There has been a lot of back and forth regarding caffeine. While no one disputes there are some major benefits to this drug (yes, it is a drug), there are also some cases where it would be to the detriment of those who use it. Caffeine is regarded as safe for most adults, when consumed appropriately.
However, this does not mean you don’t run the risk of some negative side-effects, in the long and short term. The key to any drug use is moderation and risk-awareness. Here are some of the classic side effects of caffeine.
Negative short term effects:
- It increases the secretion of adrenaline, which could cause arrhythmia
- It causes blood pressure to rise
- Stomach pains
- Faster heart rate
- Lethargy and tiredness on the come-down.
Negative long term effects:
- Hand tremors
- Panic attacks / anxiety
- Worsening osteoporosis
- Worsening gastro-related conditions
Overdose: when a large amount of caffeine is consumed, it could lead to an overdose. The symptoms are nausea, vomiting, confusion, panic, and in some cases it could lead to seizures. This has been the case with people who consumed energy drinks in excess, and it is even worse when combining caffeine with alcohol and other drugs. If there is a suspicion of caffeine poisoning, call an ambulance. It’s kind of hard to overdose, but with energy drinks and caffeine pills it is definitely possible. It also makes the consumption of caffeinated drinks a lot easier than it used to be. Caffeine pills have been used to treat migraines.
Addiction: it is the most addictive drug in the world today, just beating out nicotine. You can have a physical addiction to caffeine. That is when you get a headache when you don’t have your morning coffee. This is literally a physical addiction. If you find it difficult to function while at work or to concentrate on something without coffee it may be another sign of an addiction to the stimulant. Not being able to function without a stimulant is an issue. It shows a dependency upon a drug. Any dependency is unhealthy, what would happen if you can’t get caffeine? You just won’t function properly.
Dangerous when mixed with alcohol: Some alcohol come premixed with caffeine. One example is fourloko. They eventually became illegal because it was so dangerous. Mixing uppers and downers is never a good idea. People would blackout but not pass out, so people would be blacked out and have a lot of energy. Vodka red bull is also a very popular beverage that is also very dangerous. Which is especially bad that it is such a common beverage at night clubs. With people dancing around in a hot environment consuming a lot of alcohol and caffeine at the same time is not a healthy idea.
Remember that the effects of caffeine – be they positive or negative – differ from one person to the next. It has a lot to do with previous experience with the drug, genetics, age, lifestyle, medication, and other factors. Drink responsibly!
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