March is Caffeine Awareness Month
Are we aware exactly what caffeine is?
Are we aware that caffeine is a drug?
Are we aware caffeine can be made synthetically?
Are we aware what caffeine does to our brain?
Are we aware what caffeine does to our body?
Are we aware caffeine alters our natural state?
Are we aware some foods have caffeine in it?
Are we aware high doses of caffeine in energy drinks?
Are we aware that caffeine is in some of our medicine?
Are we aware caffeine is in our weight loss products?
Are we aware caffeine is in some of our breakfast cereals?
Are we aware how much caffeine we consume daily?
Are we really aware of the ins and outs about this drug?
Are we ready for more awareness about caffeine?
Are we ready for this forensic article on caffeine?
Here is what is online about Caffeine Awareness Month.
Caffeine Awareness Month is a great time to get the low down on exactly how much caffeine you are consuming in a day and if that is having any harmful effects on your body.
Some uses of caffeine are as an additive to medicine or food so you may not even realize that you are consuming it.
Good news – this article will give you the low down spelling out exactly what caffeine is and what it does to our body.
History of Caffeine Awareness Month
In 2003 the Caffeine Awareness Alliance was formed to advocate for a caffeine-free industry. Their goal is to provide information and resources for everyone in the industry from executives, retailers and media.
It is this organization that has sponsored the creation of Caffeine Awareness Month.
The stated goal for the month is to be a health awareness campaign that can help people to make informed decisions about the consumption of caffeinated products.
15 years later – are we any closer to a “caffeine-free industry”?
Are we all checking what we read out there and discerning what is true and what is not?
If we are being honest and up front, how far are we as a world from being caffeine free?
Has anyone noticed the booming big business just in the coffee industry everywhere?
Would it be wise to stop and read our Coffee blog, which states that coffee is the second largest traded commodity in this world?
Are we all aware that we have a giant industry supplying us something that is in truth a drug because it has caffeine in it?
Could it be possible that it is the caffeine in the coffee that keeps us going and wanting more?
Could it be possible that the reason coffee is the second largest traded commodity is because we are using this drug and getting away with it under the banner that it is not an illegal substance?
Have we added Energy Drinks now because they contain caffeine and tend to appeal to younger generations?
How to Celebrate Caffeine Awareness Month
To celebrate Caffeine Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to do some research into this commonly found stimulant.
Learning about what products contain it allows you to make better choices when shopping.
For some people, the effects of caffeine are prominent and troublesome.
Some of the effects are trouble sleeping, nervousness, shaking and increased heart rate.
Use Caffeine Awareness Month to learn all you can about this stimulant and how it is working in your life. (1)
What exactly are we celebrating about a mind-altering substance called caffeine?
Do we have a responsibility when we put words out there that could have a different angle on what is trying to be said?
In other words, with due respect and intention, we say something but we are not honouring of the actual meaning of the word itself in its true essence – how that word was being used in its origin.
Next – can we start with a dose of real honesty and admit most of us simply do not have the time “to do some research into this commonly found stimulant”.
Can we relate to the following –
We are way too busy with our Fast Life and Fast Food living to do our own research.
That perfect time seems to be words on a calendar but in real life it’s just not happening.
Our lifestyle is such that making “better choices” seem to be less and less achievable.
Learning is something we would like to do but our daily life makes that seem impossible.
Shopping is a real chore now and we rely on the Internet to do it for us most of the time.
If we do get to the supermarkets, the last thing on our mind is making better choices.
We know that the effects of caffeine are ‘troublesome’ but we get through the difficulty with a stronger dose of coffee or an energy drink as that’s the latest thing that seems normal as everyone is doing it.
What is great is we are being told some of the effects might be what we have noticed, like trouble sleeping, that nervousness and the heart feeling racy, but we have no idea how we can change, make different choices or even know where to start.
So just incase none of us got round to using this Caffeine Awareness Month to learn all we can about this stimulant – Simple Living Global have done some research and here are the ins and outs about Caffeine, in our usual style of ‘say it as it is’ and keep asking QUESTIONS, join the dots and use common sense where we can.
Caffeine is the most commonly used drug in the world.
Caffeine is a stimulant.
Millions consume caffeine every day to increase wakefulness, alleviate fatigue and improve concentration and focus. (2)
Has anyone considered or wondered WHY it is classed as a drug in the first place?
Is there a significant clue here for all of us?
WHY on earth is it so commonly used?
WHY are we still using it if we KNOW it is a drug?
WHY do we need a drug in the first place to stay awake?
