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Caffeine: Is it Worth the Craze?

by | May 18, 2007 | Drugs/Alcohol

Millions of people rely on caffeine to get them through their day, whether it be school, work, or simply taking care of the house. Caffeine has long been a remedy for sleepiness and is useful for a burst of energy to get you through whatever your day (or night!) holds. However, some studies show that caffeine can not only raise your blood pressure, but also decrease your bone density and raise your blood sugar as well. So here, we explore the pros and cons to staying up on caffeine.

Caffeine works in your body in several ways. In short, it exaggerates the stress response. It effectively locks your receptors for adenosine, which keeps your nervous system from getting too worked up. Without adenosine, your nervous system can basically go haywire. Caffeine has also been found to be addictive for many people, so be careful if you drink several cups of coffee or several sodas a day – if you suddenly stop, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. However, this does not happen with everyone, and you have to take in huge amounts of caffeine daily to become addicted. Despite these drawbacks, caffeine has several benefits. It can improve memory, improve mental functioning, and fight fatigue. It also speeds reaction times, and light to moderate coffee consumption – two to four cups a day – may help prevent type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease. In short, it is up to you to decide if the benefits of caffeine outweigh the risks. Study after study shows that some caffeine is helpful, but too much will make you sick. So whether you drink juice, soda, or coffee, make sure you consume it (just like everything else!) in moderation.

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