Caffeine is a drug. Like amphetamines, caffeine is a stimulant, or ‘upper’. But like barbiturates, caffeine has a reverse depressant or ‘downer’ affect also. Caffeine causes dehydration, spiked energy, lethargy and often depression. Caffeine affects the body physically, mentally and emotionally. The research done on caffeine and its affect on the body is mostly of a technical nature. This article examines the affects of caffeine from a layman’s perspective.
Caffeine is a diuretic. Consuming caffeine dehydrates the body and produces intense thirst. Caffeine taken in combination with antihistamines, which also dry out the body, can be very dangerous. Caffeine interacts negatively with many medications as well. The majority of people do not drink nearly as much water as is recommended for good health. The depletion of bodily fluids with caffeine is doubly dangerous.
Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor; it constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow. Many people experience terrific pounding headaches from the stronger blood flow, if they don’t consume a certain amount of caffeine. Caffeine as a stimulant produces a temporary sense of alertness. For people who regularly consume caffeine, they feel disoriented and sluggish without the caffeine, especially in the morning. But caffeine also raises blood pressure. With the constriction of blood vessels, the heart must work harder to pump the blood. Caffeine produces sensations of pounding or racing heart beat. Constricted blood vessels reduce blood flow to the brain.
The combination of increased heart rate with decreased blood to the brain produces nervous, frenetic, unfocused energy. Caffeine energy spikes quickly leaving the body feeling lethargic and exhausted. Many people report feeling weary after the caffeine rush has worn off. Lack of blood flow to the brain, adrenaline spikes and nervous exhaustion can produce profound feelings of depression and acute anxiety. Caffeine addicts can literally become paranoid, over-sensitive and belligerent, simply from the over-consumption of caffeine.
Cutting out caffeine in the diet is preferable, but often not probable, especially for people who suffer headaches with lack of caffeine. Decaffeinated beverages generally aren’t healthy. Practicing moderate caffeine consumption is a sensible alternative. For more on diet, nutrition and health, visit me at www.healthhelp4u.blogspot.com. For emotional health issues, visit me at www.emotionalhealthhelp.blogspot.com.