A woman’s responses and reactions to caffeine consumption may differ from a man's, especially in the way caffeine interacts with hormones, the menstrual cycle, and other body functions. Caffeine may also affect the endocrine, renal and nervous systems. Both women and men may experience common side effects associated with caffeine, such as nervousness, wakefulness, dizziness, nausea and irritability 1.
Scientific studies examining the effects of caffeine on women have yielded conflicting results, suggesting that more research is required to determine how caffeine affects women at various life stages 1.
Although research in the 1980s and 1990s suggested a correlation between caffeine consumption and fibrocystic breast disease, the Fact Sheet on Women’s Health presented in 2010 on the Food Insights website refutes those findings. Both the National Cancer Institute and the American Medical Association's Council on Scientific Affairs have stated there is no association between caffeine intake and fibrocystic breast disease. Nevertheless, some women report that reducing or eliminating caffeine helps relieve fibrocystic breast pain.
Nitric Oxide & Caffeine
Psychiatric side effects from consuming too much caffeine range from mild confusion to serious psychotic symptoms 1. Caffeine may also increase anxiety and influence panic disorders in women.
Scientists disagree whether or not caffeine has a negative affect on bone density in women, according to two studies reported on the websites of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" and the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition." A 1994 Tuft’s University study on the effects of caffeine consumption on bone mineral density in postmenopausal woman found that bone loss may be affected more by calcium intake in conjunction with caffeine consumption than by caffeine consumption alone 12. Women who consumed caffeine along with higher amounts of calcium suffered less bone loss than women who consumed caffeine with a lower calcium intake.
A study published in 2000 examining the effects of caffeine on bone loss in postmenopausal women concluded there was no association between caffeine consumption and bone density or bone loss 1.
- Scientists disagree whether or not caffeine has a negative affect on bone density in women, according to two studies reported on the websites of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" and the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition."
- A study published in 2000 examining the effects of caffeine on bone loss in postmenopausal women concluded there was no association between caffeine consumption and bone density or bone loss 1.
Does Caffeine Make Fibroids Worse?
On the website, womentowomen.com, OB/GYN nurse practitioner Marcelle Pick explains that caffeine may mask an adrenal imbalance that prevents restful sleep, which makes it harder for women to wake up. Although caffeine itself may not be the cause of adrenal fatigue, excess caffeine can cause body changes that stress the adrenal glands and also affect their ability to maintain sex hormone levels as women transition into menopause.
A study published in a 2007 issue of "Neurology" looked at thousands of women who consumed 3 or more servings of caffeine daily and found that caffeine significantly reduced cognitive decline in these women. This effect of caffeine was more significant in older versus younger women and was more beneficial for preventing verbal retrieval deficits than improving visuospatial memory. Caffeine from both coffee and tea had similar benefits in reducing cognitive decline in women.
According to a Kaiser Permanente news release, a study that followed over 1,000 pregnant women from 1996 through 1998 presented evidence that heavy caffeine use during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage. De-Kun Li, MD, Ph.D., lead researcher on the study, said that women who consumed two or more cups of regular coffee or five 12-ounce cans of caffeinated soda daily had twice the risk of miscarriage compared to women who consumed no caffeine.
A 2010 review of epidemiologic literature from 2000 to 2009 discovered that evidence does not support a cause-and-effect relationship between caffeine consumption and negative perinatal outcomes.
Nitric Oxide & Caffeine
Does Caffeine Make Fibroids Worse?
Caffeine & Birth Control Pills
What Happens When Women Use Viagra?
Missed Menstrual Period & Caffeine
Benefits of Green Tea for Menopause
Fibrous Breast Tissue & Caffeine
Bipolar Symptoms in Men
Is Coffee Bad for Kidneys?
Can Caffeine Decrease Testosterone?
- Drugs.com: Caffeine Side Effects
- Journal of the American College of Nutrition: Bone Status among Postmenopausal Women with Different Habitual Caffeine Intakes: A Longitudinal Investigation
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- Richards G, Smith AP. A Review of Energy Drinks and Mental Health, with a Focus on Stress, Anxiety, and Depression. J Caffeine Res. 2016;6(2):49-63. doi:10.1089/jcr.2015.0033
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- Lucas M, O'reilly EJ, Pan A, et al. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of completed suicide: results from three prospective cohorts of American adults. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2014;15(5):377-86. doi:10.3109/15622975.2013.795243
- Abdel-Hady H, Nasef N, Shabaan AE, Nour I. Caffeine therapy in preterm infants. World J Clin Pediatr. 2015;4(4):81-93. doi:10.5409/wjcp.v4.i4.81
- American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th edition. Washington DC; 2013.
- Turnbull D, Rodricks JV, Mariano GF, Chowdhury F. Caffeine and cardiovascular health. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017;89:165-185. doi:10.1016/j.yrtph.2017.07.025
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol and Caffeine. Updated October 23, 2018.
- Alsunni AA. Energy Drink Consumption: Beneficial and Adverse Health Effects. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2015;9(4):468-474.
- Lyngsø J, Ramlau-Hansen CH, Bay B, Ingerslev HJ, Hulman A, Kesmodel US. Association between coffee or caffeine consumption and fecundity and fertility: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. Clin Epidemiol. 2017;9:699-719. doi:10.2147/CLEP.S146496
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pure and Highly Concentrated Caffeine. Updated September 21, 2018.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Updated July 2018.
Maura Wolf's published online articles focus on women, children, parenting, non-traditional families, companion animals and mental health. A licensed psychotherapist since 2000, Wolf counsels individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, body image, parenting, aging and LGBTQ issues. Wolf has two Master of Arts degrees: in English, from San Francisco State University and in clinical psychology, from New College.