What to do when got intolerable with coffee

Written: Taki Tiến Nguyễn


13:28 22/09/2022

CFRR – Coffee is a drink that helps to be alert and increase concentration but drinking too much will also have intolerable feelings.

Long ago, coffee was on the list of drinks with the ability to boost energy, maintain alertness, focus, and be happy. In addition to stimulating the central nervous system, moderate coffee consumption about two to three coffee cups per day helps us to increase alertness. Drinking coffee also has beneficial effects on health, such as reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and diabetes. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, has been linked to a reduced risk of depression, support heart health, and improved performance in athletes. Although coffee has positive health effects, it does not mean that everyone should drink it because the absorption and metabolism of each individual is different. Especially the case of pregnant women, children or adolescents and people with certain health conditions are not suitable for drinking coffee.

What is coffee drunk?

Most of us love enjoying an aromatic cup of coffee in the morning and fueling the body throughout the day. However, overuse of coffee, such as drinking more than three cups of coffee a day and drinking it with an empty stomach, will cause many people to fall into a state of anxiety, nervousness, heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, and indigestion run. All of these signs indicate that you are “coffee intoxicated” or “caffeine intoxicated” through bodily signals that the amount of caffeine you consume has exceeded the threshold of average caffeine tolerance and side effects in the body.

A hot coffee cup. Photo: fullcoffeeroast

The expressions of coffee intoxication

In the year 1800s, tea and coffee were considered caffeinated beverages, along with caffeinated soda products entering the market, from which the concept of caffeinated beverages became popular. In the recommendations of the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and EFSA (Health Canada and the European Food Safety Authority) both specify that the total daily caffeine content of less than 400mg poses no high risk of harm to adults, for children and adolescents not exceeding 2.5mg/kg. For pregnant women, it is safe at 200mg. 

The signs when caffeine content has positive effects or side effects in consumption will vary from person to person.

In a typical cup of 30-50g espresso with a caffeine concentration of about 65-120mg, this caffeine content will depend on the source of the beans, roasting, water temperature, and brewing time. Caffeine levels that are safe for healthy adults would have to be lower than 400mg per day (equivalent to about three cups of coffee). But sometimes, consumption below safe levels still cause arrhythmias or heart attacks. The signs when caffeine content occurs positive effects or side effects in consumption for each individual will be different.

The basic expressions of coffee intoxication.
Photo: Winston and coworkers (2005)

A dose of about 250mg of caffeine has the effect of the increasing, stimulation, alertness, concentration, cheerfulness, and happiness. But if you have the following signs, you must stop drinking coffee immediately. Going above the safe threshold of up to 500mg per day has been shown to increase nervousness, nervousness, anxiety, excitement, irritability, nausea, paresthesias, tremors, sweating, palpitations, restlessness, and may be dizzy. High doses in the range of 7-10mg/kg in adults can also cause chills, flushing, nausea, headache, palpitations, and tremors.

Why do people have drunk as drinking coffee?

Coffee also has potential risks, due to its high caffeine content. In addition to coffee, caffeine is also found in more than 60 plant species found in nature such as tea, cocoa beans, guarana seeds, mate and kola… has been consumed by humans for thousands of years through the earliest recorded tea consumption in China in 2737 BC. The first record of the birth and development of coffee has found around the 9th century in Ethiopia, then the southernmost tip of the Arabian peninsula by a herder.

Overall, more than 25 metabolites have been identified following caffeine intake, demonstrating a rather complex metabolism in the body. In fact, the metabolism of paraxanthine accounts for about 80%, theobromine accounts for about 12%, and theophylline accounts for about 4%.

Caffeine and its metabolites in the body
Photo: fastvoicemedia
  • Paraxanthine is a central nervous system stimulant and promotes alertness is the major metabolite excreted mainly in the urine (about 85-88%) and excreted in the feces (about 2-5%).
  • Theobromine can increase heart rate, dilate blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and stimulate the excretory system to produce urine.
  • Theophylline is a stimulant of the heart and central nervous system, then causing us dizziness, lightheadedness, tachycardia, nausea, headache, increased secretion of gastric acid and gastroesophageal reflux, and diarrhea.

Caffeine is distributed throughout the body after being absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, and through cell membranes, and penetrating the blood-brain barrier. health… The caffeine in coffee will make your heart beat faster, make you feel nervous and dizzy. Caffeine is absorbed quickly and completely can reach 99% from the small intestine after drinking and drinking coffee quickly on an empty stomach will have a higher ability to absorb caffeine than drinking coffee slowly and consuming it together. with food or other beverages. 30 to 120 minutes after ingestion is the time that caffeine undergoes metabolism and reaches its peak plasma concentration. The reactions of absorption and metabolism of caffeine in the body will lead to a state of coffee intoxication.

If you rarely consume caffeine, your body may be particularly sensitive to it, so avoid consuming too much at once. Even if you regularly consume a large amount of caffeine, should stop when feeling any unpleasant symptoms.

