When you wake up and reach for that steaming mug first thing every morning, you do not wonder about what it contains. Knowing that it will help you stay awake and alert is enough and so you take another swig before heading off to work.
People from all over the world usually do not think twice about the chemical that courses through their veins from the moment they take their first sip. Yet, caffeine, present in almost all popular “morning beverages”, especially coffee and tea, is a “psychostimulant” – a drug. And shockingly most of us have this drug every single day.
It does feel a little unnerving to think of that apparently harmless liquid that mornings would be incomplete without as a drug, right? You never suspected your morning cuppa to be of the same level as cough syrup!
But caffeine is nothing but a drug and thus, can cause a lot of damage to your body if taken in excess.
Your body can easily absorb caffeine and the job is usually completed within 30 to 45 minutes. This is why you can feel its effects pretty quickly. Also the effects of coffee can be felt even up to three hours after its consumption.
The feeling of wakefulness that accompanies caffeine consumption is not the only thing that you experience. In fact, caffeine also affects your mood, the flow of blood to your brain, your stamina as well as your digestion.
Now caffeine is not something that your body requires. Although it has some apparent benefits – the ability to keep you from being drowsy in the morning, for instance, like anything that is “unnecessary”, its consumption can be problematic if not controlled.
A heavy ‘dose’ of caffeine everyday can make you more irritable, restless, nervous, and cause sleeping disorders, headaches, muscle tremors and digestion problems. In fact, the interruption of healthy quality sleep is one of the major damaging effects of caffeine.
Imagine this: you drink at least three cups of coffee during the day to stay awake after a sleepless night. Yet the caffeine in your system prevents you from falling asleep at night and hinders you from entering a state of deep sleep. Thus you end up sleeping badly. With a daily pattern of caffeine consumption this vicious cycle only continues to repeat itself every day.
Another thing is that different people have varying degrees of sensitivity to caffeine. For someone who is well-accustomed to heavy caffeine consumption, three cups may not seem like too much of a big deal. Yet another person may be more vulnerable to even one cup of coffee. Children, for instance are more likely to become hyperactive if they drink coffee.
The key to caffeine consumption, like everything else is to exercise moderation. Although it is not an absolute requirement to give up caffeine for good, it is always better to quit something that can become addictive and harm your body than even cut down to around one or two cups per day.