Your Caffeine Questions Answered 

Caffeine is very well known around the world. Every day billions of people consume some sort of caffeine whether it comes in coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, or other forms. Many people are busy and have a lot of things to get done so they want some extra energy. Maybe it is a part of your morning or evening ritual. Whether you’re going to the gym or studying for an examination people love caffeine. It is estimated that 85% of people in the United States consume at least one caffeinated beverage daily.

So what is the story behind caffeine? When did it originate? Why is it so popular? What exactly is it and where does it come from? Is it good or bad for you? Read on to find out more.

What is Caffeine and Where Does It Come From?

            Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance found in certain types of plants and foods. Caffeine is found in coffee beans, cacao pods, tea leaves, kola nuts, and other less known plants. Caffeine can also be man-made in a laboratory and is added to medications, drinks, supplements, and snacks.

How Does Caffeine Work?

            Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It helps people stay alert, feel less tired, and increase energy. Caffeine is usually absorbed by one’s body within 45 minutes. It will have a peak effect around 15 minutes to 2 hours after consumption. Caffeinated drinks are absorbed quickly and are broken down by the liver.

Although caffeine will give you a burst of energy it can also cause some unpleasant effects such as increasing the release of stomach acids which could lead to an upset stomach or heartburn. It can interfere with the absorption of calcium in the body and could increase blood pressure. Many people notice that after their morning coffee they have to use the bathroom. This is because caffeine works as diuretic. It can cause you to urinate more and possibly become dehydrated.

Can Caffeine Cause Bad Side Effects?

Some individuals will have side effects from caffiene if they are sensitive to it or consume too much. Possible side effects include restlessness, jitters, insomnia, headache, increased heart rate, dizziness, dehydration, and anxiety. 

If you consume caffeine regularly your body will build up a tolerance and dependency for it. You will need more caffeine in order to feel the same effects. If you decide to stop consuming caffeine suddenly you could have withdrawal effects such as tiredness, headache, irritability, and agitation. These will eventually go away but it is a good idea to taper the amount of caffeine you drink instead of stopping suddenly.

How Much Caffeine is Too Much?

The United States Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming a maximum of 400 milligrams of caffeine daily. This is the equivalent of approximately four cups of coffee. There are times when caffeine is not safe to consume. Pregnant women, breast feeding women, and children should limit the amount of caffeine they consume. If you have sleep disorders, migraines, anxiety, GERD, heart arrhythmias, or high blood pressure caffeine could be harmful to consume. Consult with you healthcare provider if you have any of these conditions and would like to know how much caffeine is considered safe for you to consume.