Monday, October 12, 2015

College Students, Are You Curious about Caffeine?

            Caffeine is viewed by college students as a miracle and some would even go as far as saying it is the only reason they can get through the day! Caffeine is a natural stimulant, and it acts on the central nervous system in as early as 15 minutes after consumption and its effects last up to 6 hours. Some studies have shown that caffeine consumption can have very useful components for college students especially. For instance, 200 mg of caffeine (about 2 cups of jo) each day may boost long-term memory, but I would still recommend studying for midterms and finals. Caffeine may also be helpful in the prevention of liver, mouth and throat cancers as well as cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.

            Before you start pouring a cup let me first share that caffeine is one of the few socially acceptable psychoactive drugs. Yes, it’s a drug. It is given this fancy name because it acts on the central nervous system and crosses the brain-blood barrier. If that doesn’t raise an eyebrow consider that more than 600 mg of caffeine per day may lead to insomnia, restlessness, irritability, nervousness, upset stomach, and muscle tremors.

            Being that caffeine is a psychoactive substance, you can get addicted to it! Withdraw may include headache, fatigue, drowsiness, irritability, depression, and even nausea and vomiting. The usual blanket statement applies here, and I am sure you’ve heard it oodles of times: the effects of caffeine vary from person to person. So, there are definitely mixed messages on whether or not caffeine is “good” for us. If you are experiencing insomnia or restlessness, it could mean that you are consuming too much caffeine. Even though the caffeine may help you get through the day, it may not be helpful in getting you into bed for a good night’s rest!

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