Caffeine is one of the most popular psychoactive substances in the world. It’s a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system, helping to increase attention and alertness.
It’s also an addictive substance.
At healthy amounts - max 400mg a day or around 4 cups of coffee - caffeine can help with the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. But at higher doses, negative effects start to take hold, resulting in anxiety, increased heart rate and more nasty symptoms.
If you’re worried about what caffeine is doing to your body, here are 3 warning signs to look out for. These are red flags that you’re having too much caffeine and need to cut back.
How to tell if you’re having too much caffeine
You get regular headaches
Regular headaches are one of the most common signs that you’re addicted to coffee. According to research, habitual caffeine consumption is associated with increased risk of migraine and the development of chronic daily headache (CDH). Increased caffeine intake has been linked to the occurrence of daily headaches and headache is usually one of the most common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.
As well as headaches, you might also find you have problems with irritability, anxiety and depression as a result of caffeine's effect on your brain.
You have stomach pains
Coffee is one of the most common causes of gastrointestinal discomfort reported by patients to doctors. Caffeine is believed to increase gastric acid secretion and stimulate the secretion of hydrochloric acid, increasing the risk of inflammation in the stomach and intestines. This inflammation can lead to stomach pain and digestive problems which can leave you regretting that extra cup.
You’re having trouble sleeping
The benefits of caffeine for increasing wakefulness are well-known but too much caffeine can lead to sleep problems and sleepiness during the daytime. Studies have demonstrated that increased caffeine intake close to bedtime is associated with significant sleep problems. Even caffeine taken 6 hours before sleep was found to reduce sleep by 1 hour.
To help you sleep better, try our Free Soul Natural Sleep Complex containing a careful blend of 5-HTP, L-Trytophan, Lemon Balm and Chamomile extract to provide your body with all the elements you need to fall asleep naturally.
Overcoming caffeine addiction
If your body is showing signs of caffeine addiction, it’s important to take steps to reduce your daily intake. If you’ve got used to having large amounts of caffeine every day, you’ll need to wean yourself off slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
If you’re used to having energy drinks, try mixing half with regular soda. If coffee or tea is your drink of choice, try to limit yourself to 1-2 cups in the morning and drink a caffeine free alternative for the rest of the day.