Caffeine Essay, Research Paper



Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the

world. It is an effective stimulant of the central

nervous system and in large amounts can produce

undesirable side effects such as: nervousness, insomnia,

rapid and irregular heartbeats, elevated blood sugar

and cholesterol levels, excess stomach acid, and

heartburn. Based on our incomplete knowledge of side

reactions to caffeine, prudent use seems desirable for

all consumers, male and female. The problem is

particularly significant for children because the

effects of caffeine are related to the body weight of

the consumer.

Coffee, tea, chocolate and many soft drinks

contain caffeine, and it is used to flavor certain

foods. It is also found in medications for staying

awake, dieting, treating colds, allergies, migraines and

muscle tension.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system.

Its effects range from mild alertness to heightened

anxiety and body tension. Caffeine may not improve

performance of complex tasks; it may even interfere

with work. It shortens reaction time among some users,

but its impact on creativity and other intellectual

activities is hard to define.

Caffeine can be habit-forming. Some regular users

who give it up may experience withdrawal symptoms

twelve to sixteen hours after the last dose, such as:

drowsiness, headaches, lethargy, irritability, disinterest

in work, depression, occasional nausea and vomiting.

How caffeine affects you depends on what and

how much you drink. Strongly brewed coffee or tea

has much more caffeine than a weakly brewed drink.

Age and size make a difference too: A caffeinated soft

drink consumed by a child can have the same effect as

four cups of coffee for an adult. In moderate doses

(more than 200mg, depending on body weight and

physical condition) it can produce trembling,

nervousness, chronic muscle tension, irritability,

throbbing headaches, disorientation, sluggishness,

depression and insomnia – otherwise known as

“Coffee nerves”

As with other drugs, how much and how often

caffeine is used can affect reactions. While it may keep

you awake for some tasks, caffeine (and oter

stimulants such as amphetamines or “speed”) will not

make up for declining performance caused by lack of

rest and exhaustion. You may stay awake for an “all-

nighter,” but your memory may be less efficient. In

addition, coffee nerves can cause behaviors that may

annoy others and add tension to interpersonal


There are also a number of health risks that can

be linked to extensive use of caffeinated products due

to the affect of caffeine on the nerves and impulses

to the brain. Caffeine may affect coordination, sleep

paterns and behavior. Delayed sleep, frequent night

time awakenings, poor sleep quality or tension-

nervousness cycles may result from excessive caffeine


People with high blood pressure (hypertension)

should consult their physician before using caffeine.

Limited research links heavy coffee drinking with heart

attacks. Caffeine can produce heart rhythm problems,

a temporary rise of blood pressure and those subject

to irregular heartbeats should avoid caffeine.

Coffee and Smoking, although frequent, are a very

unhealthy combination. Because nicotine raises blood

pressure, cigarette smoking increases the risk of

cardiovascular complications for anyone with high

blood pressure. A typical smoker experiences at least

eight hours a day of nicotine-elevated blood pressure.

Caffeine can worsen this situation. In addition to

blood pressure problems, it can also increase stomach

acid production.

Caffeine has been a part of the typical daily diet

for thousands of years, and will continue to be

probably until the end of time. However it is clear that

excessive use of caffeine, as well as any other drug

can have extremely strong setbacks in a persons and

health and well being, but with moderate use it can

relieve migraines, tension and and other common



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