As far back as 2700 B.C.. Chinese Emperor Shen Nung regularly imbibed hot brewed tea. Coffee was regarded by some Westerners as “the devil’s brew” until the late sixteenth century, when Pope Clement VIII tasted it and gave it his blessing. Caffeine is the most popular drug in the world. Coffee consumption in the U.S. has actually been steadily declining since the l960s.
The main sources of caffeine are, coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa pods and cola nuts. Another popular source is mate’ leaves.
Pure caffeine is a bitter-tasting white powder that resembles cornstarch. Drip coffee contains more caffeine than percolated. Caffeine is a potent anpheteminelike stimulant. Caffeine is moderately soluble in water. Caffeine readily passes through cell membranes. After caffeine is ingested it is absorbed from the stomach and intestines into the bloodstream which then gets distributed to all the organs of the body. In the bloodstream caffeine travels to the liver, where it is converted into a number of breakdown products where it is excreted in the urine.
Many people like to start their day with coffee. It’s probably not so much the taste rather is the jolt it gives them. Unfortunately, caffeine has undesirable effects. A mug of coffee can increase urination as much as 30 percent for up to three hours. Large fluid losses on a hot day can lead to dehydration. Increased stomach acid can aggravate ulcers or hightail hernia, and cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Caffeine can cause an accelerated and irregular heartbeat. Where caffeine lifts your spirits, when it wears off there can be bouts of depression. If drank too close to bedtime, caffeine can disrupt your sleep. You can get the shakes from caffeine.
Recent studies have failed to find any relationship between caffeine and strokes or increased risk of heart attack. There is no evidence that caffeine causes cancer, elevated cholesterol or high blood pressure.
You can have caffeine, but in moderation. A maximum of 350 mg of caffeine a day is recommended. Check over-the-counter and prescription medication for their caffeine content. Be aware of the factors that can affect your sensitivity to caffeine like age, tolerance and personal factors. If you decide you want to give up caffeine, do it gradually.
It is easy for young people to get too much caffeine. Their bodies are smaller, so even a small amount of caffeine has a big affect on them. Cand everyday food and drink such as cola drinks, brownies, chocolate candy, hot cocoa and chocolate milk are only a few that are hard to stay away from.
Caffeine is less habit-forming than nicotine, but it is still difficult for people to stop using caffeine once they have started.
Some studies have suggested caffeine causes bone loss. Women who drank a cup of milk and two cups of coffee a day showed no signs of reduced bone density, which suggests that adequate calcium intake may offset whatever negative effects caffeine may have. A 1993 study showed one to two cups a day might decrease fertility but recent research contradicts this claim. Some research showed the combination of women smoking and coffee may pose risk of women trying to get pregnant. Yet another review concluded when you drink coffee in moderation, caffeine doesn’t cause miscarriages, low birth weights or fetal abnormalities as has been thought by some. Several studies have
hinted that MS and caffeine may be related. A 1990 study of students found that the more caffeine the subjects consumed, the more severe their symptoms of MS (anxiety,depression, mood swings, bloating). It won’t eliminate MS but cutting back on your caffeine intake may alleviate the symptoms.
If you rely on caffeine to start your day off, to keep you going all day long, you are probably psychologically addicted to the drug.
Caffeine is capable of causing physical dependence in the same way as other addictive drugs such as alcohol, heroin, nicotine, and the barbiturates. Unlike the symptoms associated with these drugs, caffeine withdrawal are not life-threatening. One characteristic symptom of caffeine withdrawal is anxiety. A coffee drinker may drink a lot of coffee only in the morning and never in the afternoon or evening, Such a person may crave coffee in the mornings but feel no need for it at other times of the day.
This craving may be the result of psychological dependence on caffeine. If this is the only type of dependence involved, one should be able to satisfy the craving by drinking decaffeinated coffee. If the craving includes a physical dependence, drinking decaffeinated coffee would not put off or alleviate the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.