Caffeine is a hot topic in today’s health conscious society, and anyone with a vested interest in streets that were once crowded with churches and liquor stores have been replaced by just as many-if not more-cafes and coffee shops; not to mention those who just do it at home. Being able to buy some of the best espresso machines under $300 doesn’t help anyone abstain from this temptation.
While coffee has always been popular and is the drink associated with providing the caffeine necessary for late night studying, bad hangovers, and those with a dislike for tea; it comes in many other forms.
So who/what is responsible for alternative forms of caffeine intake?
- Decaffeinated coffee, ironically.
- Sodas, as expected
- Weight-loss pills
- Pain relievers
- Energy waters
For the record, caffeine is a drug- a drug that has been acknowledged by the Food and Drug Administration, although the research associated with the study of caffeine has certainly been far ahead of the information published. Caffeine has become such a casual drug that new research-even if it is startling-doesn’t phase the public by and large. Why? As mentioned earlier, caffeine is such a part of our lives through coffee and soda that it seems like wasted energy to learn more than what we have accepted as a society.
It sounds silly until you consider how interchangeable terms like ‘addict’, ‘fix’, and ‘withdrawal’ can be when discussing drugs we have been waging a war against for so many years. So-called harder drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine offer the same effects, but have yet to be given the brick-and-mortar business licenses approved for more socially acceptable drugs like caffeine.
As a drug (as well as the amount we intake), caffeine has been underestimated. Evidence abounds suggesting and supporting its benefits and drawbacks.
Are there benefits to caffeine? Of course.
- In lower doses it is shown to enhance alertness and decrease the sensation associated with fatigue.
- Caffeine has been shown to be a possible factor in reducing the risk of Parkinson’s disease, and studies concentrating on the effects of caffeine are continuing.
- Those who suffer from migraines and other painful conditions feel the effects of pain medication more rapidly thanks to caffeine’s ability to be absorbed into the bloodstream at a higher rate.
- If you love the jolt you get from a cup of coffee but could do with a bit less caffeine, espresso is a viable option.
What is bad about caffeine? Depends who you ask, especially if you’re crazy.
- Caffeine is addictive and will trigger withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, irritability, and fatigue.
- An increase in blood pressure and anxiety for those who aren’t regular caffeine users.
- As part of a study, some subjects were injected with a small amount of caffeine that was actually capable of inducing psychosis.
- On a separate note, it does not matter how much coffee you drink, there is no evidence that suggests caffeine will help you sober up OR feel better after a heavy evening of drinking. Your best bet is probably water, a multivitamin, or joins that new church at the end of your block that just began accepting members…
Caffeine and its Affect on People Credit Picture License: javaturtle via photopin cc