Coffee has many health benefits and when consumed at a certain time of day, you can easily reap these and use all the goodness of caffeine to get stuff done. But, there also comes a tipping point when you’ve consumed too much coffee — which varies for each person — and it doesn’t always manifest in the form of insomnia or feeling jittery and anxious.
Too much coffee can result in dry and chapped lips, which can be used as an indicator that you’ve had one cup too many, according to mindbodygreen (mbg).
Your lips are the first to tell you when you’re dehydrated, which is the effect coffee can have on your body. If the first liquid to pass your lips in the morning is coffee and not water, this could also be why your lips are feeling a little chapped.
“When you’re dehydrated and the first thing you grab is coffee, that dehydrates you even further,” said gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., MSCI, on the mbg podcast.
“If I notice my lips starting to get dry, that tells me I’m pushing the coffee more than I should.”
While you might need to rein in the numbers of coffees you’re having per day, increasing your water intake will also help balance out the dehydrating effects of the caffeine.
Bulsiewicz recommends drinking two full glasses of water before you have your first cup of coffee. And for good measure, drink another glass straight after to make sure you’re properly hydrated.
There’s no need to give up coffee completely, but as with most things, coffee is best consumed in moderation alongside a lot of water.