gender, age, weight, height or smoking habits also plays a part in determining one's sensitivity to caffeine. For example, some people can drink several cups of coffee within an hour without any side effect while others can take not more than 1 cup of coffee per day.
When people want to keep themselves aware, they will usually turn to coffee. Why?
Caffeine can actually stimulate our body's nervous and cardiovascular systems, leading to increased attentiveness, decreased fatigue and an elevated mood. But if one over-depends on coffee regularly and heavily to boost energy, it is likely to create a dependence that leads to increased tolerance to its effects. These people will feel drowsiness, anxiety, headaches, fatigue and irritability if they do not have one cup of coffee for any single day.
Moreover, caffeine also increases the production of stomach acids that will bring on psychiatric disturbances like sleep disorders and anxiety.
People cannot sleep well during the night will in turn affect their daytime functioning. Symptoms such as mood swings, lack of concentration and poor performance at work will surface.
Instead of depending on coffee, having a good night's rest and adequate physical activity at least 30 minutes and three times a week have been shown to help keep energy levels up.
I have also compiled an article about the relationship between coffee and heart disease. If interested, just click the below title: