health

The telltale signs your body isn't handling all that coffee you're drinking.

Whether it be in the form of coffee, or perhaps one of those fizzy-full energy drinks, caffeine has an intensely powerful hold over new mums, shift workers, students, and early risers. (And the rest of us.)

We know excessive consumption of caffeine will never be as good for us as a jog in the park, but what about when it actively becomes bad for us? And how are we ever to know if our body isn’t handling it?

According to Dr Tony Tanious of House Call Doctor says there are a few key signs to look for to work out if your body isn’t handling all the caffeine you’re consuming.

“There are a number of symptoms of caffeine intolerance or hypersensitivity. If you are experiencing any of the following it could be a sign that your body doesn’t handle caffeine well: nausea, heart racing, diarrhoea and tremors,” he tells Mamamia.

Of course, caffeine comes with its side effects – that we know. But these ones, he says, are different.

“These symptoms differ to the ‘normal’ effects of caffeine, such as loose bowel movements and increased energy, as they are far more severe,” Dr Tanious explains.

"While most individuals drink coffee to perk up in the mornings, those with a hypersensitivity to caffeine may feel like their heart is racing as a result of just a few sips," he says.

Dr Tanious says if you're experiencing things like this, it may be time to give up coffee for good.

"While you may enjoy, and even believe you need, your daily coffee, you should consider limiting or stopping consumption altogether when symptoms begin interfering with your normal daily activity."

For those who do love a daily coffee (or three), rest assured, it would be hard for consistent and excessive consumption of coffee to kill you.

Listen: The coffee cup we are loving right now. (Post continues after audio.)

ADVERTISEMENT

In an interview with Mamamia in 2015, Dr Ian Musgrave - a senior lecturer in the University of Adelaide’s pharmacology department - said although common theory is that coffee can be bad for you, it would take a lot for it to be fatal.

“Generally, caffeine itself is not very toxic, so you’d have to drink something on the order of 130 or so cups of espresso in order to kill yourself from that,” Dr Ian Musgrave said.

And your ability to handle caffeine? Well, that's totally dependent on you and your body. Some are buzzing after a single shot, others requiring a more substantial kick to feel the effects.

For instance, if you’re a regular coffee drinker, your body’s likely to accommodate and be more tolerant of caffeine than someone who is “coffee naive”, Dr Musgrave said. (Post continues after gallery.)

ADVERTISEMENT

“If you’ve never had coffee before and you slam down, say, ten espressos in a row you’re going to have very exaggerated effects. You may even show signs of caffeine intoxication where you get the tremors, the heart palpitations.”

Those who feel the effects of caffeine are more inclined to have a few dents in their health, Dr. Musgrave explained, like liver or heart disease.

For Dr. Tanious, it's worth being mindful of what coffee you're consuming and how much you're consuming it.

"It is important to remember that while food and drinks containing caffeine may be delicious, caffeine can also be addictive. If you limit or discontinue your caffeine intake you may suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, tremors and headaches."

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???