Hey, coffee drinker – what do you imagine when you picture the side effects of caffeine? An increased heart rate? A touch more energy, perhaps? A gnarly neck rash that persists like a proverbial red flag? Yeah, that last one was news to me too. As the owner of iDL and an avid coffee drinker myself, realising this unexpected “caffeine red face” was something of a disappointment.
How do you know when you’re putting too much caffeine into your system? This post serves as my account of my caffeine crashing journey. I’ll cover what I noticed, how I addressed the situation, and some other effects caffeine consumers should probably be looking out for.
Side Effects of Caffeine – The Backstory
The first thing to mention is that I’ve been something of a human guinea pig with caffeine and coffee for a good few years now. By around 2018, I’d become very particular with which extravagant and rare coffees I deemed as “good enough.”
Not only did I love the energy kick that caffeine would bring, but I also found immense joy in the ritual of that morning cup (or three). Choice, variety, the flavour – these were what made drinking coffee an essential in my book.
Just around the corner, however, those unexpected side effects of caffeine were lying in wait.
Can too Much Caffeine Cause Skin Rash? What I Noticed
Not to sound dramatic, but the culmination of my caffeine craze was a rollercoaster of pain and inconvenience that I hope never to repeat. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It all started with a skin flare-up that came and went. Some days it would be bugging me constantly, others it would be pretty manageable.
I was spinning a lot of plates at the time – running this business, raising my children, countless meetings, and dealing with a laundry list of fires that needed putting out each day. I couldn’t commit the time to addressing what amounted to an annoying inconvenience. I picked up a cream that helped fairly well and just got used to sometimes having unhappy skin behind my ears.
All the while, my caffeine connoisseurship continued and the side effects of caffeine kept bubbling away.
Remember the hottest day of the year in the summer of 2022? Slathered in my cream and sunblock, I ran six miles that day. The exercise was a cinch, but it contributed to the perfect storm. The next day at the beach, the pain I felt on the skin of my neck can only be described as agony.
We’re talking eye-watering, excruciating pain here. This happened a second time during a sunny visit to a car show and I finally concluded that enough was enough. I simply had to get to the bottom of this…
Identifying the Effects Caffeine Was Causing
At the time, I wasn’t sure what the culprit of this pain might be. As mentioned above, I was under a fair bit of stress at the time. Bodies are wonderful, but they’re also weird. Undue pressure, a lack of sleep, nutrition – these could all have been causing what I later realised was “caffeine red face” (or “neck”) for that matter.
Before pinpointing the effects caffeine was causing, I stripped back anything in my diet that might be causing issues. I addressed my sleep and also monitored / methodically removed anything that I thought might be adding to my woes.
After a painstaking process of trial and error, all that was left was my excess of coffee drinking in the morning and a high-caffeine tea leaf that I enjoyed each afternoon.
All it took was five days. After five days of switching to a decaf brew, my skin felt better than it had for ages. The side effects of caffeine had subsided. So, can too much coffee cause skin rash? The answer, in my not-so-ill-informed opinion, is a resounding yes. While I can’t prove to you with a double-blind study that caffeine was the direct cause, I’m very confident that it was the main source of my issues.
Goodbye Caffeine Red Face, Hello Decaf Glory
So there we have it, the side effects of caffeine are much more than first meets the eye, at least in my personal experience. I’m not here to give medical advice, but I do think it’s important that I share my story. Reducing my caffeine intake cleared up far more than just a painful rash.
The other effects caffeine abstinence helped with included:
- My energy levels became far more predictable with fewer spikes and crashes.
- My irritability improved tonnes.
- My sleep quality got a welcome boost too.
- I don’t deal with heart palpitations any more.
Side Effects of Caffeine – Final Thoughts
So, am I saying that everyone everywhere should give up caffeine immediately? Obviously not. All I’m saying is that my excess consumption was causing me way more grief than I ever could have imagined. The side effects of caffeine can be surprising – that’s all I’m saying.
I Love coffee with a capital ‘L’ and whether your brew of choice is caffeinated or not, I think you should enjoy it in whatever way works for you. That said, if the time comes where you feel you might like to cut back, I Love Decaf offers a range that I couldn’t be prouder of.
There’s one thing I was unwilling to give up with my coffee – the ritual. Choosing different beans, preparing them just how I like them, and savouring every last sip are things that I don’t have to give up anymore. I’m passionate about iLoveDecaf as a brand and have spent countless hours perfecting what we offer here.
We use the Swiss Water Method to gently remove caffeine without compromising on flavour or quality.
Try it today; I sincerely believe you’ll be glad you did.