Caffeine overdose is a reality and we need to accept it. Energy drinks, like coffee and even tea (Indians love their chai), are popular beverages that help to lessen sleepiness, increase energy and maintain alertness. Energy drinks are generally used for temporary relief of distress or the positive effects on attention and performance. These behaviours are also routine for young students to improve performance in studies and sports and professionals to enhance their work-related performance.
These drinks contain chemicals like caffeine, taurine, and vitamins hence can be called caffeinated beverages. These are popular among teenagers and young adults. However, these drinks in addition to caffeine may contain several stimulants and simple sugars, which increase their caloric content.
Since the caffeine concentration in these drinks is high, their overconsumption can have detrimental effects on one’s health. It affects the quality and duration of sleep if consumed in excess. People who habitually consume large amounts of coffee may develop a dependency on it. Serious problems have been reported when caffeine-containing products are consumed in more copious amounts. Mainly children, adolescents, and young adults can develop anxiety, fits, agitation, migraines, sleeplessness, dehydration, gastrointestinal problems or abnormal heartbeat. Importantly, it has been recently demonstrated that energy drinks also induce an ill effect on the functioning of the heart and reduce blood flow to the brain under mental stress. Moreover, caffeine has also been shown to cause damage to the muscle and kidneys.
Also, over-consumption of caffeine by pregnant mothers could have harmful effects on the healthy development of the unborn child.
Also, the effect of caffeine overdose produces is specific to an individual. Hence, the effects may be different in different individuals for the same amount of caffeine.
Considering the ill-effects of excessive use, energy drinks and caffeine-containing beverages should be limited to occasional consumption. These should be avoided before or during sports practice. People with specific heart-related ailments should seek medical advice before consuming such drinks. Parents should restrict consumption or abuse of energy drinks by their children. Consumption of coffee in a limited quantity is acceptable in otherwise healthy people. The amount one can consume without any ill-effects or experiencing caffeine overdose vary since its effect is individualistic.
Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients, and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.