Caffeine Craze

Caffeine Craze

Waking up in the morning, bleary eyed and unrested. The sky is still dark and shadows blanket the world. Unfortunately, there is no time to linger. It is time to go. Tired and irritable and cursing everything, there is something you need: coffee.

Ah yes, that universally loved beverage. Why, though, does everyone flock to that wondrous beverage? Well aside from being warm and highly customizable, coffee contains a central nervous system stimulant called caffeine. In other words, it is an energizer.

Here is the issue, though. Caffeine, while generally not seen as very dangerous, is in fact a classified stimulatory drug. We anti-morning people do not tend to think about the potential harmful effects when we take a sip of that glorious roast. At least, not in that moment.

The realization comes later. The realization comes when you can barely keep your eyes open, when a headache is threatening to split your skull and your movements are lethargic and slow. You did not have any coffee, did not take your customary energy drink that day.

Unknowingly, those dependencies take hold and burrow deep inside. Caffeine addiction is growing to be a frightening part of our society. So many young people, including myself, are taking to consuming coffee and energy drinks without a second thought. As a member of a coffee-drinking family, I have seen some effects firsthand, be it in myself or in a sibling.

High blood pressure, headaches and tiredness are a few common side effects. Skipping a day of my morning coffee decreases my mental function quite noticeably as I have a hard time focusing and my energy levels are low. And did I mention the headaches?

I do not mean to create a misunderstanding, I am not wholeheartedly against drinking coffee or any sort of energizers. I am a student. I understand the need for those things and I myself love the taste of a good light roast. I only mean to provide a glimpse of the consequences should these beverages continue to be consumed daily. A measure of caution and understanding is all I want to get through.

It should be mentioned also that as for any other drug, the body will begin to develop a tolerance for caffeine. The effects of a normal dose will begin to diminish and the consumer will have to take in more to get that same level of performance. This presents an even greater potential harm, in the long term specifically. That is where blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems can come into play.

I love coffee, the taste and the smell and of course, the energy it provides me. As much as I love it, though, I cannot deny that there are harms that arise from consuming it often. So, the next time you order a coffee at a cafe, or are about to press the ‘brew’ button on your machine, take a moment to think. Do you really need it? Remember, it is alright to go decaf sometimes.