How to deal with caffeine intoxication

How to deal with caffeine when intoxicated aims to get the caffeine out of the body through reducing the symptoms of intoxication, here are some ways that you can apply when you are intoxicated with coffee.

ham-luong-caffeine trong-cac-loai-do-uong
Caffeine content in beverages. Photo: infinitefitnesspro
  • No more caffeine: this is almost natural when you won’t drink another cup of coffee but be aware that caffeine is not only found in coffee but also in cocoa, chocolate or tea, other food, and other products.
  • Drink a lot of water:  as feeling all the symptoms of coffee intoxication, let’s drink a lot of mineral water, and if possible, drink from 1 to 1.2 liters of water in 10 minutes. It will help the amount of caffeine be diluted and dissolved quickly in the body, adding a lot of water will help excrete it through the urine and rehydrate the body.
  • Exercise: Drinking coffee while being hungry or sedentary will lead to coffee intoxication, so, if possible, do gentle or simple exercises to help excrete.
  • Eating a lot of starch: In case of coffee intoxication, try to eat starchy foods such as rice or bread, and the amount of starch you eat can saturate the amount of caffeine, helping to reduce the symptoms of coffee intoxication significantly.
  • Regular breathing: is a simple way to reduce the symptoms of stress and restlessness as being drunk with coffee. The recommended way how to breath is to inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds after that, and exhale through your mouth for about 8 seconds.

Ways to drink coffee to avoid getting drunk

Drink in moderation

To prevent caffeine tolerance, the first thing is to avoid excessive tolerance (over 400mg/day). It should be much lower for people who are sensitive to caffeine.

Do not drink coffee with alcohol or drugs

To avoid coffee intoxication, you should not mix coffee with alcohol or drink it with drugs, which will interact with coffee and be harmful to health, especially the heart and blood vessels. Or you can drink coffee about 2-3 hours after medicine taking.

Convert to decaf

If you are sensitive to caffeine but still like the flavors in coffee, you can choose to switch to decaf to reduce caffeine tolerance in the body and avoid coffee addiction.

Ways to drink coffee can harm the health

Drinking too much coffee

Coffee has been considered a daily drink. If your excessive abuse that regularly consuming excessive amounts of caffeine will cause many problems related to sleep, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, digestive disorders, always feeling anxiety, stress leads to reduce work, and increased levels of depression.

Drinking coffee early or too late

Experts recommend not drinking coffee early in the morning after waking up. There will be the highest amount of cortisol hormone in the body to help you wake up naturally. And drinking coffee too late, the amount of caffeine needs a long time to be excreted out, which will cause difficulty sleeping or insomnia for you. Therefore, the appropriate time to have morning coffee is around 9 to 12a.m.

Drinking when being too hot

Brewed coffee is usually around 65-85°C, and many coffee drinkers rate the taste better when it’s hot. However, WHO gives a warning about drinking hot drinks above 65°C with a risk of esophageal cancer.

Drinking when having stressed

In case you are having stressed, you consume an extra amount of coffee caffeine in coffee will stimulate the nervous system causing fatigue and cognitive disturbances and affecting sleep.

Drinking coffee when having insomnia

Because of the alertness coffee brings, it has loved by many people. But when you sleep less than 5 hours in 3 consecutive days, caffeine is no longer meaningful even though you drink it in a big amount because lacking sleep will significantly reduce cognitive ability and concentration.

Drinking with a lot of sugar or milk

Too much sugar in the blood, if not controlled, will lead to the risk of diabetes in addition to weight gain and obesity that adversely affect health.


Coffee is a drink with a long history and continues to be popular with significant amounts of consumption in the world but drinking it should only be at appropriate times and in moderation so that each person’s body to ensure that health is not affected.


Benowitz NL, Jacob P, 3rd, Mayan H, Denaro C. Sympathomimetic effects of paraxanthine and caffeine in humans. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1995; 58:684 –91.

Chou CC, Vickroy TW. Antagonism of adenosine receptors by caffeine and caffeine metabolites in equine forebrain tissues. Am J Vet Res. 2003;64:216–24.

Guerreiro S, Toulorge D, Hirsch E, Marien M, Sokoloff P, Michel PP. Paraxanthine, the primary metabolite of caffeine, provides protection against dopaminergic cell death via stimulation of ryanodine receptor channels. Mol Pharmacol. 2008;74:980–9.

Undem BJ. Pharmacotherapy of asthma. In: Brunton LL, Lazo JS, Parker KL, editors. Goodman & Gilman’s The pharmacological basis of therapeutics. 11th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional; 2005. pp. 727–36.

Winston AP, Hardwick E, Jaberi N (2005). “Neuropsychiatric effects of caffeine”Advances in Psychiatric Treatment11 (6): 432–439. doi:10.1192/apt.11.6.432



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