What are the effects of too much caffeine consumption? Are there alternatives to coffee? The answers.
To start the day, to take a break in the morning or afternoon, to finish a meal, to accompany a small cake… There are many occasions to drink a good cup of coffee or an espresso. But, if black coffee is popular for its benefits and its exciting effect, drunk in excess, it can harm your health.
Too much coffee: what are the risks and effects on health?
Drinking too much coffee can carry risks. As Valérie Espinasse, micro-nutritionist, explains, the main risks are sleep disorders (such as delayed sleep, reduced sleep duration and quality and insomnia).
According to Inserm, a lack of sleep can have harmful effects on health. For example, it causes fatigue, irritability, but it also promotes depression, weight gain and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes.
Too much coffee can also lead to symptoms such as
- Tachycardia (an increase in heart rate);
- A general feeling of unease (not feeling well).
Note: if you are prone to stomach upsets, coffee can also promote them.
Are there any particular risks with age?
“With age, metabolic functions are reduced and the functions of degradation can be altered,” explains the micro-nutritionist. “This can then promote the appearance of adverse effects related to an excess of coffee, while we have not changed our habits,” she adds.
“As soon as these symptoms appear (feeling of unease, sleep disorders, tachycardia), we must therefore ask ourselves the question of reducing coffee,” advises the specialist.
How many coffees to drink per day?
“We consider that the limit not to exceed is 2 to 3 coffees per day,” says Valerie Espinasse. But she recommends listening to yourself. Indeed, depending on the sensitivity of each person to caffeine, the harmful effects of coffee can appear at lower or higher doses.
For their part, the health authorities recommend limiting caffeine consumption, especially for people sensitive to its effects. The EFSA recommends not to exceed “400 mg per day, consumed throughout the day”, for healthy adults in the general population, or about 4 to 5 espressos/day.
How can I reduce my coffee consumption?
Of course, it is possible to replace coffee with “decaf”. But the micro-nutritionist reminds that decaffeinated coffee contains caffeine. “It is not necessary to believe that one does not drink coffee with decaf. Then, when you like the taste of coffee, it is difficult to replace it with something completely different. The alternatives are therefore very limited. However, “there are roasted beans that can be re-sublimated and have a taste similar to coffee. These ground seeds, give the change”, according to Valerie Espinasse.