The Body’s Caffeine Crisis

In Features by Kayla Johns1 Comment

Everyday, people all over the world depend on a cup of coffee, an energy drink, or some kind of caffeine boost to get through the day. It’s a normal part of everyone’s day, which makes sense because caffeine seems to be available everywhere. Because of this availability nobody ever really wonders how that cup of coffee actually affects them and knowing how caffeine actually effects your body might make you regret drinking that second cup of coffee.

Caffeine affects many things like mood, mental performance, and alertness. Although caffeine can occur naturally in foods, it still acts as a stimulant drug that people use to increase their performance. Caffeine works basically by blocking neurotransmitters adenosine receptors, which increases adrenaline in the brain. Other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and acetylcholine, which are other hormones, are also affected by caffeine. Caffeine is absorbed in your stomach and takes about an hour or two to hit its highest levels in your bloodstream. Caffeine itself has no nutritional value, but it does have a few health benefits.

“Caffeine has psychoactive effects and changes the way we feel and interact with the world around us.” States Kevin Loria, a journalist, in his studies over caffeine’s effects on the body.
People have reported that caffeine increases their alertness along with their mood due to a boost that allows them to complete tasks. Along with this, it’s important to note that caffeine is found in common medications that help treat drowsiness, headaches, and migraines. There are even studies that show caffeine helps reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, dementia, kidney stones, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Caffeine also cuts people’s risk of suicide by 45 percent. Some caffeine products are used for weight loss, athletic performance, and to aid memory loss. Despite all of these benefits, caffeine does have negative side effects as well.

Many people have reported that too much caffeine can cause headaches and migraines. Also, just like many other drugs, caffeine can be addictive. When a body is deprived of caffeine it may experience caffeine withdrawal, which can cause anxiety, irritability, drowsiness, tremors, and in extreme cases it can cause confusion, hallucinations, and vomiting. There’s even a possibility of overdosing on caffeine, although that is pretty rare. Caffeine also affects the mental state of people by sometimes causing them to develop insomnia, which in the long run can lead to anxiety and depression. Caffeine also increases the amount of acid in your stomach which can lead to heartburn or an upset stomach, caffeine can also cause damage to your skeletal, muscular, and circulatory systems if it’s consumed in large amounts.
“People’s caffeine levels soar only to fall as the day progresses in the face of rising sleepiness. They might be better off taking much smaller more frequent doses of caffeine, equivalent to a quarter of a cup of coffee, as the day wears on.” Says Charles Czeisler, a Harvard professor, in his article about caffeine.
At the end of the day, not a lot of people are really going to care about how a few cups of coffee really affect their body or they only know how it’ll affect them in the short-term.

Caffeine is literally the most common drug used in the world and most people don’t even know it’s a drug. It’s so widely available that no one would ever think that it would have almost the same chemical structure as cocaine and meth. But if people really knew all the effects from caffeine and all the facts, they’d probably reconsider their daily intake of caffeine.


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