Do you often drink coffee? Are you thinking of taking caffeine pills to lose weight? If so, scroll down to know about the effects of caffeine on heart rate. Know how a caffeine overdose affects your overall heart health.
Caffeine, represented by the chemical formula C8H10N4O4, stimulates your central nervous system and makes you feel energetic. Both tea and coffee contain caffeine, and hence drinking a cup of coffee or tea after a long tiresome day at work, makes you feel fresh and rejuvenated. Coffee contains more caffeine than tea.
These days, caffeine tablets are used to treat migraines, asthma, common cold, and respiratory diseases, as they promote relaxation of the muscles and help lower drowsiness experienced during these illnesses. Caffeine exhibits diuretic properties and speeds up the rate of metabolism. It is a great appetite suppressant. Looking at the caffeine properties, people who want to lose weight, opt for caffeine pills. It seems that they are unaware of the effects of caffeine on heart health.
Caffeine and its Effects on the Heart
You consume caffeine through chocolates, coffee beans, tea leaves, carbonated beverages, caffeine pills, and some over-the-counter medicines. Coffee and caffeine pills are the main sources of caffeine. Caffeine, the central nervous system stimulant, causes increased release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter which is responsible for the pleasure experienced in parts of the brain. It also leads to an increased production of epinephrine. Gradually, your body starts demanding more and more caffeine to experience the same effect, and you become a caffeine addict.
Caffeine blocks adenosine, a neurotransmitter which is responsible for bringing on a calming effect in your body. This blockage leads to neural stimulation, which in turn triggers the adrenal glands to release adrenaline, the ‘fight or flight’ hormone. As a result, your pupils dilate and you experience an increased heart rate. Your blood vessels constrict and your muscles tighten up. Caffeine triggers the release of glucose into your blood stream for extra energy. Constant high blood glucose levels can affect the heart health significantly.
It has been observed that consumption of caffeine results in high blood pressure. Excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to arrhythmia, and irregular heart beats, which can result in several health complications. Experiencing an adrenaline rush once in a while is okay, but making your body face the hormone emergency frequently can affect your overall health seriously.
An increased heart rate or tachycardia leads to an increase in anxiety attacks. Caffeine overdose can cause increased left heart ventricular output. The hormone adenosine plays an important role in widening of the arteries. But caffeine blocks adenosine and leads to constriction of the arteries, resulting in high blood pressure. That is how caffeine and high blood pressure are related. Some studies show that caffeine consumption increases the bad cholesterol levels, resulting in various heart diseases.
Those who have been already diagnosed with a heart disease or high blood pressure, may experience worsening of the symptoms after excessive consumption of caffeine. Some studies have shown that those who do not drink coffee regularly, are at an increased risk of a heart attack if they drink coffee more. Some studies have shown that those who drank too much coffee earlier, were at a minimum risk of a stroke and heart diseases. So, whether caffeine affects heart rate is a topic for fierce debate. More studies are required to prove the effects of caffeine overdose on the heart.
According to The American Heart Association, moderate coffee drinking (one or two cups per day) does not affect your health. They say that there is no harm in consuming about 250 mg caffeine everyday. But this is applicable to healthy adults only.
Some people can tolerate a large amount of caffeine while some may experience side effects after consuming a very small amount of caffeine. Severity of the effects of caffeine on heart may vary from person to person. Whatever may be the results of the conducted studies, it is clear that moderate consumption of caffeine does not affect the health of your heart. On the contrary, moderate consumption of caffeine can help improve your physical and psychological qualities. It is the excessive consumption that needs to be watched out for.