Special Report

20 Signs You Might Be Drinking Too Much Coffee

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You’re agitated

Multiple studies have linked caffeine to mood and emotional problems such as anxiety and depression. Feeling restless, anxious, and/or irritated are not uncommon among people who may have had one or two extra cups of coffee. One study even suggests that people who consumed more than 1,000 milligrams of caffeine in one day showed virtually the same symptoms as people suffering from anxiety disorder.

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You can’t sleep

Being a stimulant, caffeine may temporarily make people feel more alert, which is why most people drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas, and energy drinks. But caffeine has that effect because it blocks sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increases adrenaline production, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Consuming six or more cups a day, which is considered excessive, may prevent some people from falling asleep — and the damage to the body when you do not get enough sleep can be serious.

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You get stomach aches

Stomach aches are usually associated with spoiled food, but in some cases the culprit could be that cup of jo. Some research by European universities suggests that caffeine may stimulate molecular mechanisms that lead to the production of stomach acid in stomach cells, causing stomach aches. The authors of the research say dark-roasted coffees may be a better choice because they contain a compound that reduces acid production.

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You also get headaches

It is relatively common to try and treat headaches with a strong cup of coffee. Caffeine is even used as a key ingredient in headache medications. However, because of the addictive properties of caffeine, headaches can also be caused by cutting back coffee consumption.

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Your cholesterol is high

The culprit in coffee that affects cholesterol levels is not caffeine, but cafestol, a molecule found in coffee beans. Cafestol elevates cholesterol by blocking a receptor that is important to its regulation, according to researchers from Baylor College of Medicine. In fact, cafestol is “the most potent dietary cholesterol-elevating agent known,” according to Dr. David Moore, co-author of the study. Other research suggests that drinking five cups of French press coffee per day, each containing 30 milligrams of cafestol, for four weeks would raise cholesterol level by up to 8%.

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