There are very few people who are aware of the fact that caffeine has a stimulating effect on the brain. There are many people who are fond of caffeinated beverages. However, it is to be understood that caffeine is actually a psychoactive drug and regular consumption of caffeine can result in caffeine addiction.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a widely used term for 1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine. Caffeine produces a kind of white powder when purified. This powder is intensely bitter and offers a very distinctive taste to when added to soft drinks. “Caffeine” is a term that comes from the French word “café” and the German word “kaffee” meaning coffee. Once caffeine is ingested within the body, it gets completely absorbed within the body in not more than 30 to 45 minutes. The effect of caffeine diminishes substantially within three to four hours. Research shows that caffeine affects stamina, cerebral vascular system, colonic and gastric activity and even the mood of an individual.
Some Facts about Caffeine
Some facts that people should know about caffeine are as follows:
- Caffeine is basically a stimulant that is derived from more than 60 different varieties of plants throughout the world.
- Tea, soda and coffee are some of the most common sources of caffeine.
- The discontinuation of regular use of caffeine can result in withdrawal symptoms.
- Caffeine is also found in certain weight control products and combination medicines.
- Consuming caffeine on a moderate basis is considered safe.
What is Caffeine Dependence?
Caffeine dependence is a term that is associated with the use of caffeine but there is no scientific proof regarding caffeine meeting the complete addiction criteria. However, studies conducted on this subject have come up with the conclusion that caffeine has the ability of inducing a chemical dependence which is quite similar to the dependence induced by other varieties of psychoactive drugs. It is also important to note that there are some major health benefits associated with the use of caffeine. The health benefits are as follows:
- Caffeine is mood altering.
- Caffeine offers energy, focus and drive.
- Many people savor the taste, the ritual and the aroma of taking caffeine on a regular basis.
Side Effects of Consuming Caffeine on a Regular Basis
There are certain side effects associated with the regular intake of caffeine and they are as follows:
- Caffeine has the capacity of increasing stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol making an individual feel more anxious, stressed out and irritable.
- Caffeine can result in heart palpitations and a racing heart as well.
- It has the tendency of causing sleeplessness at night.
- It is one of the major sources of adrenal fatigue leaving an individual feeling exhausted and run down even after having a good sleep at night.
- Regular consumption of caffeine can result in panic attacks and anxiety.
- The caffeine content of coffee can cause indigestion, heartburn and GERD. It can even mess with intestinal flora.
- It can alter the neurotransmitter levels of an individual.