Like pretty much all of the characters in The Handmaid’s Tale (if you’re not already watching it, get on it!), we can never tell for sure whether coffee is good or bad. On one hand, it makes us bearable human beings in the morning, helps us get sh*t done and has been linked to a bunch of positive health benefits. Heck, new research even shows that drinking three a day can even help you live longer and look younger! On the other hand, there’s the fact that it can disrupt your sleep, elevate your stress hormone and contribute to adrenal fatigue.
At the end of the day, it looks like the health (and brain) benefits of your daily java outweigh the negatives. But as always, too much of anything isn’t a good thing. It’s really easy to become reliant on coffee, to the point where you feel you’ve been hit by a truck if you can’t get your hands on one. While recent research indicates that between 3-5 cups of coffee per day is safe, there’s no hard and fast rule about how much is too much. However, there are a few telltale symptoms that suggest you’ve been going overboard. Here are 5 signs you’re drinking way too much coffee.
1You’re grinding your teeth
Find yourself gnashing your chompers like a woman possessed? It could be stress, or it could be coffee (often, it’s a combination of both). Caffeine is a stimulant, which means that it can exacerbate your compulsion to grind your teeth or clench your jaw. Whether or not coffee is the cause, it’s important to chat to your dentist as ongoing grinding can lead to more serious dental conditions.
2Your eyes are twitching
We all get twitchy eyes from time to time. It’s distracting and kind of weird, but most of the time its harmless. But if it’s happening regularly, it could indicate you’re drinking too much coffee. Research shows that caffeine triggers the release of serotonin and noradrenaline—excitable chemicals that can stimulate the nerves to induce eyelid spasms.
3Your heart is racing
Feel like your heart is going a million miles an hour after you finish your morning cuppa? It’s not just because you’re super excited about getting your day started. Due to its stimulant effects, caffeine can make your heart beat faster and cause palpitations — that strange, fluttery sensation where you feel like your heart has skipped a beat. Most of the time, this is nothing to worry about — but it could be a sign you need to cut back on the java.
4You’ve got a headache
We know, there are so many things that can cause headaches. But if you’ve already ruled out all the usual suspects like dehydration, stress and lack of sleep, it could be worth looking at how much coffee you’re having. If you’re regularly drinking too much it only takes a small decline (like, one cup less) to have caffeine withdrawals. You can also experience coffee-induced headaches if you drink too much in a short amount of time or are particularly sensitive to caffeine.
5Your hands are shaking
Are your hands quivering like a MasterChef contestant during a pressure cooking challenge? If it’s not because you’re about to make a big presentation at work, it could be because you’ve downed one too many cups of coffee. Drinking too much caffeine has been linked to hand tremors — usually accompanied by a jittery, restless feeling.
Ready to cut back on caffeine? Check out all the other delicious things you can drink instead.