Coffee Side Effects (How Coffee Really Affects Us)

Coffee, despite carrying many potential health benefits, also carries a slew of side effects. Some of those side effects are restlessness, migraines, and a depletion of a few minerals like calcium. Coffee may also cause insomnia and affect your kidneys.

With more than half of the population hooked on coffee, it isn’t strange to think about any potential side effects that drinking coffee might have. Every region has its own respective way of making it.

Each person has their own preference. This immensely customizable drink is a winner for almost everyone who drinks this as their wake-up juice. But before we dive deep into the side effects, remember that coffee has many benefits. And the reason you might face side effects is only because of excessive intake. Low to moderate quantities are not harmful.

With that out of the way, let take a deep dive into the side effects of drinking coffee.  

Is Coffee Bad For Your Health?

Coffee within suggested quantities is not bad for your health. Though excessive drinking of coffee on a regular basis may cause irreversible damage.

Drinking coffee has become a part of our daily habits. People consume coffee more than you might think. With more than 1 billion coffee drinkers around the world and 65% of Americans drinking coffee every day. That’s a huge number to be considered.

So, you might think about coffee having potential side effects. Well, coffee doesn’t give you any side effects until you start consuming it in huge amounts. The daily intake of coffee suggested by the FDA is not more than 3 to 4 cups of 8 oz coffee, which is 400 mg of caffeine in a day. But if you drink coffee excessively you might face some damages.

Some of these are:

  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Migraines
  • Dehydration
  • High Blood pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Depletion Of Iron
  • Depletion of Calcium

Is Drinking Coffee Everyday Bad?

Drinking coffee in moderate amounts every day isn’t necessarily bad. But if you overdose on it on a regular basis, you will have to face the negative effects it has on your health.

Drinking coffee has its benefits. It is the largest antioxidant supply. These antioxidants are very helpful to fight against toxins that can cause diseases like cancer. Along with elevating your mood, it makes your body produce more serotonin, thus lowering your anxiety and depression.

3 pods of coffee containing roasted coffee beans, coffee grounds, and a latte.

The instant jolt of energy that your get from caffeine helps you to be more proactive. Coffee is also known to increase your metabolism. This is helpful for people who want to shed those extra pounds.

Lastly, drinking coffee regularly also helps in preventing liver cancer, early death, reduces heart-related issues, and lowers the risk of diabetes. And also prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

But let’s take a detailed view of each of these benefits that you can reap by drinking coffee every day:

High In Antioxidants

I wrote a separate article on this that you can read if you’re interested in a deeper dive, but in short, coffee contains high levels of antioxidants, minerals, and essential nutrients. These include vitamins, iron, riboflavin, etc. you can refer to the chart below for the exact percentage.

NutrientsContent-Based On Daily Value
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)11% of the DV
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)6% of the DV
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)2% of the DV
Vitamin B3 (niacin)2% of the DV
Folate1% of the DV
Manganese3% of the DV
Potassium3% of the DV
Magnesium2% of the DV
Phosphorus1% of the DV

Improves Brain Functionality

Coffee contains a very potent and active substance called caffeine. And caffeine by nature is a stimulant. It stimulates your brain to release dopamine and norepinephrine. This helps in making you feel less tired and more alert. Plus, it improves your mood, making you happier and less depressed.

Boosts Metabolism

Regular consumption of coffee helps increase your metabolic rate according to studies. The caffeine from the coffee increases the metabolism rate by 11% percent. This is helpful in losing weight and digesting food more efficiently.

Prevents Neurodegenerative Diseases Like Dementia, Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s

Neurodegenerative diseases are like Dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s are the top three of the most common ones. And drinking coffee regularly helps prevent these diseases.

Studies show enough evidence that coffee drinkers have a 65% less chance of getting Alzheimer’s. And a 40% to 60% less chance of having Parkinson’s.

Lowers the Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is one of the fast-spreading diseases on this planet. With a tenfold increase in the past 5 years, drinking coffee can interestingly enough reduce your risk by 30% to 60% overall.

Prevents Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is one of the top causes of cancer-related death. Once our livers are damaged, it causes cirrhosis which is basically our livers turning completely into scar tissue. But coffee drinkers don’t have to worry because it reduces the risk of liver cancer by 84%.   

Lowers Depression & Suicide Rate

Since caffeine in coffee is known to stimulate the happy chemical in your brain (dopamine), it helps in lowering down your depression while also reducing suicidal thoughts. Both of these mental disorders are internally linked so it’s a win-win situation.

Increased Life Span

With coffee giving so many benefits to your body, it’s inevitable that a healthy body lives much longer than an unhealthy one. Studies have also proved this fact. Coffee increases the lifespan by 15% overall.

All these health goodies are available if you consume coffee moderately every day. But if you are drinking coffee in large quantities you will not enjoy these benefits.

Can Coffee Cause Insomnia?

Coffee can cause insomnia only if you consume it excessively throughout the day or 6 hours prior to your bedtime.

The basic purpose of most coffee drinkers is that they love what caffeine in the coffee does for them. It awakens them almost immediately and makes them less sleepy.

As we discussed above, caffeine is a powerful stimulant that activates your brain. This effect can act as a side effect if you consume too much coffee throughout the day.

This excessive amount of caffeine present in your system can disrupt your sleep and your sleeping pattern. Why? Because caffeine doesn’t get flushed out from your system for about 12 hours of being absorbed. And extra caffeine can lead to insomnia.

Plus, if you drink coffee later in the day or in the evening, you will get insomnia. So, it’s best to drink in low amounts and not later in the day.

You can watch this video which also explains this.

very insightful video

Can Coffee Cause Diarrhea?

Coffee can cause diarrhea even if you drink in moderate quantities. The caffeine present stimulates the colon and causes contraction in your digestive tract.

Coffee does cause diarrhea, whether your drink it overly or not. The main reason being is caffeine. The caffeine agitates the stomach thus making your intestinal muscles and colon contract according to the study. As a result, giving you the runs.

Also, caffeine irritates your stomach lining especially if you drink on an empty stomach. It causes your stomach to release HCL which is hydrochloric acid.  Typically this acid is used by your stomach to digest the food. But in this case, it can cause major acid reflux and cause immediate diarrhea.

a girl sipping on coffee

Lastly, if you’re lactose intolerant, coffee might be the biggest reason for your diarrhea. Lactose is the sugar present in dairy. And the bodies of lactose-intolerant people are incapable of digesting these sugars. Many coffee types contain dairy, so this can also be the reason for your diarrhea.

How Does Coffee Affect The Kidneys?

Coffee is a diuretic therefore it makes your kidneys work more than usual. Plus, high volumes of coffee increases stress on your kidneys.

Coffee in small to moderate quantities does not cause any damage to your kidneys. But coffee is a diuretic. This means that it makes you feel the urge of urinating more than usual.

This can put a strain on your kidneys and make you lose water and sodium along with this. Plus, large amounts of coffee present in your body increase your blood pressure and cholesterol levels according to National Kidney Foundation. This elevates the blood flow immensely and increases the bad cholesterol level.

Both of these put constant strain on your kidneys. Therefore, coffee can be bad for your kidneys if consumed in large quantities.

The Bottom Line

Coffee is widely drunk across the globe every day. With billions of regular drinkers, you should take into account any possible side effects.

If you’ve decided to drink high amounts of coffee and above the suggested quantities, then you will have to bear the side effects.

Side effects like insomnia, diarrhea, and kidney issues are a few. You might also face high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and much more. So, it’s better that you drink coffee in low to moderate amounts. Plus, always be mindful of what you put in your body and how much of it. This way you can keep a track record for everything.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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