Is Caffeine Bad For You?

Is Caffeine Bad For You?

Like many things, caffeine is something that is good when used responsibly, but bad when overconsumed. It’s one of the most popular stimulants in the world, found in cacao plants, tea, and coffee, and operates by stimulating the brain and central nervous system. As a result, “tiredness” is delayed, allowing for one to get in more work before eventually undergoing what is known as the “caffeine crash.” 

Caffeine is as old as our history goes, with historians dating the first brewed tea to 2737 B.C, and was initially given to goats by an Ethiopian Shepherd who found that the leaves gave his goats the extra energy they required. Caffeinated soft drinks (such as Coca Cola) entered the market during the 1800’s, and energy drinks such as RedBull and Monster entered the market soon after, this time focusing on their high amount of caffeine rather than a slight, but noticeable amount. 

Perhaps shockingly, 90% of adults in North America consume at least one caffeinated product each day - whether in the form of drinks, or even in foods. It operates by going through the gut, and then into the bloodstream - though oral ingestion, such as spraying on the tongue, allows for a faster onset. It then travels to the liver, where it then blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter responsible for relaxing the brain and causing tiredness. In a way, caffeine doesn’t truly “give” energy, so much as it negates tiredness, though the difference is imperceptible to any individual person. 

Now for the pros: Firstly, by blocking adenosine, caffeine can cause a relative increase in other signaling molecules such as dopamine. This is likely to cause enhanced mood, brain function, alertness, and short-term memory. In fact, drinking 200-300mg of coffee per day has been linked to a subsequent 45% drop in suicide, as well as a 13% lower risk of depression. Beyond that, caffeine acts as a stimulant not only for the brain, but for the central nervous system. This means that caffeine can increase fat-burning by up to 13%, and metabolism by up to 11%. This equates to about 2.2 pounds per year for the average American adult, which is a surprisingly large impact. 

Clearly, there’s a reason caffeine is so prevalent in so many cultures. Whether by increasing neuroactivity or even decreasing muscle fatigue in workouts, there isn’t much downside to caffeine. However, like all things, caffeine has its cons. Most of these come into play upon the overconsumption of caffeine, and include maladies such as: anxiety, tremors, irregular heartbeat, and sleep apnea. While caffeine has the ability to block headaches, too much can actually cause headaches in some individuals, which is why every person should measure their intake and adjust accordingly. It also has the ability to cross the placenta in pregnant women, which is why it is advised for pregnant women not to consume too much caffeine, if any. 

That’s about it as far as risks goes. As far as fatalities, death as a result of caffeine is extremely rare, and requires an incredibly excessive amount. Usually, those who do die from overconsumption of caffeine also suffer from other diseases such as heart disease. If you suffer from heart disease or any other disease or malady in which your doctor suggests you not to consume caffeine, or to consume it moderately, then caffeine should be avoided. 

At VAE, we focus on those who want to dose their caffeine to the appropriate levels. We believe that the overconsumption of any product will almost always lead to bad results, which is why we provide 24mg of caffeine per spray. While caffeine does have its risks, these risks are largely unreachable for most people, especially for those being responsible with their caffeine intake. We suggest that everyone who enjoys caffeine to figure out their own personal intake, and adjust their caffeine-doses-per-day accordingly.

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