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William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper

The Beacon

William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper

The Beacon

The dangers of caffeine abuse



If you are like me, drinking your favorite caffeinated beverage is a critical part of your day. Although caffeine can intensely affect our energy levels, it is vital to use the stimulant cautiously. 


What are the dangers of taking too much caffeine? 


According to the Mayo Clinic, it is safe for most healthy adults to consume 400 milligrams of caffeine daily. While it is essential to listen to the scientists who have researched the topic, I recommend that you keep your known caffeine intake to less than 400 milligrams. Why? That is because of what I like to call accidental caffeine intake; this includes consuming foods like chocolate and soda that many people might not think have caffeine. 


It is important to note that highly caffeinated beverages are only meant to target healthy adults (18+). It is not recommended to consume these beverages if you are sensitive to caffeine or in combination with any stimulants from other sources. High levels of caffeine have been shown to cause nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, and, occasionally, rapid heart rate, according to the Mayo Clinic.  As an energy drink consumer, I have had instances where I consumed too much caffeine and suffered the effects mentioned by the Mayo Clinic, like nervousness and sleeplessness.  


Why do people abuse caffeine?

Caffeine consumers abuse caffeine for a variety of reasons, but the main one is tolerance. When a tolerance is built to caffeine, the product’s effectiveness to the consumer decreases, as stated by Health Line. This may cause the consumer to take more caffeine, which will have negative health benefits. My reasoning for taking “too much’ caffeine is that I enjoy the taste of my energy drink in the morning but will want to take my pre-workout later in the day. 


What could you do to prevent the abuse of caffeine?

If you abuse caffeine, it is wise to take a two-week break from caffeine, as the performance lab recommends. This will lessen your tolerance to caffeine, causing it to be back in full swing once you retake it. I have done this in many cases where my pre-workout was not as effective, and it works well. One flaw with this method is caffeine withdrawal; speaking from a caffeine consumer’s perspective, withdrawal feels horrible! Symptoms include headaches and fatigue, making it challenging to have an active lifestyle. 


If you are a regular pre-workout consumer and are struggling to take a break from caffeine, you should try stimulant-free pre-workouts. Stim-free pre-workouts contain ingredients such as l-citurline and l-arginine, which boost nitric oxide. This effectively gives you more energy and better blood flow (giving you great pumps). Stim-free pre-workouts often have ingredients that give you better focus, allowing you to lock into your workout. All these benefits come with taking a stim-free pre-workout without any caffeine. 


Key Takeaways

If you are an avid caffeine consumer, it is important to note that you should consume under 400 milligrams of caffeine every day. Many people abuse caffeine because of caffeine tolerance and are afraid of the effects of caffeine withdrawal. They also want to take a pre-workout at night and an energy drink in the morning. Some ways to stop neutralizing this are by taking a break from caffeine and taking a stim-free pre-workout.


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