The Corner Store Drug

By: Robert Regler

It seems like wherever you turn, there is a new energy drink popping up on shelves for consumers to buy. While caffeine is something utilized in most people’s everyday lives, most are unaware of the potential side effects that come with its consumption. While it is safe for most people to consume low to moderate amounts of caffeine, it becomes risky when one decides to consume higher levels. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the average American consumes about 300 milligrams of caffeine daily. This is the equivalent to roughly two to four cups of coffee depending on the serving size. Caffeine acts as a natural stimulant that helps combat tiredness as well as increases an individual’s concentration and focus. While I’m not saying to skip your morning cup of coffee, I do want to present the facts and potential side effects of caffeine consumption.

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While caffeine consumption has become a part of many people’s everyday lives, there are numerous factors one should consider in terms of their intake. According to the Mayo Clinic consuming more than 500 to 600 milligrams of caffeine can lead to one becoming restless, irritable, and can create problems with sleeping. However, these side effects can be subjective because caffeine impacts people on a case to case basis. For example, caffeine will have a stronger effect on a child in comparison to a fully-grown adult. In addition, caffeine metabolizes at a different rate based on the individuals’ size, weight, and overall genetic makeup

 In addition, if someone has a medical condition, caffeine has the potential to increase the very condition they are seeking to combat. For instance, if someone suffers from anxiety, caffeine may increase the amount of anxiety they experience. Because caffeine stimulates the level of adrenaline that our body produces, these individuals may see an increase in jitteriness as well as increased breathing levels.

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Perhaps the most common side effect of caffeine consumption are the addictive qualities that it possesses. Caffeine has similar impacts on a cellular level to that of drugs of abuse. Because caffeine is associated with positive effects for some individuals such as alertness and increased amounts of energy. If these factors come into play an individual may develop a caffeine addiction. If someone tries to withdraw themselves from caffeine, they may experience fatigue, depression, and headaches.

Like everything in life, caffeine can be used in moderation. Even though there are numerous side effects from its consumption, if one is smart about their intake levels the chances of these effects blossoming will decrease. I would not tell anyone to stop drinking caffeine, but I would have them think first when it comes to excessive use.

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Resources

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271707.php

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-side-effects#section5