Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive compound in the world, and even if you don't drink coffee or tea, you'll continue to consume it since it's found in both soft drinks and chocolate.
Caffeine is quickly absorbed by the body and reaches its peak effect within two hours, although it can take up to nine hours to leave your body.
Caffeine is soluble in water and fat, so it enters all tissues of the body, which explains its effect on different parts of the body, according to a report on the “Science Alert” website.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, it is recommended that adults consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, which is equivalent to four cups of coffee, 10 cans of cola or two cans of “energy drink.”
Consuming more than this can cause muscle tremors, nausea, headaches, heart palpitations and even death (in severe cases), and high levels of caffeine can cause serious health problems and even death.
But even those who consume just two cups of coffee or tea a day can feel that it has harmful effects such as irritability, difficulty sleeping and jitters, which is why more people decide to give up caffeine.
A recent study published by DConversationThere are many benefits to giving up caffeine.
Improve brain functions
Caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, tiredness, and fatigue because it binds to a receptor in the brain that adenosine uses.
Caffeine's binding to these receptors delays the onset of fatigue in the body, but over time, brain cells produce more adenosine receptors to enable normal binding.
Therefore, when you stop consuming caffeine, fatigue and tiredness can appear as usual, because the person feels more tired than before.
Caffeine constricts blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the brain.
About 24 hours after you stop drinking caffeine, the blood vessels return to normal, increasing blood flow to the brain, causing headaches.
Because caffeine binds to adenosine receptors (which modulate pain), stopping caffeine can temporarily increase your sensation and sensitivity to pain because there are more receptors.
Caffeine actually affects sleep in the afternoon and evening because it delays the release of melatonin (the hormone that makes us tired) by 40 minutes.
Caffeine reduces the total time you sleep and shortens the duration of deep sleep.
This can leave you very tired the next day, leading to a cycle of using caffeine to wake you up, but resulting in difficulty falling asleep later.
If you stop caffeine, you may find that your sleep improves, and some evidence suggests that improvements appear within 12 hours.
Caffeine has been linked to increased anxiety and panic attacks, and not just in people predisposed to mental health problems.
Therefore, reducing or eliminating caffeine can improve your mood because it improves sleep.
Lack of sleep can worsen anxiety and other mood disorders.
But the adenosine receptors that caffeine binds to are involved in modulating other neurotransmitters that play a role in stress, happiness and fear.
Reducing or eliminating caffeine can also treat heartburn and indigestion.
Caffeine stimulates acid secretion in the stomach and weakens the lower esophageal circulation, which restricts the flow of stomach contents into the esophagus, leading to heartburn and indigestion.
Giving up caffeine can lower blood pressure and lower heart rate.
Cutting out caffeine can improve the whiteness of your teeth, as tea and coffee contain compounds that stain teeth.
Evidence suggests that caffeinated drinks can reduce the amount of saliva we produce, which normally protects our teeth from damage.
Less frequent visits to the toilet
Caffeine works on the smooth muscles in the intestines, especially the colon, causing them to contract and stimulate bowel movement.
Caffeine also acts as a mild diuretic because it binds to adenosine receptors in the kidneys, changing how sodium is exchanged, affecting water retention.
There is also evidence that caffeine causes an irritation to the bladder, which can trigger frequent urination.
Reducing caffeine intake can reduce the urge to pass stools and urinate.
If you're serious about eliminating caffeine from your diet, the best way to do it is gradually, as sudden withdrawal can lead to side effects like headaches and fatigue that last two to three weeks.
How severe and long-lasting these symptoms are depends on how much caffeine you consume daily and for how long.
How much caffeine is too much for your body?