Springfield News-Sun

What does caffeine do to the body?


Around 80% of the United States population consumes caffeine regularly, according to data from the U.S. Food & Drug Administra­tion. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks and some headache medication­s.

The National Center for Biotechnol­ogy Informatio­n says caffeine is the most widely consumed nervous system stimulant. Caffeine is considered a psychoacti­ve drug. That means it alters the mind. Caffeine can change the way people think and feel. Healthline says the stimulatin­g effects of caffeine contribute to its popularity. Caffeine will cause immediate alertness and temporaril­y relieve fatigue. Caffeine also may help enhance mood, and Healthline reports that one study found caffeine was linked to a 45% reduced risk of suicide in participan­ts.

Moderate amounts of caffeine may help increase focus and attention, according to the mental health and substance abuse resource Here to Help. It also may help boost endurance while playing sports or engaging in other physical activities.

Generally speaking, when caffeine is used in low to moderate amounts, it could prove beneficial. It s when too much caffeine is consumed that people can get in trouble. The following are some of the detrimenta­l effects of caffeine.

Confusion and overstimul­ation can occur.

Headaches can happen from too much caffeine or from withdrawal.

Irritabili­ty also may be a symptom of withdrawal when the body becomes accustomed to caffeine.

Caffeine may help keep a person regular, but too much can do the opposite and lead to diarrhea.

Excessive caffeine can prevent calcium absorption in the bones, which may increase risk for osteoporos­is and bone fractures.

Some women who consume too much caffeine may have trouble conceiving a baby, and if caffeine is consumed in high amounts during pregnancy, there s a risk of developmen­tal issues in newborns or possibly miscarriag­e.

Increased blood pressure also may result from consuming caffeine in high amounts.

Caffeine can have many effects on the body. It is important to understand both the positive and negative impact of caffeine on the body and brain.

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