The Health Effects of Caffeine on the Human Body Caffeine, known as a “drug” is something that many people consume on a daily basis. It is very common and can be consumed in many different ways. Caffeine can be consumed through drinks, medicine and/or foods. In one way or another, caffeine is used as a stimulant to help during the day when most being to feel tired or sluggish. Caffeine is considered a pick me up and helps to boost ones energy level in order to complete daily tasks.
The taste of caffeine when it hits our tongues; the feeling of new found energy awakening within you; the ability of being able to get through the day are all effects of caffeine on the human body. It may be a mental thing, but this is why we depend on caffeine. Millions of people are dependent upon caffeine and it has become an addiction that is hard to break, however they are not aware of the dangers that come with it. For those of you who may wonder what caffeine is I’ll tell you. “The word “caffeine” originated from the German word “kaffee” and the French word “cafe”, both directly translating to mean “coffee.
Caffeine’s chemical name is 1,3,7 -trimethylxanthine, based on its formula and its molecular structure. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that can be isolated from over sixty plants, but can also be made synthetically and added to our everyday food, products and medications. In its purest form caffeine is a white powder that is very bitter. Much of the modern population uses caffeine as a stimulant, exciting the brain and nervous system while fighting fatigue “(History 1). Another question that is often asked is the history of caffeine. Caffeine has been a part of our global history for thousands of years. Each country has its own story and source of caffeine. One of the most eccentric caffeine findings was in Ethiopia.
The folk story passed between generations says that a farmer, who had recently moved his goats to a new pasture found them to be restless and unusually active. For the next few days he watched them, and noted they were grazing on small berries. These berries were later dried and called “coffee beans. Caffeine was first extracted from cocoa beans into its purest form, a white powder, in the 1820s by a German Scientist named Friedrich Ferdinand Runge. Today caffeine is easily extracted and used to make a variety of products that are consumed on a daily basis. Extracting caffeine from coffee to produce decaffeinated coffee and a caffeine powder can be done many different ways. A few of these processes are no longer used because of the health risks, environmental impact, cost, and flavor changes that were associated with the solvents.
Common solvents that were used include Benzene, chloroform, trichloroethylene, and dichloromethane” (History 1). Here is another little tidbit about caffeine that many may not know. There are a variety of types of caffeine that one may consume. These types include coffee, tea, chocolate and caffeine stimulants to name a few. One of types includes coffee. “The caffeine content in your average cup of coffee is around 100mg. Decaffeinated coffee isn’t actually caffeine-free, and can contain up to 12 mg of caffeine. If you are always in a rush, then instant coffee might be your thing.
You can expect anywhere up to 170mg of caffeine per cup. ” (D’Amico 1). A 170mg of caffeine per cup is a lot to consume for a person especially adults. Another type of caffeine is tea. “Many people believe that tea is less intensive in caffeine levels than coffee. That can’t be further from the truth. Your average cup of tea contains 85 mg of caffeine. Green tea is close behind with 60mg of caffeine, followed by white tea with 55mg. Your best bet if you want tea with lower caffeine content is oolong tea, with 35mg. ” (D’Amico 1). Chocolate is also part of the caffeine family. Slim-fast chocolate drinks come in at 20 mg of caffeine in a single serving. Dark chocolate has the same amount of caffeine in a 30g square. Milk Chocolate drops significantly to 6mg of caffeine per 30g serving. White chocolate is just about the only caffeine-free chocolate out there, with absolutely no caffeine at all” (D’Amico 1). The strongest type is caffeine supplements. Caffeine supplements are the purest form of caffeine. They are not diluted or mixed with other chemicals. Exact measurements in capsules and tablets help to regulate your intake of caffeine.
This makes caffeine easy to control and maintain a regular intake. The downside here is that most tablets are 200mg doses, so if you like your coffee, tea or other caffeine-infused drinks and food, this stringent method of caffeine counting will restrict how much you can ideally take in. Caffeine is dangerous to consume and if taken in high amounts it can cause serious health effects to the body and mind. If you continuously drink caffeine on a daily basis, you can start to experience side effects that are harmful to you and may have lasting nonreversible side effects.
