The Pros And Cons Of Caffeine

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One of the reasons behind caffeine’s extensive consumption is its widespread availability in so many different beverages. Caffeine is not marketed strictly through coffee and coffee products; a plethora of popular soft drinks list caffeine as an ingredient. Many of these are not even advertised as energy drinks because the caffeine in them is a fraction of the amount contained in coffee. Gary McIlvain and his fellow researchers at the Health Science Department of Marshall University claim that energy drinks have been rising in popularity in recent decades due to their high amounts of caffeine and sugar. Both of these ingredients are stimulants and are used in varying amounts in different energy drinks. While a serving of Wired contains several…show more content…
Caffeine intoxication can occur from overconsumption and is characterized by dizziness, nausea, anxiety, and tremors (Nehlig). Caffeine quickens blood circulation, but in high amounts, it can overstimulate the heart and cause heart palpitations or cardiac arrhythmias (Cavendish). While overconsumption of caffeine may seem difficult, it is actually a fairly common occurrence. A study conducted among universities in the American Southeast found that the mean amount of caffeine consumed by the surveyed students was more than 840 milligrams per day, or “approximately three times the recommended amount of the Mayo Clinic” (McIlvain, et al.). What was most surprising about the study is that few of the students realized how much caffeine they were consuming. Obviously college students would more than likely consume more caffeine than other demographic groups simply for the purpose of studying, but their misconceived overconsumption was in part caused by the labeling, or lack thereof, of caffeine as an ingredient in many food items. Many of the college students were unaware of all of the effects of caffeine and how much of it they consumed, and this observation can be extrapolated to society as a whole. Despite caffeine’s extensive history, few people know of the long list of side effects it can cause…show more content…
New research has been unable to find any conclusive evidence that reasonable caffeine consumption is inherently detrimental to human health. Humans have been drinking it in coffee and tea for centuries because it elevated their mood and increased their ability to focus. The primary dangers regarding caffeine stem from its abuse in excessive amounts. Caffeine is addictive, and there will always exist the danger of overconsumption. However, when caffeine use is effectively monitored and regulated, it has many practical and positive purposes in everyday human functions. It is one of the most potent and least harmful stimulants available to the masses. It is quite effective for light use in dieting as an appetite suppressant and as a source of energy. All of these applications of caffeine have been discovered due to its widespread availability in a variety of different forms. The consequence of this ubiquity is that caffeine overconsumption is common as well and has its own list of negative side effects. Caffeine use should be monitored on a personal level to avoid harmful intoxication, but aside from that, caffeine is generally viewed as safe in rational
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