Our bustling 24/7 life sometimes places unrealistic and stressful demands on our professional lives, forcing us to stay up late and work long hours. Remote work, energy drinks, and late-night coffee shops encourage us to keep pushing our energy limits.
Unfortunately, high caffeine consumption can reduce your quality of life; it affects your muscles, anxiety levels, and sleep schedule. Take a look at these five reasons why you should consider curbing your caffeine habit.
1. Caffeinated beverages can affect your weight
Black coffee and plain tea contain paltry amounts of calories, and pose little risk to your weight. But what if you’re hooked on lattes, iced blended drinks, energy drinks, soda, and other sugary, additive-packed beverages?
These can wreak havoc on your well-being, and cause you to gain calories faster than you can lose them. Drinking your calories causes fast weight gain, especially if you’ve developed the habit of drinking caffeinated beverages on a daily basis.
If you’re hooked on caffeinated beverages with a high caloric value, start weaning yourself onto healthier alternatives before attempting to kick the habit completely. Ask your favorite barista to serve you a lite version of your favorite drink, or look for a sugarless option.
Instead of seeking caffeinated beverages every time you’re feeling exhausted, go for a tall drink of water instead.
2. Muscle cramps
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases your body’s production of urine. If you’re consuming heavy amounts of caffeine throughout the day and not otherwise hydrating, then your likelihood of developing cramps or charley horses goes up.
Combine this with a hunched posture at work, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for potential muscle cramps.
If you find your body is locking up after you drink caffeinated beverages, see if you can reduce your intake a little every day, and substitute more water into your diet. Carrying a thermos to work can help you remember to drink a certain amount of water each day.
3. Increased anxiety
Caffeine is a stimulant, and it can definitely influence your mood. People who have experienced anxiety on a daily basis have noted the extreme effects that coffee can have on their mood, when consumed regularly.
This stimulant can also exacerbate the symptoms in patients who suffer from chronic anxiety disorders, and even lessen the effectiveness of medication. Researchers at the University of Warwick published a paper in the 2005 titled “Neuropsychiatric effects of caffeine,” which connected the substance to hostile and irritable behaviors, and a cycle of negative thought patterns.
Another alarming connection described in the report linked caffeine to increased psychosis among schizophrenic patients.
The mood swings caused by over-caffeination can affect your life at work and at home. It can lead you to take action quickly when you shouldn’t, or behave in a more aggressive way than you normally would.
If you suspect that coffee is taking a toll on your health and your mood, you should seriously consider cutting back.
As mentioned earlier, you can experience muscle cramps due to the diuretic effects of caffeine. These effects can also lead to dehydration, as your body releases more water than it takes in.
This can lead to an entire host of problems, including dizziness, sluggishness, heightened thirst, and in extreme cases, fainting. It’s critical that you maintain hydration levels if you drink caffeine regularly; it’s too easy to forget to snag some water after your morning coffee.
5. Sleep disruptions
Additionally, people who consume coffee less than six hours before going to bed will probably find themselves lying awake and unable to doze off. Your mind might be racing a mile a minute, and you feel that it’s impossible to switch off.
Psychology Today recommends you avoid caffeinated beverages after 2 p.m., to minimize the detrimental effects on your sleep schedule. You can detox your body by drinking smaller quantities of coffee or opting for decaf if you want a hot beverage after dinner.
It seems as if we’re always trying to squeeze the most out of our days by turning to caffeinated beverages to get us through work, school, and other duties. But this stimulant can end up harming us more than helping, you need to assess your intake and take steps to reduce caffeine’s ill effects.
Consider weaning yourself off high-calorie caffeinated drinks, taking hydration breaks, and avoiding coffee in the afternoon and evening.