Side effects of oral caffeine meaning tablets or capsules include: “agitation, black, tarry stools, blood in the stools or urine, bruising, burning feeling or tenderness in the stomach, chills, coma, confusion, coughing or vomiting blood, decreased urine output, depression, dizziness, fainting, fast heartbeat, fever, headache, hostility, indigestion, irritability, lethargy, lightheadedness, muscle twitching, nausea, persistent bleeding, rapid shallow breathing, rapid weight gain, rash, seizures, severe stomach pain, stomach upset, stupor, swelling of the face, ankles, or hand, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, vomiting, and finally vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds”(Caffeine Side Effects). Research has proven that the use of caffeine can be life altering. It has been proven that caffeine can cause serious health risks and become lethal to you. My question is, if people know about these health risks then why do people still consume caffeine? People want that burst of energy that comes with caffeine.
They want to experience the rush that caffeine gives them. Although research has proven all the negative side effects to caffeine, they have also revealed some positive side effects as well that is associated with consuming caffeine. Caffeine can affect the cardiovascular system in several ways. In people who don’t consume caffeine very often, it can cause systolic blood pressure to rise in the short term by as much as 10 points. In habitual caffeine consumers, this effect is much less pronounced. Caffeine can act on enzymes in the heart that stimulate the intensity of the heart’s contractions and also can facilitate the release of natural hormones that act on the heart to release norepinephrine, which can produce a stimulated effect stimulated effect similar to that of adrenaline. At higher levels, caffeine can increase the amount of calcium; an increase can affect the heart’s pumping action” (Gluckman 1). Caffeine can also affect your brain also in a number of ways.
Caffeine is found within your body, but if taken in substantial amounts-the semi-standard 100mg that comes from a strong eight-ounce coffee, for instance-it functions as a supremely talented adenosine impersonator. It heads right for the adenosine receptors in your system and, because of its similarities to adenosine; it’s accepted by your body as the real thing and gets into the receptors. More importantly than just fitting in, though caffeine actually binds to those receptors in efficient fashion, but doesn’t activate them-they’re plugged up by caffeine’s unique shape and chemical makeup. With those receptors blocked, the brain’s own stimulants, dopamine and glutamine, can do their work more freely… t spells out that caffeine very clearly doesn’t press the gas on your brain, and that it only blocks a primary brake.
There are other compounds and receptors that have an effect on what your energy levels feel like-GABA, for example-but caffeine is a crude way of preventing your brain from bringing things to a halt” (Purdy 1). This further emphasizes the dangerous effects of caffeine. If caffeine is consumed in large amounts the drinker will have dependence for it. Caffeine dependence or caffeine addiction is very common. The drinker will keep drinking the caffeine being unable to stop. Up to 90% of adults consume caffeine every day. Most commonly, the caffeine that’s in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate.
This adds up to an average of about 280 mg of caffeine per day, or the equivalent of about two cups of coffee. Many people who consume caffeine on a regular basis report that they experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms when this popular stimulant is withdrawn, similar to the symptoms felt with the withdrawal of other addictive substances. Several case studies have shown that caffeine was able to induce a clinical dependence similar to that induced by other psychoactive drugs in some people. The withdrawal symptoms typically began 12-24 hours after the last dose of caffeine, became most severe after one to two days, and lasted for two to nine days. If you want to cut down on caffeine, experts advise doing so slowly.
Decrease your consumption gradually over a period of days to avoid being plagued by withdrawal symptoms. People may argue that caffeine is a stimulant that is healthy for the drinker. Caffeine improves body and mind reflexes when it is consumed. Consumption of caffeine makes the drinker alert and focused so that he/she will be able to get through the day. Caffeine also increases the drinker’s protection against certain diseases. “Caffeine cuts suicide risk. A 2013 study by Harvard’s School of Public Health found that those who drank two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day cut their suicide risk by 45 percentpossibly because caffeine’s stimulant effect helps boast people’s moods. It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
A caffeine habit in your 40s and 50s – three to five cups daily of the high-octane stuff, not decaf – seems to reduce by up to 70 percent the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia in your 70s, a 2009 University of Florida study found” (Sagon 1). In conclusion, caffeine is dangerous to consume. The drinker will experience very negative side effects to the body and mind if taken in large amounts. Caffeine is used in almost everything so there is no way to fully avoid it. However one can limit the amount of caffeine they consume in order to not experience any dangerous side effects. Caffeine is like a double edged sword. It can be a cursing and a blessing. On one hand it has some positive effects but on the other hand is have some negative effects. Despite all this caffeine can be a good thing if you limit the amount you take in.