After a Spinal Cord Injury: Caffeine Use
Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea,
cocoa, and other products. Caffeine is added
to some soft drinks and medicine.
What does caffeine do?
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous
system and the heart. This is why caffeine
can make you feel (temporarily) more awake
and alert. Caffeine will also cause your body
to make more stress hormones.
Caffeine may also cause:
ξ More rapid breathing
ξ A faster heart rate
ξ Increased blood pressure
ξ Trouble sleeping
ξ Irregular heartbeat
ξ Shaking or tremor
ξ Needing to use the bathroom more
ξ Heartburn, acid stomach, or reflux
Is too much caffeine bad?
The effect of caffeine varies from person to
person. Most research shows that up to 200
mcg of caffeine per day is not harmful for
most people. Higher doses of caffeine can
cause you to feel nervous, crabby, irritable,
and anxious. You may have trouble falling
asleep, have an upset stomach, or abdominal
discomfort. Caffeine is not addictive, but it
is habit-forming. If you stop taking it
suddenly you may get headaches and feel on
Caffeine can irritate the bladder. It can cause
bladder spasms, which can lead to accidents.
Caffeine is a diuretic. It increases urine
production, which leads to higher bladder
volumes. This leads to needing to empty the
bladder more often.
Having caffeine in small amounts is okay,
but you should know of the effects it has on
your bladder. Also remember to drink other
fluids as well such as water to stay hydrated.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#7579.