Caffeine is the most pervasively used psychoactive and widely used mood-altering drug in the world. The fact that caffeine is not regulated implies, this drug does not have severe effects. It is clear that the coffee, tea and other beverages that contain caffeine result in addictions. Research indicates that the caffeine is extremely addictive, with ability to cause conditions of intoxication, withdrawal, and dependence. The addiction arises from its ability to induce sleep, decrease pain, and fatigue, boost memory, and promote anxiety. Caffeine helps in sustaining duration, maximizes effort, and increases speed during endurance events. It has not been shown to reduce heat tolerance, as many people believe.
The problem with regular caffeine use at levels above 50 to 100 mg daily I what transforms from an exceptional pick-me-up into dependence. This is so because most people tend to drink coffee in order to avoid the exhausting headaches that come with withdrawal. However, even one is not among those who suffer agonizing caffeine headaches, the regular intake of the substance leads to the cruel law of diminishing returns, which is an addiction (Running & FitNews, 2008).
In order to understand the caffeine addiction is vital to understand how it works. In the nerve cell, caffeine look like adenosine, a molecule make the nervous system slows down, dilates blood vessels, and encourages sleep (Richard, 2010). Therefore, caffeine and adenosine compete for adenosine receptor binding in the blood vessels. The adrenal glands recognize the presence of caffeine and release adrenaline into the system. As a result, breathing tubes dilate, heart rate increases, muscles contract and blood pressure rises. This process continues until the abuser of caffeine end up being addict.
It is clear that the caffeine has positive effects on athletic are powerful in non-users than in regular users. Most research focuses on a daily done of 400 to 600mg in capsule form (Running & FitNews, 2008). Therefore, the people who usually ingest less than 50 mg daily, which is equivalent to a half cup of coffee gained greater performance gains compared to those who ingest 300 or more mg daily. This is so because the brain tends to adapt to regular caffeine use by producing more adenosine receptors for binding to the actual adenosine a part of caffeine molecules. The caffeine effects are reduced to the usual dose and more caffeine is required to produce the desirable physiological changes. The issue is that the body’s producer of more adenosine receptors is always ready and lead to the requirement of more caffeine in an endless cycle of greater consumption, which result, to addiction (Running & FitNews, 2008).
Besides tolerance, addiction to caffeine can cause hypertension, which is the predominant risk factor for heart disease in the future. Caffeine addicts may also increase their blood sugar levels, reduce bone density, promote sleeplessness, and agonize withdrawal headaches and irritability, drowsiness and reduced vigilance when caffeine is not available. The chronic intake of caffeine can result in adverse disorder that can cause death if not diagnosed.
In additional, the research conducted on adults have attributed adverse health outcomes to heavy caffeine use. A meta-analysis indicated a higher risk of myocardial infarction or coronary death for individuals consuming five cups of caffeinated coffee daily. Consumption of three or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day has associated with delay in conception and spontaneous abortion. Daily consumption of 400mg of caffeine during pregnancy may boost the risk for abrupt infant death syndrome. In addition, caffeine consumption may increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis (Joseph, 2006). Although rare, fatalities from caffeine overdoses have also been documented.
Another research indicates that women with dependence and a family background of alcohol abuse are more likely to ignore their doctor’s recommendations to reduce caffeine use during pregnancy than those women with both risk factors. It also indicated that genetic vulnerability might be the cause of the inability to stop caffeine use.
Consequently, the chronic use of caffeine can lead to severe disorders among addicts. This is so because it can induce psychotic and manic symptoms as well as anxiety. As a result, these individuals end up with psychotic and manic disorders (Joseph, 2006). Patients suffering from panic disorder and social anxiety disorder tend to be sensitive to the anxiogenic effects of caffeine. Likewise, research indicates that chronic caffeine intake contribute in psychiatric disorders, especially its supposed efficacy on depressive mood and cognitive disorders (Alzheimers, 2010).
There are various benefits of caffeine withdrawal or quitting caffeine. Caffeine withdrawal where individual tend to moderate caffeine intake is linked to fewer depressive symptoms, fewer cognitive failures and decreased risk of caffeine to reduce manic and psychotic symptoms. In addition, quitting caffeine can result in the reduction of anxiety among addicts. Although caffeine contributes to significant effects and disorders, it can be considered as a pharmacological approach used to increase energy in daily tasks (Alzheimers, 2010). In contrast, research indicates that the caffeine poses significant potential health risks to users and the unborn. Therefore, it is vital to avoid increased intake of caffeine to reduce its physiological effects.
Alzheimers, D. (2010). Caffeine, mental health, and psychiatric disorders. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 20(1), 239-248.
Joseph, S. (2006). Caffeine addiction and its effects. Nursing Times, 97(31), 42-43.
Richard, Z. (2010). Are You A Caffeine Addict? Saturday Evening Post. 254(4), 50-53.
Running & FitNews. (2008). Kicking the Caffeine Habit. Running & FitNews, 26(4), 5-6.