24 Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Coffee

Coffee is brewed from the roasted coffee bean and is one of the most widely consumed beverage all over the world. Many of us start our day with a cup of hot coffee as it provides us the boost that we needed to get out of the bed and start our day. But, it’s not just an energy booster and there are also many healthy reasons to drink coffee and/or to use it for making our hair and skin better.  However, just like many other things coffee is good as long as you consume it in moderation and there some serious risks and side effects of drinking coffee in large quantity.

Side Effects of drinking too much coffee

Side Effects of drinking too much coffee

(1)  Increases Risk Of LDL Cholesterol ( aka Bad Cholesterol )

One of the major side effects of drinking too much coffee ( particularly unfiltered coffee)  is that it may increase serum and LDL cholesterol aka bad cholesterol level in some people because of the presence of substances like cafestol and kahweol in unfiltered coffee.

According to Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, These two substances are known to raise the bad cholesterol level in our body.  Paper filters used in the brewed coffee may reduce these two substances to a good extent but if you are a consumer of unfiltered coffee then you may experience a rise of 23 mg/dl rise in total cholesterol level and a rise of 14 mg/dl in bad cholesterol level.

So, if you are dealing with high cholesterol then you are advised to limit your coffee intake and avoid unfiltered coffee completely.

(2)  Increases Risk Of High Blood Pressure

Drinking a cup of hot coffee can give us an instant energy boost for our work. It feels great and very soon we start getting addicted to coffee for the energy boost without even realizing that how drinking too much coffee can sharply increase the blood pressure level. And it increases blood pressure levels not only in patients with the high blood pressure but also of healthy individuals with typically normal blood pressure levels.

It has been found that some people are even more sensitive to caffeinated drinks. If you are a patient of high blood pressure or hypertension then you should limit your coffee intake to 24 oz per day which roughly equates to 3 cups per day. Also, avoid drinking coffee before and after vigorous exercises and/or physical labor as both these activities increase blood pressure level and consumption of coffee can worsen the situation.

(3)  Increases Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases.

Moderate coffee consumption is good for heart and cardiovascular health. However, drinking too much coffee may increase the homocysteine levels in our blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is associated with increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke, heart disease and peripheral vascular disease ( as per the Linus Pauling Institute ).

People who are at a high risk of cardiovascular diseases should keep their coffee intake limited to a maximum of four cups of coffee a day to lower the rise of homocysteine levels and thus reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

(4)  Increases Risk of Cardiac Arrest

Drinking too much coffee may increase the high blood pressure level in our body which is not good for our health, and consumption of too much coffee can also increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke, heart diseases, etc. Both these negative effects of coffee combined together can have a devastating effect on people with weak hearts and may increase their risk of having a cardiac arrest.

(5)  Coffee May Cause Dehydration

As per the University of Arizona campus, drinking too much coffee can cause the problem of dehydration because of the diuretic nature of coffee. Because of the diuretic nature of coffee, it increases the production of urine and people who consume a lot of coffee go for frequent urination and lose a lot of water.

Coffee consumers are therefore advised to drink plenty of noncaffeinated beverages to avoid the situation of dehydration and for keeping themselves fully hydrated.

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(6) Coffee And Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms

Drinking coffee is good for health and you can reap many benefits of coffee as long as you are consuming coffee in moderation but drinking too much of coffee can make you addicted to it ( which is a negative effect ) and then it will be very difficult to quit this addiction. As per the American Heart Association, people who are addicted to coffee may start experiencing symptoms like headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and drowsiness within 12-24 hours of their withdrawal from coffee and these symptoms subsidies only when the person drinks a cup of coffee and take his caffeine fix.

(7) Drinking Coffee On An Empty Stomach Is Bad For Digestive Health

Many of us drink coffee first thing in the morning and some people even use their morning coffee as a laxative but drinking coffee on an empty stomach is bad for our digestive system and can cause various problems like bloating, gas, irritable bowel syndrome and so on.

This is because taking coffee on an empty stomach increases the hydrochloric acid level in our stomach. We need this hydrochloric acid for the breakdown of food at the time of digestion but when hydrochloric acid gets produced in the empty stomach then it can cause a problem.

Coffee stimulates our body to produce HCL every time we drink coffee and then it becomes difficult for our body to continue producing HCL in good amount when our body actually needs it at the time of digestion of food. All these conditions combined together, make our digestive system suffer.

(8) Increases Risks Of  Stomach Ulcer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, And Acidity

If you are suffering from stomach ulcers, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease, then you should avoid drinking coffee. This is because caffeine and some other compounds present in coffee may irritate the stomach and inner lining of the stomach and may worsen your condition.

Even if you are not suffering from any of these problems, it is advisable to drink coffee in moderation as coffee could be one of the reasons for the cause of these stomach issues because of the acidic nature of coffee and its ability to weaken the inner lining of stomach which increases the chance of growth of Helicobacter Pylori bacteria. These bacteria play an important role in causing stomach ulcers.

Consumption of coffee can even irritate the stomach lining and increase the risk of abdominal spasms, cramps and cause problems like irritable bowel syndrome causing diarrhea and constipation.

(9) May Cause Stomach Inflammation And Irritation

For many people, their cup of coffee is their key to the bathroom as it helps them in the morning process and they consider coffee as a laxative. However, coffee is not at all a laxative and even though it helps in the morning process ( because of its ability to stimulate Peristalsis) it is best to avoid using it as a laxative as it promotes increased gastric emptying in which  the content of stomach is quickly passed into the small intestines even before the proper breakdown of digested food.

Because of this, it becomes difficult for our body to absorb proper nutrients from our food and this can increase the chances of irritation and inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract.

