Caffeine is an alkaloid which is found naturally in certain plants. It can be synthesized artificially too and added to food products. It stimulates the central nervous system and acts as a diuretic. An overdose of caffeine occurs when one consumes more than the normal or recommended quantity.
Caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug.
An intake of 500 milligrams or more per day sets off a host of negative effects – nervousness, headaches, insomnia, restlessness, bad temper, nausea, and muscle tremors. By and large, it is considered safe to consume about 200 milligrams daily of caffeine; i.e. about 2 cups of coffee per day.
Signs And Symptoms Of Caffeine Overdose
The symptoms of caffeine overdose depend upon the person as well as how much has been consumed.
- Nervousness and restlessness
- Excitement and agitation
- Incoherent thought and speech
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle twitching
- Sweating and giddiness
- Life threatening symptoms are – irregular heartbeat, electrolyte imbalances, seizures and cardiac arrest.
Causes: When you have 60 to 80 cups of brewed coffee in a short interval of time, you develop caffeine overdose and toxicity. In terms of lethal dosages, taking in 7 – 10 g of caffeine will kill an individual.
Complications: Life threatening manifestations of a caffeine overdose are – an irregular and fast heart rate, an imbalance in the electrolyte level, seizures and cardiac arrest. Death is also frequently seen after caffeine toxicity, with the causes often related to heart failure and adrenal failure.
How To Treat Caffeine Overdose At Home?
- Drink 2 to 4 liters of water to help your body flush out the caffeine. Water helps re-hydrate your body and reinstate the minerals that have been depleted.
- Consume a lot of fruits that are loaded with vitamin C; these too re-establish the minerals depleted by caffeine. Have plenty of limes, lemons, apples, bananas, papayas, mangoes and oranges to battle the vitamin-leeching effects of caffeine.
- Unwind and get some rest; that will help repair the anxiety, restlessness and agitation. Select a quiet, solitary area where you can sit comfortably and meditate. Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- Aromatherapy essential oils are beneficial too. Sniff a couple of drops of – lavender essential oil or bergamot essential oil; they help calm down and relax.
- Consume a healthy, wholesome meal to help your GI tract to break it down and eliminate the caffeine. Caffeine suppresses your appetite and confuses the body’s natural reminders to eat food throughout the day. Hence, make sure that you eat a wholesome meal – whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and yogurt.
- Take a laxative; it’ll help sluice out all the caffeine from your system. Confer with your doctor and ask him to prescribe one for you.
- Exercise also helps accelerate your body’s capacity to get rid of the caffeine. A 15 minute aerobic exercise such as – running, jogging, or yoga is decidedly beneficial.