Often when I wake up in the morning, I crave caffeine. Whether this is in the form of tea or coffee, sometimes I need that kick up the backside of caffeine to help energize me through the day. But oftentimes I wondered why caffeine is in the plants it’s in and what effect does it actually has on our body that inspires this boost in energy that we feel when the caffeine starts to kick in. And so, I feel like I need to know more about the substance that I consume on an almost daily basis.
So, to start with, how does caffeine work? Well, it primarily works by stimulating the heart, central nervous system, muscles, and the centers that control blood pressure. Because of this, those unused to the effects of caffeine may be subject to experiencing high blood pressures, while those with a regular caffeine intake are unlikely to experience this side effect. While caffeine is a common chemical compound found in many everyday regular drinks and even some foods, it is also a drug and therefore is likely to have some negative side effects that are unrelated to its intended purpose. For one, a withdrawal from caffeine after taking in large quantities can be very dangerous and high amounts of caffeine can even result in death. Still, it is good for keeping a person awake while also dealing with things such as migraines, low levels of breathing in infants, and tension headaches.
Caffeine is naturally found in a number of different plants, from fruits to leaves to coffee beans and cacao and guarana plants. These natural sources of caffeine are not the only sources of caffeine in our everyday society. For example, fizzy drinks are often supplemented with caffeine which can be quite dangerous. Because they are cold, they are easier to drink more quickly and the amount of caffeine being ingested is likely to rise quickly with the number of drinks that are had. It is also easier to drink colder drinks in large quantities than in it is to drink things such as hot coffee in large amounts. Because it is made from cacao, dark chocolate also contains large amounts of caffeine, with each ounce of dark chocolate containing 24 milligrams of caffeine, meaning that you would have to eat just under 17 ounces of chocolate to meet the maximum daily safe caffeine intake.
Caffeine is all around us in the world, even in places where we do not realize it is hidden. There are so many different foods and drink that seems caffeine-free but actually contain hidden traces of this natural chemical. While in small quantities, this is completely fine, it can be really bad for you, even to the point of being deadly. I suppose caffeine is just one of the things that prove the truth in the saying that you can have too much of a good thing. So take the time to check your caffeine intake, just to be on the safe side.