2016 March, Health, Did Someone Say Coffee?, Addesso

                                               Did Someone Say Coffee?
by Alyssa Addesso, 2016 (posted 3-20-16)

When someone says the word “caffeine,” the first thing most people think of is coffee. In a way, caffeine is synonymous with coffee. However, caffeine also applies to a whole slew of other foods and drinks including: chocolate, ice-cream, pain relievers, and instant oatmeal.

As teenagers, some of us rely heavily on caffeine, mostly in the form of coffee, to help pull us through an all-nighter or classes after a late night. Caffeine is classified as a central nervous system stimulating drug, helping people stay awake and alert. But is there such a thing as too much caffeine? Is it possible to “overdose” on caffeine?

Livestrong.com argues that intaking over 300 mg of caffeine, or roughly four cups of regular coffee, has a negative influence. While students might never suffer long term physical effects, “some of the short term effects are not desirable.” These short term effects include, but are not limited to: increased heart rate, agitation, anxiety, muscle tremors, and insomnia. Furthermore, if someone intaking more than 300 mg of caffeine daily suddenly stops doing so, he or she may experience withdrawal symptoms including headaches, fatigue, sadness, and impaired mental focus.

There are, however, some pros to eating or drinking caffeine. According to udel.org, as little as 50 mg of caffeine is needed to boost one’s metabolism. It can also help improve “alertness, concentration, decision-making, problem solving, and neuromuscular coordination.”

While there are definitely some pros to intaking caffeine, be wary of the amount consumed! Excessive amounts can lead to unpleasant and withdrawal-like symptoms instead of the desired effects.

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