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10 ways that drinking too much coffee can destroy your body

Back away from the cappuccino – it’s trying to kill you.

Image: Coffee cups image via Shutterstock

IT’S EASY TO get completely addicted to coffee when you’re working long hours, with little sleep, staring at a computer screen all day. Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up.

Delicious as it is, it is possible to drink too much coffee and reseach indicates that ingesting too much caffeine (500-600 mgs or 5 or more cups of coffee) can cause anything from restlessness to muscle tremors.

So keep all this in mind when you order your next double shot of espresso.

1. It can make you hear things.

According to a study by the University of Melborune, coffee is “the most commonly used psychoactive drug,” and drinking more than 5 cups a day can have you hearing things.

Researchers gave 92 subjects large amounts of coffee and then had them listen to white noise.

Professor Simon Crowe, of La Trobe University in Melbourne, told the Daily Mail: “We also told them that within the white noise there may be parts of the song White Christmas and if you hear it, press a button. We didn’t include White Christmas in the white noise but found that more people who were very stressed and had high levels of caffeine thought they heard the song. The combination of caffeine and stress affect the likelihood of an individual experiencing a psychosis-like symptom.”

2. It can damage your liver

According to studies by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, while moderate amounts of coffee can help the liver to detoxify the body, too much can have to opposite effect and hinder your liver’s function. This is especially true if you’re taking high doses of common over-the-counter pain medication.

3. It can raise your blood pressure

That’s according to a Carnegie Mellon study which also says that coffee can stimulate the heart and cause shallow breathing.

4. It can make you irritable

The shallow breathing caused by too much caffeine can stymie oxygen’s flow to the brain, which in turn harms the decision making process.

5. It can cause insomnia

This varies from person to person, depending on how well your body can process caffeine. Coffee  has a 6 hour half life so it takes 24 hours to work its way through your system (on average).

That means coffee right before bed (like when you’ve been pulling an all-nighter) is no way to get good quality sleep. Studies show that it reduces valuable REM sleep time.

6. It’s addictive

According to research done by Johns Hopkins University, caffeine only gives you that focused energy because it gets you over caffeine withdrawals in the first place.

John Hopkins researchers found that caffeine-related performance improvement is nonexistent without caffeine withdrawal. In essence, coming off caffeine reduces your cognitive performance and has a negative impact on your mood. The only way to get back to normal is to drink caffeine, and when you do drink it, you feel like it’s taking you to new heights. In reality, the caffeine is just taking your performance back to normal for a short period.

7. It can make hard workers slack off

The University of British Columbia did a study in which it gave 40 rats amphetamines and caffeine. The amphetamines made lazy rats work harder and hard working rats more lazy.

The coffee, on the other hand, did nothing for the slackers. It didn’t do anything for the workers either.

8. It can increase your risk of osteoporosis

This is according to research by the Oregon State University. To combat this, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D and calcium when you’re drinking coffee.

9. Withdrawal can give you a headache

Withdrawal is about 12-24 hours after your last cup, according to the American Heart Association.

10. Withdrawal can also make you depressed

You can add anxiety, fatigue and drowsiness to those symptoms.

- with additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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