Caffeine – a legal addictive drug or just a beverage?

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Usually Caffeine is known to drive the sleep away  when we work for long hours in the office or long hours of study, it has therefore, become an integral part of our daily life. Chemically known as Trimethylpurine dione, Caffeine is found in many edible substances such as chocolate and cakes as well as beverages such as in coffee, tea, cola. It also serves as medicine for Asthma, Gallbladder disease, Weight loss and Type II Diabetes as well.

How does Caffeine affect our body?

  • It stimulates Central Nervous System (CNS), heart muscles and also the centres which control the blood pressure.
  • It helps in alleviating the problem of dehydration since the moderate exercises may drain the energy levels in the body.
  • The Brain produces ‘adenosine’, right from the moment we wake up and remain active till we sleep. Caffeine on other hand, produces dopamine and glutamine which in turn, hijacks this process and makes the brain remain alert and awake and boosts the mood as and when it is consumed.
  • Caffeine also acts like “water pill” i.e  to increase the urine flow thereby flushing the toxins from time to time.

The right amount of coffee which is to be consumed is 500 mg per day. However it also depends upon factors such as plantation, percolation, drip and Espresso. Instant coffee contains approximately 80-100 mg per cup.

On the other hand caffeine induces a mild form of drug dependence and it associates itself with withdrawal symptoms and excessive consumption  leads to  Insomnia, headache, irritability and mood swings as it pumps adrenaline levels in the human body. Further, caffeine addiction leads to “Caffeinism”. A heavy coffee drinker may suffer from cardiovascular ailments and reduced control of fine motor movements and they may experience trembling of hands and feet.  When consumed over 10 grams or in tablespoon sized amounts pure caffeine, which is available in dietary supplements can be fatal to human body resulting in death.

Therefore, whether combating against caffeine addiction or simply trying to remain alert during lousy days of the work, one needs to understand the lasting effects overall on the body before consuming it in any form.

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