Maybe it's not that bad for you
after all. Read on, and make you own mind up. The info is
Caffeine is a pharmacologically active substance, and, depending
on the dose, can be a mild central nervous system stimulant. Any
pharmacological effects of caffeine are transient, usually
passing within hours. Many other familiar foods also exert
pharmacological effects. A glass of warm milk before bedtime is
appreciated by some for the somnolent effects of tryptophan, and
capsaicin in hot peppers is notorious for producing a burning
sensation, that often evokes sweating.
Caffeine does not accumulate in
the body over the course of time and is normally excreted within
several hours of consumption.
The "half-life" of caffeine is
the time it takes to eliminate one-half of consumed caffeine
from the body. This varies among individuals, about three to
four hours in healthy adults. Smoking increases the metabolism
of caffeine, generally reducing the half-life to no more than
three hours. Children also metabolize caffeine at a quicker
People differ greatly in their
sensitivity to caffeine. When analyzing caffeine's effects on an
individual, many factors must be weighed. The amount ingested
and how often a person consumes caffeine are relative in
evaluating caffeine's effects.
With regular use, tolerance
develops to many of the effects of caffeine. For example, a
person who consumes caffeine on a regular basis may drink
several cups of coffee in a few hours and notice little effect,
whereas a person who isn't a regular coffee drinker may feel
some stimulant effect after just one serving.
Additionally, studies have shown
that individuals who consume caffeine may increase memory and
improve reasoning powers. Research indicated that those who
consumed caffeine scored higher grades on motor skill tests,
enhanced reaction times and improved auditory and visual
Contrary to popular belief,
children, including those diagnosed as hyperactive, are no more
sensitive to the effects of caffeine than adults. Plus, a 1984
study demonstrated that caffeine was not a cause of attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Individuals tend to find their
own acceptable level of daily caffeine consumption. Those people
who feel unwanted effects tend to ease off their caffeine
consumption; those who don't continue to consume caffeine at
their own normal levels. In practice, the person who feels
adverse effects such as sleeplessness learns not to consume
caffeine before bedtime.