Caffeine is perhaps the most widely consumed psychoactive stimulant in the world,
present in coffees, teas, energy drinks, chocolate, soft drinks, and even in some non-prescription
drugs. Caffeine increases activity in your brain and nervous system as well as increasing the
circulation of chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol in the body. This isn’t to say that
caffeine is bad for you. It isn’t… in small doses where it can make you feel refreshed and
focused. In large doses though, it can make most people feel anxious and have a hard time falling
asleep. Like many other drugs, it is possible to develop a tolerance to caffeine which means you
increase your intake gradually to feel the symptoms.
Caffeine is deftly absorbed by the body, the short-term effects usually experienced
between 5-30 minutes after swallowing it. These effects can include heightened breathing and
heart rate as well as increased mental alertness and physical energy. Depending on the individual
and the amount of caffeine ingested, these effects can last up to 12 hours. Some of the signs and
symptoms of having too much caffeine can include a rise in body temperature, frequent
urination, dehydration, dizziness, headaches, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excitability, anxiety,
irritability, trembling hands, and sleeplessness.
With the emergence and growing popularity of coffee shops, it’s important to control
your caffeine intake. How you react to caffeine depends on your body mass, health, and
metabolism but research suggests that 400mg per day or less is an acceptable dose of caffeine for
the general population.
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