WHY are we using it to alleviate fatigue and is this the answer to our extreme tiredness?
Are we messing with our natural internal sleep and wake cycle?
Are we creating a deep ill further down the road by using a common drug like this?
Are we pumping the body with a fuel that is covering up our real exhaustion that is buried?
Are we ready to ask some serious questions about how we are actually living in daily life?
Can we get honest about the real facts of caffeine and admit that we are demanding this substance every day and the suppliers just keep supplying in many different forms from coffee to energy drinks and chocolate – all of which have caffeine in various degrees?
Could it be possible that caffeine gives us a sudden rush and we feel alert and think we have improved focus and concentration, but we need more of it to get the same results and then even more over time as the amount we started with, simply is not cutting it?
Could it be possible that we have been using foods and drinks with caffeine, to stimulate us and give us an altered state of being?
Could it be possible that we have a false waking and sleeping cycle, which is way off from our natural rhythm?
Could it be possible we have lost touch with the deep tiredness and fatigue we feel but we never stop for long enough, as our caffeine ensures we just keep going?
Caffeine is used by mouth or rectally in combination with painkillers like aspirin and a chemical called ergotamine for treating migraine headaches.
It is also used with painkillers for simple headaches and preventing and treating headaches after epidural anaesthesia.
Some people use caffeine for –
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Low Blood Pressure
Shortness of Breath in Newborns
Type 2 Diabetes
Very high doses are used, often in combination with ephedrine as an alternative to illegal stimulants. (3)
Ephedrine is used for temporary relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing due to bronchial asthma. (4)
Ephedrine interacts with caffeine.
Stimulant drugs speed up the nervous system.
Caffeine and ephedrine are both stimulant drugs.
Taking caffeine along with ephedrine might cause too much stimulation and sometimes serious side effects and heart problems.
Caffeine is one of the most commonly used stimulants among athletes.
Taking caffeine within limits, is allowed by the NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Healthcare providers sometimes give caffeine intravenously by IV for headache after epidural anaesthesia, breathing problems in new-borns and to increase urine flow. (3)
Could it be possible that our athletes are speeding up their nervous system to perform by using caffeine as it is allowed within limits?
Could it be possible that to keep up, our athletes need more caffeine to further stimulate them so they can continue their goal, which is simply to win?
Could it be possible that any amount of caffeine affects the real quality of what a human is capable of performing?
Could it be possible that our athletes are using caffeine to enhance their performance and going beyond their natural capacity?
Could it be possible that in the long-term living in this way has a harmfull effect on the body?
In foods, caffeine is used as an ingredient in soft drinks, energy drinks and other beverages. (3)
How Does Caffeine Work
Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS), heart, muscles and the centres that control blood pressure.
Caffeine can raise blood pressure but might not have this effect in people who use it all the time.
Caffeine can also act like a ‘water pill’ that increases urine flow. However, it may not affect those who use caffeine regularly. (3)
Function of Caffeine
Caffeine is absorbed and passes quickly into the brain. It does not collect in the blood stream or get stored in the body.
It leaves the body in the urine many hours after it has been consumed.
There is no nutritional need for caffeine. It can be avoided in the diet.
Caffeine stimulates or excites the brain and nervous system.
It will not reduce the effects of alcohol. (5)
Effective for –
Headache Following Surgery
Using caffeine by mouth or intravenously by IV is effective for preventing headaches following surgery. Caffeine is an FDA-approved product for this use in people who regularly consume products that contain caffeine.
Taking caffeine by mouth together with painkillers such as aspirin and acetaminophen is effective for treating migraines. Caffeine is an FDA-approved product for use with painkillers for treating migraine headaches.
Taking caffeine by mouth in combination with painkillers is effective for treating tension headaches. (3)
Likely Effective for –
Research suggests that drinking caffeinated beverages throughout the day keeps the mind alert.
Combining caffeine with glucose as an “energy drink” seems to improve mental performance better than either caffeine or glucose alone.
Possibly Effective for –
Caffeine appears to improve airway function for up to 4 hours in people with asthma.
Taking caffeine seems to increase physical strength and endurance and might delay exhaustion. It might also reduce feelings of exertion and improve performance during activities such as cycling, running, playing soccer and golfing.
However, caffeine does not seem to improve performance during short-term, high-intensity exercise such as sprinting and lifting.
Breathing Problems in Infants
Caffeine given by mouth or intravenously appears to improve breathing in infants born too early. It seems to reduce the number of episodes of shortness of breath by at least 50% over 7-10 days treatment.
