Woman | Caffeine | Physiological Effects
Depending on the amount consumed, caffeine can be a mild central nervous and cardiovascular system stimulant. Caffeine does not accumulate in the body over the course of time since it is usually and normally metabolized and eliminated within several hours of consumption. Thus, the pharmacological effects of caffeine are usually brief, passing within hours.
People differ greatly in their sensitivity to caffeine and this may change with advancing age. With regular use, tolerance develops to many of the effects of caffeine. For example, a person who consumes caffeine on a regular basis may drink several cups of coffee in a few hours and notice little effect, whereas a person who isn’t a regular coffee drinker may feel some stimulant effect after just one serving. Some people may experience feelings of nervousness if they consume more caffeine than they are accustomed to. When regular caffeine consumption is abruptly stopped, some people experience symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue or drowsiness. These effects are typically temporary, lasting for a few days, and may be avoided if caffeine cessation is gradual.
Moderate caffeine consumption is considered to be about 300 mg., which is equal to around 3 cups of coffee. Overall, individuals tend to find their own acceptable level of caffeine. Those who feel unwanted effects, such as insomnia and jitteriness, tend to ease off their caffeine consumption. If the effects remain, a healthcare provider may be consulted. Although significant attention has been paid to caffeine and insomnia, in practice, the person who experiences effects such as sleeplessness learns not to consume
caffeine before bedtime. Caffeine is a mild diuretic, but the urinary output effects attributed to caffeine have frequently been exaggerated.
Recent research has found that the minimal diuretic effects of caffeine do not compromise overall body hydration status in healthy women. Some women experience urinary incontinence as they age. Although caffeine does not cause this condition, women with this condition may experience a greater degree of “urgency” for a short time after consuming a caffeinated beverage. Women may benefit from discussing their beverage consumption and caffeine intake with their health care provider. Learning methods of managing their symptoms such as performing pelvic and bladder muscle training exercises may also reduce incontinent episodes.