Caffeine can wake you up in the morning, but the side-effects of a heavy reliance on the stimulant can outweigh the advantages.


photo by healthline.com

A cup of joe has more negative effects than one may think.

Mary Marzula, Staff Writer

As much as everyone loves to feel alert and awake by taking few sips of their favorite caffeinated beverage, those drinks could be doing more harm than good to your body. Whether it be coffee, energy drinks, or soda, you could be drinking too much caffeine throughout your day.

Up to 73% of teenagers say they consume at least one caffeinated drink daily. Some even say they “live” off of the caffeine they drink in the morning. However, if you don’t have the tolerance for the amount of caffeine you are consuming, you could experience harmful side effects.


Caffeine intake increases the chance of not getting a full night’s rest. You may not realize that your mid-day pick me up is the reason you can’t fall asleep later that night. Caffeine can affect your body for up to ten hours. Be careful next time you enjoy a caffeinated soda at dinner or an energy drink to keep you alert for late night studying– it could ironically be the reason you feel even more tired the next morning. 

2. Anxiety 

Everyone knows that caffeine’s purpose is to make you feel more awake and alert. To do so, it blocks a chemical in your brain responsible for making you feel tired, adenosine. Blocking adenosine increases the effects of adrenaline, which means that higher doses of caffeine can lead to anxiety. Studies suggest that if you ingest 300mg of caffeine, your stress levels are likely to double. For comparison, there is roughly 330mg of caffeine in a grande-sized cup of coffee at Starbucks. Next time you are feeling especially anxious or stressed, look back at your day and see if you have had any caffeine. 

3. Addiction 

Despite all the harmless reasons we drink coffee, caffeine is still a drug that you can become addicted to. If your energy throughout the day solely relies on caffeine and you’re having some form of it regularly, you can become addicted. Some symptoms you may experience are consistent with caffeine withdrawal, which include headaches, slower reaction times, dizziness, and shakiness. Your body can become very dependent on caffeine throughout the day once you make it a habit.

4. High Blood Pressure 

Unless you are drinking extreme amounts of caffeine, it’s not known to increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. However, caffeine has been found to increase blood pressure due to its effects on your nervous system. The effect of higher blood pressure is temporary but is more prevalent in consumers who aren’t tolerable to caffeine yet. Your activities while caffeine is in your system also matter. If you drink an energy drink before working out, the caffeine in that drink can increase blood pressure even more during exercise.

5. Dehydration 

Caffeine is psychoactive, which obviously helps improve physical and mental alertness. However, once the caffeine reaches your liver, it breaks down into compounds that affect the way your different organs function, like the kidneys. Diuretics are substances that make your body produce more urine than normal. Caffeine takes those substances and increases the blood flow to your kidney, releasing more water into your urine than normal. So, you urinate more frequently, meaning that you’re essentially dehydrating your body.

6. Fatigue 

When caffeine leaves your system, it can cause fatigue. After caffeine gives you the “high” it’s known for, you may experience a sudden drop of energy, leading you to feel even more tired than before the intake. You can avoid the fatigue feeling after consuming caffeine if you drink it over a longer period of time throughout the day instead of a large amount at once. 

Caffeine is a drug beloved by many. It wakes us up in the morning, keeps us going throughout the day, and helps us stay up late to study for tomorrow’s big exam. We like to think that something so harmless could never have negative effects on our bodies. But it’s still a drug and has to be utilized as such.