7 Signs You Have A Caffeine Hangover
You know if you imbibe in a few too many alcoholic beverages, you're probably going to get a hangover. You know the feeling; your head is pounding, everything sounds too loud, and the thought of food is just, well, pukey. But what if you have too much caffeine? Turns out you can have too much of it. These are just seven signs you've got a caffeine hangover.
You can find caffeine in way more than just coffee, and an estimated 90 percent of the U.S. population consumes caffeine on the regular, according to CNN. According to a 2017 study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, which is basically four, eight-ounce cups of coffee. But tolerance to caffeine varies from person to person, says CNN, and people's lifestyles can also affect how they metabolize caffeine.
"Many people consume caffeine without negative consequences, but for some individuals, either regularly consuming too much caffeine or consuming too much at once can cause distress," Mary M. Sweeney, an instructor who researches caffeine's effects on individuals in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told CNN.
So what happens if you consume too much caffeine for your body? Tolerance and metabolic rates might vary from person to person, but the symptoms are pretty consistent.
1. You've Got A Pounding Headache
This one might sound a bit counterintuitive because caffeine is in a lot of headache medications, according to the American Migraine Foundation. But drinking caffeine every day can increase your risk of having what's called medication-overuse headaches, also known as rebound headaches, says the American Migraine Foundation, especially if you're prone to chronic daily headaches already. So if you're suddenly got a pounding headache, it might be because you've had too much caffeine.
2. You Can't Sleep
A lot of people underestimate how much caffeine affects their sleep, Dr. Michael Breus, also known as The Sleep Doctor, told Reader's Digest. Your caffeine metabolism also slows down as you get older, so that large latte might affect you differently today than it did a few years ago, Dr. Breus told Reader's Digest. You might want to watch what time you're having caffeinated beverages if you're noticing you're having some trouble sleeping.
3. Your Heart Is Pounding
Caffeine is a stimulant that can affect your central nervous system, according to Inc. Consuming moderate amounts of caffeine won't cause any irregular heart rhythms, according to a 2016 study, but consuming too much caffeine can make your heart pound or palpitate, says Medical News Today. This is definitely a symptom to watch to make sure you don't need to seek medical attention.
4. Your Stomach Hurts
If you're having stomach aches, Mayo Clinic says you might want to cut back on the caffeine. Coffee is pretty acidic, which can really irritate your stomach, according to Livestrong. But even if you're not drinking coffee, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, says Livestrong, and that can also produce a lot of stomach acid. Either way, you're in for tummy trouble if you consume too much caffeine.
5. You're Feeling Extra Anxious Or Jittery
Caffeine promotes the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which is related to anxiety and chronic stress, according to MindBodyGreen. Introducing too much caffeine into your system can put your nervous system into fight or flight mode, especially if you're prone to anxiety or are introduced to a really stressful situation after having consumed a lot of caffeine, says MindBodyGreen. If you find yourself feeling more anxious, shaky, or jittery than normal, think back on how much caffeine you consumed over the last few days. It might've had an impact on how you're feeling now.
6. You Have To Go To The Bathroom, Like, A Lot
Mayo Clinic says frequent urination or inability to control urination is also a sign you might have had too much caffeine. "Caffeine may act as a mild diuretic and stimulate frequent urination in some individuals," Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, M.D., M.S., of NYU Langone Health, told Bustle for another story. An overwhelming urge to go could signal it's time to switch to decaf.
7. You're Having Heartburn Or Acid Reflux
Not only does caffeine produce stomach acid, it also relaxes your esophagus, which can result in gastroesophageal reflux, Inc. reports. That acid reflux can either cause heartburn or make existing heartburn worse, says Inc. Lay off the caffeine for a few days to see if your heart burn and/or acid reflux goes away. If it does, you know what the culprit was.
If you think you might be experiencing some side effects from consuming too much caffeine, the most important thing to remember is that you don't need caffeine to be successful in life or work, says TIME. Try to consume caffeine because you enjoy it, not because you feel like it's something you need. The more you can build a healthy relationship with caffeine, the easier it will be to feel you are in control of when you consume it.