CAFFEINE!!! Is it good of bad for you?

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Did you know that caffeine is the most widely consumed psycho-active substance in the world? As a beverage, the worldwide consumption of tea is surpassed only by water!

Did you know that caffeine is a diuretic? That means it makes you pee more than usual, due to increasing the blood flow through the kidneys.

The pros and cons of the stimulant have been debated for many decades. These days, researchers are throwing out so much information left and right about caffeine, who can keep track of whether it's good or bad for you? On the plus side, caffeine has antioxidants and with regular consumption, it can reduce the chance of developing Parkinson's disease and help protect the body against gallstones. It is also argued that caffeine increases your metabolism, thus promoting weight loss (Dave, 2008). Furthermore, the "drug" improves alertness, enhances mood, improves physical stamina, and relieves headaches. On the flip side, heavy daily caffeine use may disturb your sleep pattern and cause nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011). In addition, recent studies have shown that women who drink in excess of one cup of coffee every day are only half as likely to conceive as those who drink less than a cup a day and caffeine consumption during pregnancy is associated with prematurity, poor reflexes, and neuromuscular development (Burchfield, 2001).

In conclusion, caffeine in moderation can have positive effects, while having too much can have serious health effects and can lead to a nasty withdrawal headache.

Here is a "very scientific" example of what can happen to the body when you consume too much caffeine...

Work Cited

Burchfield, Geoffrey. "Caffeine." ABC.net.au. ABC Online, 2001. Web. 05 Feb. 2012. .

Dave, Sejal. "The Caffeine Debate - Yay or Nay?" Nutrition Advice by Registered Dietitians - HealthCastle.com |. HealthCastle Nutrition Inc., June 2008. Web. 05 Feb. 2012. .

Mayo Clinic Staff. "Caffeine: How Much Is Too Much?" Nutrition and Healthy Eating. Mayo Clinic, 9 Mar. 2011. Web. .

17 Comments

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Great back and forth on the issue. It did well in highlighting the confusion and attitudes of the general public on caffeine use. Last week, I listened to a radio station claim that in the news, regular caffeine use by females leads to a smaller change of becoming depressed. As most should start to realize in this class, emotional disorders are caused by tons of known and unknown factors that vary from person to person. IF someone is worried about depression, they should see a doctor, not drink coffee. Many claims seem to be overemphasized. Great Post,
John

This is really helpful! For some reasons I felt super super busy at the first couple of weeks of this semester, and I have to drink coffee to keep awake for more than 18 hours every day. But days later I felt something was just not right--I had problems about falling asleep, and I became really easy to wake up while I was sleeping, and some times I would woke up 10 times during one night. I couldn't get enough sleep, thus I had to intake more caffee. Last week was my worst week, I got bags under my eyes and everybody told me that I looked like a real panda; I became really easy to get angry and I fought with my boyfriend on everything; my heart beats became really fast and I couldn't focus on the lecture or my homework. It's true that I got enough awake time to do my stuff, but it's not helping AT ALL! I did really bad on every assignment and I got severe health problems. Then I realized that I couldn't let this continue. I stopped drink coffee and try to be effective on my stuff, and my "panda eyes" disappeared by time. Thanks for your blog, and now I can be sure that it was the caffeine which caused my health problems. And I strongly suggest everyone to drink as less coffee as possible.

I think this blog is really useful and it explains the true fact that is happening in our real world. People choose to drink coffee either to wake them up in the morning or to help them to stay awake to study at night. It what I usually choose to do when I can't sleep before finish some kind of task. But the video that you presented gave me a really big shock. I have never expected that there are so many negative effect on our health. I think I will reconsider about the issue that whether we should let the coffee to help us wake up and make us excited.I like your blog! Good job!

Heather, that video is hilarious (though I think she may be confusing the effects of caffeine with the effects of methamphetamines--haha). I love when she shotguns the energy drink. That girl is nuts, I've seen some of her other stuff...