However, caffeine does not seem to reduce the risk of premature infants developing breathing problems.
Drinking beverages that contain caffeine is linked with a lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. It appears that the more caffeine that is consumed, the lower the risk.
Caffeine might not be effective in treating Type 2 Diabetes.
Research on the effects of caffeine in people with Type 1 Diabetes is inconsistent.
Drinking beverages that provide at least 400 mg of caffeine daily seems to reduce the risk of developing gallstone disease. The effect seems to be dose-dependent. Taking 800 mg of caffeine daily seems to work best.
Taking caffeine by mouth or intravenously seems to help prevent headache after epidural anaesthesia.
Low Blood Pressure
Drinking caffeinated beverages seems to increase blood pressure in older people with low blood pressure after eating.
Taking 200 mg of caffeine by mouth daily seems to improve memory in some people with outgoing personalities and college students.
Research suggests that taking caffeine together with painkillers can reduce pain.
Some research suggests that people who drink caffeinated beverages have a decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease. However, this reduced risk is not observed in people who smoke cigarettes.
Taking caffeine in combination with ephedrine seems to help reduce weight short term.
Taking 192 mg of caffeine in combination with 90 mg of ephedra daily for 6 months seems to cause a modest weight reduction (5.3 kg or 11.66 pounds) in overweight people.
This combination, along with limiting fat intake to 30% of calories and moderate exercise, also seems to reduce body fat and decrease “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increase “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
However, there can be unwanted side effects.
Even in carefully screened and monitored otherwise healthy adults, caffeine/ephedra combinations can cause changes in blood pressure and heart rate. (3)
So the above section gives us what caffeine is ‘likely effective’ for.
Are we absolutely certain that caffeine is helping our headaches and sorting out our gall bladder – really?
Would it be wise at this point to suspend all beliefs and anything else we have subscribed to when it comes to caffeine and continue reading this article in full, so that we are better informed and well equipped to make a decision about what feels true and what does not?
Do not take caffeine containing products and ephedrine at the same time. (3)
Ephedrine is a stimulant derived from the Ephedra sinica plant.
Once popular as a weight loss aid and energy supplement, sales are now restricted due to the risk of serious health problems and its role in methamphetamine manufacture.
When combined with caffeine, ephedrine causes appetite suppression and increased metabolism.
Ephedrine is a similar structure and effects to amphetamines.
The combined effects of ephedrine and caffeine are likely to be more dangerous than ephedrine alone due to increased cardiovascular strain and central nervous system stimulation caused by both substances. (6)
Ephedrine can also increase dopamine levels in the brain.
The legal status of ephedrine varies by country and is a banned substance by certain sports agencies. (7)
Ephedrine acts similarly to epinephrine – also known as adrenaline.
It is used by “clubbers” in place of Ecstasy.
Serious thermogenic effects, such as heat stroke, are caused by ephedrine’s ability to increase body temperature; this effect is intensified by caffeine.
Not all products are marked correctly for content, which causes a significant public health risk.
The Texas Department of Public Health analysed a product that indicated it only contained Chinese ginseng and found it contained 45 mg of ephedrine and 20 mg of caffeine. (8)
If we are being honest, how many people who want to lose weight fast, are willing to take anything to get the desired result?
If we are warned of the dangers and all the side effects, WHY is it that we still demand to have the weight loss cocktail of drugs that generally include caffeine?
Has anyone been to the local drug store where they sell a plethora of weight loss products and checked the ingredients?
What if we done our homework by researching exactly what these ingredients do before taking any weight loss product?
What if our goal for the perfect body is creating the demand – suppliers then create products with zero regard to the harm it may cause our body?
How can we blame the suppliers if we are the ones asking for it in the first place?
Next – have we heard of the ECA stack?
Ephedrine Caffeine Aspirin
This strong stimulant drug cocktail is a DIY recipe to target specific fat cells to be burned for energy, raise metabolic rate and suppress appetite.
Take the doses up to three times a day and increase as tolerance increases.
It is advised that each week a day or two is taken off to allow receptors to recover and avoid adrenal fatigue.
We all know how huge the Weight Loss industry is and here we have a recipe where our adrenals need a break every week.
Has anyone closely studied the job of the adrenals?
Have we thought about the long-term damage to our body for our short-term results?
Are we aware that any adrenal fatigue is a serious sign something is off sync?
Are we aware that any drug is going to harm our body as they all have side effects?
Are we aware exactly what these three drugs do when combined in a home mix method?
