The pace of everyday life seems to effortlessly increase over the years, and we find ourselves looking for that little burst of extra energy. While a proper diet and adequate sleep are the best practices for keeping energy levels optimal, it is just too easy to reach for your favorite cup of coffee or tea for a quick dose of caffeine. The average American adult drinks 300 mg of caffeine per day, which has more than doubled since 1999 , and is approaching the FDA recommended daily limit of 400 mg or less per day . Numerous studies support the health benefits of caffeine such as boosting your mood, metabolism, mental, and physical performance , but understanding when excess caffeine begins to wane the positive health effects is vital. Let’s take a look at some of the potential downsides of too much caffeine.
“It’s pretty clear that caffeine increases blood pressure in the short term, and this spike seems to be stronger in people prone to hypertension. This acute response is also much more pronounced in people who don’t normally ingest caffeine. But these acute effects wear off after around 4 hours. What’s less clear is caffeine’s long-term effects on blood pressure. The overall long-term effects are inconclusive, with the big picture being obscured in part to different responses seen with pure caffeine ingestion and studies involving caffeinated beverages such as coffee,” according to examine.com. 
Caffeine consumption likely causes a short-term spike in blood pressure after consumption, with the spike being more pronounced in those who don’t normally ingest caffeine and in those with hypertension. However, the evidence concerning the long-term effects of caffeine and caffeinated beverages on blood pressure is mixed.
Examine.com continues, “Caffeine may also affect the pressure inside of the eye. A meta-analysis looking at acute caffeine ingestion found that it significantly raises the pressure inside the eye of people with glaucoma, as well as others with pre-existing high eye pressure (ocular hypertension). People with normal eye pressure, however, were unaffected.
“This concords with observational evidence which also found an association between eye pressure and caffeine intake in people with open-angle glaucoma, although this study didn’t find an association in those with ocular hypertension.“
Caffeine may raise eye pressure, but only in those who have pre-existing eye conditions like glaucoma.
“One study on people who consumed more than three cups of coffee per day found that an acute dose of caffeine mixed with water lowered the pressure exerted by the lower esophageal sphincter, which holds the contents of the stomach down. This could in theory lead to acid reflux since the contents of the stomach could more easily come up. It’s interesting to note that this effect was seen in people who regularly ingest caffeine,” states examine.com.
Caffeine can promote conditions leading to acid reflux, even in people who regularly ingest caffeine.
Top 50 drinks available on the market with the highest amount of caffeine (mg).
With access to caffeine easily available to us, especially with the emergence of coffee shop mega-franchises, the daily milligram consumption can run away from us quickly. Some beverages on the market even exceed the recommended daily limit by 400% with just one 12 fluid ounce serving. Stay vigilant on knowing your daily levels of consumption to avoid any of the potential short-term or long-term negative side effects of excess caffeine.