Do You Understand The Long Term Consequences Of Caffeine Use? | Gnarly Nutrition

Do You Understand The Long Term Consequences Of Caffeine Use?

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If there’s one supplement that can immediately push your workout over the edge, giving you greater energy, the ability to resist fatigue, improved fat burning, and even higher focus and concentration, caffeine would be it. Most people take in caffeine in some form or another throughout their day.  Be it their morning coffee they crawl out of bed to get first thing, the chocolate bar they eat mid-afternoon, the cola they drink with dinner, or with the pre workout product they use before their workout session. You know – and possibly love – the impact that caffeine has one you.  But, do you fully understand this impact? Most people only focus on the short term influence this powerful substance produces without really realizing the long term consequences you may be putting yourself in. Let’s go over some points you should know.

Physical And Mental Dependence

First, you have the obvious – dependence on caffeine. As you’ve likely experienced, if you normally start your day with a cup of coffee and then one morning you don’t get it, you won’t be feeling so well. Your body needs that caffeine now to function properly.  And what’s worse is that the normal dose of caffeine eventually loses its power and soon, you need more to get the same boost. The result? You increase your intake higher and higher over time, which just makes the dependence even worse.

Chronic CNS Overstimulation

With this now comes CNS stimulation.  Each time you put caffeine into your body, you’re stimulating your CNS. It’s working harder and faster than normal, putting out more energy than you really have yourself. Short term, this can be good. But long term? It’ll lead to burn out.  You’ll start to notice you begin feeling less energized by your caffeine intake and that the crashes you experience become even more intense.This is a good sign you are overdoing it.

Increased Blood Pressure

Long term use of caffeine can also lead to increased blood pressure, which can get dangerous for those who are already suffering from high blood pressure levels. While if you stop using all caffeine your blood pressure will return to normal levels after a few hours have passed, for those long term habitual users who now need caffeine, stopping is a problem.

Insomnia

Ever made the mistake of having coffee too late into the evening and then suffered the consequences of tossing and turning all night long? Long term caffeine use can really mess with your sleep-wake cycle, making you feel less well-rested upon waking. In addition, it could actually lead to full on insomnia, as reported in a study published in the Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics journal. Since getting a good quality sleep is so imperative for a number of health areas – maintaining a healthy body weight, preventing diabetes, reducing your risk of cancer, lowering depression rates, and so forth, this isn’t something you can take lightly. Sleep is so important, yet caffeine is going to rob you of your deepest hours.

Stomach Pain And Indigestion

Finally, don’t be surprised if your stomach makes itself known more often when you’re a heavy caffeine user. It’s far more likely to start suffering from stomach ulcers when you are taking in too much caffeine, especially on an empty stomach. If you’ve never experienced a stomach ulcer before, be very thankful.  It is an extremely painful experience and one you will want to avoid.

How To Overcome These Issues

So how you can side step these issues and still make use of that pre workout supplement or have your loved morning cup of coffee? Like all things in life, moderation is key.  In addition to keeping your total daily dose lower, also make sure that you take regular breaks away from caffeine to reduce dependence. Opt for decaf on some days when you don’t really need it and save the regular variety to those mornings you can’t crawl of out of bed. Likewise, alternate a pre workout containing caffeine with one that doesn’t or one with a very low dose. This will help you maintain the same energy boost it provides without needing to add more over time. So be smart when it comes to caffeine. You definitely don’t need to avoid it, but you must be wise when using it.

Reference:

Anch, M. et al. (1976). Dose-related sleep disturbances induced by coffee and caffeine.  Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 20(6):682-689.

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