Not to mention, your post is AWESOME. I didn't know about those recent studies! It's sort of a similar rule to the yoga post: "everything in moderation!" I drink coffee every day, but I try not to have any after 2pm or so (Wenmeng, I have trouble sleeping if I drink too much coffee or have it too late in the day!). And John, that's a great point that you made about being wary when consuming popular science press releases. The mechanisms leading to the beneficial and detrimental effects of caffeine are influenced by a lot of different things. Huiwen, I wouldn't be too worried if I were you... unless you're having a lot of trouble sleeping, having one or two cups of coffee during the day isn't so bad. As for drinking it late at night, well, I've sure been there! Consuming caffeine very late at night is helpful in a pinch, but probably not something to make a habit of (at least according to research).

Good job!

During first semester, my freshman seminar dealt with antioxidants and where to get them. In the case of coffee, I do not think that it would be worth it to drink it just for the antioxidants and positive health effects. Many fruits would be a better option for people to get their antioxidants.

This is a very interesting blog to read. Until I read this article I never would have guessed all those positive things that happen from drinking caffeine, I always just thought of it as something that woke you up and wasn't very good for you.

GREAT VIDEO!!! so funny!
Your blog mentions a lot of things I had never thought about or knew of. I would always hear people say too much coffee isn't good for you. Yet I love coffee and it does help me wake up and it keeps me up when I need to be. What I enjoyed about your blog is that you listed both the pros and cons so that people can see both points of view.

This blog has definitely helped me realize the truth about caffeine. Before reading this I wasn't sure if I should drink coffee because of hearing about how it is good for you, but now I think I'll just drink coffee when I want to and remember that I should ignore what I hear in the news about if caffeine is good or bad for me because of the ambiguity of the studies.

I really liked how this blog entry talked about both good and bad of caffeine instead of taking one side as many articles do. I totally agree that caffeine can have great effects if used moderately from my personal experience. A handful of times during first semester, I would have a headache or be tired and need to finish homework or study, and caffeine really helped out with it.

I think using coffee as an antioxidant is kind of lame, considering there are many other antioxidants that do the job much more efficiently without all the negatives of caffeine.

As everyone else has stated, I am sure coffee offers a lot of positives in moderation (I have never seen these benefits :/, so I may be partially biased :/). However, seeing as caffeine is a drug like any other, I would not rely on it for the positive benefits any more than I would rely on myself.

Caffeine has one of the highest rates of addiction in the U.S, and as posters before me have said, if you don't drink it after drinking it continuously, your body will suffer. My advice would be to use it to spike your energy in an emergency only. Any other time I would just try to push through it for the time being. Work on a healthier lifestyle to increase overall focus rather than a bunch of temporary boosts. Because a physical/mental addiction to ANYTHING can be terrible for the balance in life.

Thanks for highlighting the positive effects of caffeine! I've always worried that I'm doing bad things to my body by drinking so much coffee on a daily basis, but I can live with a few tremors and a slight uptick in my level of anxiety. For me it's pretty clear that the pros outweigh the cons.

I like the objectiveness and how you didn't take one side or the other. That's good because there is always new studies coming out that keep flipping on whether or not coffee is good or bad. For example, there was a new study that came out a couple days ago that said 4-6 cups of coffee a day protects against diabetes.

very nice article.
I enjoyed that it was poignant and factual, sticking to what is known about the pro's and con's of caffeine. Also the topic is very relevant since most of us consume it on a daily basis.

but after stating all of the facts it would be nice to hear your opinion on the matter

I really enjoyed this article because I find the flip-flopping facts of caffeine irritating. I quit drinking caffeine a few years ago because of all of the awful things I have heard about it, which makes it difficult for me to believe in the positive effects. You mentioned in this article that caffeine can help relieve headaches, but I wonder if that is because the withdrawal of caffeine is what creates those headaches to begin with?

Thanks for the comment! However, I know that caffeine is actually a common ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter headache medications. So while yes, some of the headaches that it treats are probably from caffeine withdrawal, it actually can help treat other headaches as well.

I find it interesting that a substance that is so popular can have positive health effects but then also be dangerous to pregnant women. I wish that it did not have adverse fertility effects because aside from those problems, it seems to be a pretty beneficial substance. I know that it boosts my mood and definitely keeps my energy level up. Caffeine is a great substance.

I wonder if its adverse effects on fertility wear off. Like if a college student who were to drink a lot of coffee now will she have problems consumption in the future, or does it just affect fertility when you are trying to conceive.

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This page contains a single entry by roosx052 published on February 5, 2012 9:31 PM.

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