The Effects of Caffeine on the Human Body

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Caffeine has many negative effects on humans, such as increased heart rate (Lane, J.D., 2002), depression (Goldstein, 2008), and addiction to this “drug.” You may be asking yourself, “What is caffeine?” Well, caffeine is actually a stimulant (Barone, Roberts, 2008) that is found in beverages such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks. In fact, caffeine is the highest grossing and most used stimulant in the United States (Barone, Roberts, 2008). It is estimated that 85% of adults living in the United States consume caffeine on a daily basis (Barone, Roberts, 2008). That means for every 100 adults, 85 of them have had a drink that contained caffeine on any given day. One reason caffeine is so widely available compared to other stimulants is because caffeine is socially acceptable (Brice, Smith, Sutherland, Chistopher, Childs, deWit, 2008). If nicotine was as acceptable to people as caffeine is, cigarettes would be more heavily used and might not even have a law on how old you should be before you smoke. One study showed that 75-98% percent of youth intake at least one beverage containing caffeine each day. 31% of the same youth consume 2 or more beverages containing caffeine daily (Morgan, Stults, Zabmick, NFS, 2008). If caffeine wasn’t so socially acceptable, these numbers would be drastically different. When youth were polled on when they consumed the most caffeine during the week, the results showed that after midday Wednesday, the consuming of caffeine begins to rise. Sometime on Saturday is when it reaches its height, and begins to go back down (Pollack, Bright, 2008). There are many opinions on why this is happening, such as stress relating to school, getting through the week, or less sleep during the week. When scientist Hoidrup lo...

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...ny sign of children having nausea from caffeine consumption. Another behavior related test showed that youth admitted that they consumed caffeine to “fit in” with pears, or to increase their own emotions (Whalen, 2008). An example of this would be teenagers drinking pop around friends when socializing. One study looked at young children and asked them to stay away from caffeine for a couple of days. After a few days, they ran tests on the children. These children showed lessened reaction times, and that they also had similar symptoms to youth and adolescents. This study shows that the caffeine addiction cycle and start at a very young age (Goldstein, Wallace, Bernstein, 2008). With you start an addiction at such a young age, it makes it harder to stop consuming caffeine. It would be similar to trying to stop smoking cigarettes when you smoke a pack on a daily basis.

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