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Is caffeine bad for you in the heat

We can blame the rising temperature for various heat-related illnesses, but some of our lifestyle habits are also to be blamed! One such habit is caffeine consumption in the heat.

Are you someone who loves to indulge in multiple cups of tea and coffee even when the summer heat is at its peak? Or does the heat wave compel you to turn to chilled caffeinated drinks to beat the heat? Either way, over-consumption of caffeine in the heat may not be a good idea for your health, after all. Excess caffeine intake could aggravate the side effects of heat on the body.

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is widely consumed globally and is commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. It functions by keeping your brain and central nervous system active, aiding you in staying alert and preventing an onset of weariness.

Once you consume caffeine, it gets absorbed into the bloodstream from the gut. From there, it goes to the liver where it is broken down into compounds, impacting the functioning of various organs. According to the Journal of Neurochemistry, caffeine mainly works on the brain by blocking the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that helps relax your brain and makes you feel weary. Normal adenosine levels pile up during the course of the day, leaving you feeling more tired and sleepy. But, caffeine helps you stay awake by hindering the working of adenosine.

is caffeine bad for you in the heat
You must say no to caffeine in summer as it can trigger negative effects. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

Is caffeine bad for you in the heat?

Occasional indulgence in caffeinated drinks might not be dangerous, but you should be mindful of your caffeine intake in peak summer months. Here are some reasons that will make you reconsider your caffeine intake in summer:

1. Dehydration

It is a known fact that caffeine causes dehydration. Caffeine is a diuretic which triggers increased urine production from the body. It can also trick your body into feelings of less thirst which can lead to dehydration. Coffee with sugar is another bad combination that leaves a person feeling dehydrated in the summer heat.

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Generally in summer, people see a rise in gut health concerns like constipation, bloating, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or loss of appetite. People with a sensitive gut notice a trigger of these symptoms when they consume caffeine. Dehydration adds to the underlying issues. So, in these months when dehydration becomes an everyday thing, try to stay away from caffeine.

2. Increase in heart rate

Caffeine increases our heart rate and blood pressure. In summer, caffeine consumption can put additional strain on the cardiovascular system and can lead to discomfort or other health concerns.

is caffeine bad for you in the heat
Caffeine consumption can trigger symptoms of anxiety alongside keeping you awake at night! Here’s how you can deal with it.

3. Poor sleeping patterns

Summer months can lead to disrupted sleep patterns because an increased body temperature makes it hard to fall asleep. Even in summer, the room temperature tends to be higher, making it harder to doze off. If you add caffeine to your diet during all this, it will worsen your sleep concerns in summer. This will leave you feeling grumpy and tired the coming day. Alongside, you will stay alert and awake at night if you drink coffee a lot throughout the day and even before retiring to bed.

Also read: Sip, relax, repeat! Try these low-caffeine drinks if you want to quit coffee

4. Chronic anxiety and irritability

An increased rate of caffeine consumption can trigger feelings of anxiety and irritability. So, if you suffer from anxiety, try to keep away from caffeine as it will promote a calmer mood and will lower your stress levels. A 2005 study showed how excess consumption of caffeine can trigger psychiatric conditions like anxiety disorders, psychotic symptoms, or sleep issues.

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5. Higher risk of heat-related illness

Caffeine consumption can disrupt your temperature regulation which may spike the risk of getting heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Refraining from consuming caffeine may aid in supporting your body’s cooling mechanisms.

How much coffee is safe to consume in a day?

As per the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 4 cups of coffee or about 400 milligrams a day would not cause adverse side effects in older adults. As per the FDA, approximately 1200 mg of caffeine can show toxic results.

Alternate options to caffeine in summer

Summer months are the months of peak heat, and we are all on the lookout for beverages that help us stay cool. So, try swapping your favourite caffeine beverages with more hydrating or refreshing drinks like water infused with fruits, lemonade, lime soda, buttermilk, coconut water, or herbal teas to keep the heat at bay. These summer drinks will help cool you down and are better for your body than those caffeine options.

#caffeine #bad #heat

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