(10) Increase Stress And Tension

Drinking coffee in moderate quantity is good and can even help in providing relief from stress and depression but when you start drinking too much coffee it can have a completely opposite effect as too much coffee stimulates the stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and norephedrine. These hormones are responsible for increasing the heart rate and blood pressure of our body.

Another way, coffee increase tension is that it makes us addicted to it and when we addicted to it then we need it again and again throughout the day for proper functioning. Not getting coffee on time or avoiding coffee can make us anxious and stressful. Caffeine present in coffee also is also responsible for stress causing the effect of coffee as it increases heart rate, increase adrenaline level and heightens our senses.

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(11)  May  Cause Heartburn

The esophageal sphincter is a small muscle that remains tightly closed at the top of the esophagus and prevents the contents of our stomach from coming back into the esophagus. This way it prevents the delicate lining of the esophagus from getting burned by hydrochloric acid.

However, consumption of coffee relaxes the esophageal sphincter muscles allowing the and drinking too much coffee may increase the risk of heartburn and acid reflux.

(12)  May Increase Heartbeat Rate

Drinking coffee may give rise to the increased heartbeat and this can be experienced within 15 minutes of coffee ingestion. The reason behind this is the stimulating nature of coffee which stimulates our central nervous system to increase our heartbeat.

(13)  May Hinders Mineral Absorption

Drinking too much coffee may mess up with our body’s ability to absorb and retain essential minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium, Iron, etc. All these minerals are vital for maintaining the good health of our body and this is, therefore, important for us to watch out our coffee intake and make sure that we are drinking coffee in moderation.

(14) Increases Risk Of Cancer Development

Drinking coffee in large quantity may increase the risk of cancer because of the presence of Acrylamide. Acrylamide is a carcinogenic compound that gets formed when the coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures. It has also been found that darker the roast is higher the level of acrylamide likely to be.

(15) Increases Risk Of  Muscle Twitches and Spasms

Drinking too much coffee is not good our muscles as the caffeine present in a coffee can cause our muscles to cramp and move erratically. This is a problem only for those who drink too much coffee and you are fine as long as you are consuming coffee in moderation.

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(16)  Increases Risk of Thinning of bones (osteoporosis)

Coffee is not good for our bones and can even make them weak. This is because of the presence of caffeine in it which increase the amount of calcium that gets flushed out urine. Since coffee is diuretic in nature so it becomes a bigger problem as it forces our body to urinate again and again, and we lose calcium every time we urinate.

If you have osteoporosis then you should limit your coffee intake to approx 2-3 cups per day. Postmenopausal women who face difficulties in the normal processing of vitamin D should also be cautious about their caffeine intake.

(17) Increases Urination Frequency And Put Burden On Kidneys

Caffeine present in coffee is diuretic in nature which means it increases the production of urine in our body and makes us urinate again and again by increasing the flow of blood through the kidneys and put the burden on kidneys. Because of this, blood vessels get dilated and our kidneys make more waste.

(18) Not So Safe During Pregnancy and breastfeeding Phase

If you are a pregnant woman then you should limit your caffeinated coffee intake to 2 cups per day which provides around 200 mg of caffeine. It has been found that drinking more than two cups of coffee per day in pregnancy state can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight.

Caffeine can easily travel in the bloodstream and crosses the placenta, a circular membrane that covers the uterus and is attached to an umbilical cord that provides nourishment to the baby.

Caffeine is a stimulant and it may increase the heartbeat of the baby and/or increase his metabolic rate. All this can be fatal to the health of the baby, make him weak and even increase the risk of miscarriage. This risk associated with caffeine increase further as the number of coffee cups increases so for the better health of baby and mother, it is best to limit coffee intake to 2 cups per day.

In the same way, if you are a breastfeeding mother, then also you should limit your coffee intake to 2 cups per day as the larger amount of caffeine can irritate the digestive system of infant and even cause sleep problems and irritability.

(19)  could Reduce Fertility In Women

As per a study Conducted by the University of Nevada School of Medicine, drinking too much coffee is not good for women as it reduces the fertility of women by around 27 percent because of the presence of caffeine in it which interferes with the production of Estrogen and make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant.

 (20)  May Worsen Bleeding disorders

Drinking too much coffee may worsen the condition of people having bleeding disorders.

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(21)  Causes Headaches

Drinking coffee can provide relief from a mild headache as long as you are drinking it in moderation but too much of coffee can actually trigger a headache because of diuretic nature of coffee and because of the stimulants of coffee that trigger the receptors of the brain and make them overloaded which leads to a headache.

(22) Coffee And Coma

Drinking too much coffee ( and I really mean TOO MUCH) can make a  person go into a state known as caffeine intoxication in which he/she gets confused and disoriented. This state can even make a person go into coma or experience seizures.

(23) Coffee May Increase Glaucoma Risk

The caffeine present in coffee may increase the pressure level inside the eyes. This increases start within 30 minutes of ingestion of coffee and lasts for at least 90 minutes. This may also increase the risk of glaucoma, which is another side effect of drinking too much coffee and that’s it’s important to limit our coffee intake.

(24) Coffee Increase Risk of Lumpy Breast

As per Mayo clinic drinking too much coffee is not good even for breast as caffeine present in coffee may contribute to painful lumps in the breast.

Recommended Dosage

Coffee is good for health as long as you limit its consumption to 4 to 6 cups of coffee per day. More than this level may contribute to some serious risks and side effects as we had read.  If you are taking any kind of medications or are going through pregnancy then it is best to consult your doctor to know about the recommended cups of coffee.

So, continue enjoying your coffee cup but make sure that you remember these limits.









The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.

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