Insufficient Evidence for –
Some research suggests that caffeine intake is linked with an increase occurrence of depression symptoms in children.
However, other research suggests that caffeinated coffee intake is linked to a decreased occurrence of depression in adults.
Some early evidence suggests that drinking a cup of coffee before bed or upon waking up might help alleviate pain associated with headaches that occur during sleep.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – OCD
Early research shows that adding caffeine to conventional therapy seems to decrease the severity of OCD symptoms.
More evidence is needed to rate caffeine for these uses. (3)
Side Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine is possibly UNSAFE when taken by mouth for a long time or in fairly high doses.
Caffeine can cause –
Increased Heart Rate
Other Side Effects
Large doses can cause –
Ringing in Ears
Caffeine can make sleep disorders in patients with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) worse.
Caffeine is likely UNSAFE when taken by mouth in very high doses as it can cause irregular heartbeats and even death. (3)
Consuming larger amounts during pregnancy or when breast feeding is possibly unsafe.
When consumed in larger amounts during pregnancy, caffeine might increase the chance of miscarriage and other problems.
Also caffeine can pass into breast milk, so nursing mothers should closely monitor caffeine intake to make sure it is on the low side.
High intake of caffeine by nursing mothers can cause sleep disturbances, irritability and increased bowel activity in breast-fed infants. (3)
HELLO – what is a ‘high dose’ and what is a ‘larger amount’ when it comes to caffeine?
What if we are simply not aware of the amount of caffeine we choose to take in one day?
What if our body is taking caffeine daily not just from the energy drink or coffee but other foods that have caffeine?
What if we feel super tired and exhausted after giving birth and we need more foods and drinks with caffeine to keep us going?
What if the exhaustion that our nursing mothers feel, does not allow them to make the link that high caffeine intake is causing the infant to have symptoms, like bowel irritability and sleep disturbances?
Caffeine might make these conditions worse. Use with care.
Too much caffeine might make this condition worse.
In one case – 36 year old man with controlled bipolar disorder was hospitalized with symptoms of mania after drinking several cans of energy drink containing caffeine, taurine, inositol and other ingredients over a period of 4 days.
Use caffeine with care if you have bipolar disorder.
There is concern that caffeine might aggravate bleeding disorders.
Use caffeine with care if you have a bleeding disorder.
Some research suggests that caffeine may affect the way the body uses sugar and might worsen Diabetes. However, the effects of caffeinated beverages and supplements has not been studied.
If you have Diabetes, uses caffeine with caution.
Caffeine especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhoea.
People with epilepsy should avoid using caffeine in high doses.
Low doses should be used cautiously.
Caffeine increases the pressure inside the eye.
The increase occurs within 30 minutes and lasts for at least 90 minutes after drinking caffeinated beverages.
Caffeine can cause irregular heartbeat in sensitive people.
Use caffeine with caution.
High Blood Pressure
Consuming caffeine might increase blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, this effect might be less in people who use caffeine regularly.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS
Caffeine, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhoea and might worsen symptoms of IBS.
Caffeine can increase the amount of calcium that is flushed out in the urine.
If you have weak bones (osteoporosis) or low bone density, caffeine should be limited to less than 300 mg per day (approx. 2 – 3 cups of coffee).
It is also a good idea to get extra calcium to make up for the amount that may be lost in the urine. (3)
If caffeine increases the pressure inside our eye, how can this be something natural?
WHY are we not questioning this and why are patients not being warned that caffeine is a danger to human health?
Would it be wise to read our forensic blog/article on High Blood Pressure and then choose what feels true for our body, when it comes to consuming caffeine?
Would it be worth stopping and considering WHY the effects of high blood pressure might be less in people who use caffeine regularly?
Would it be true to say that giving up on something we have used daily or limiting our coffee intake is not that easy even when faced with something as serious as Osteoporosis?
Is it possible to use a drug ‘with care’ when we do not really know and live what ‘care’ truly is?
Could it be possible that if we do not have a marker inside us that knows what true care is, chances are we will not be using any drug with ‘care’?
In other words, if we are living in disregard and self-neglect with our body, then self-care is not on our radar and guidelines telling us to use a stimulant like caffeine with care are just words to us.
Could it be possible that when we are asked to use caffeine with caution, our mind simply overrides this as our NEED to eliminate the symptoms takes over?
Could it be possible that basic education is missing when it comes to advising patients with illness and disease about the effects of caffeine?
Could it be possible that whilst caffeine continues to be a licit drug, we are not going to be informed about the harm it causes to our human body?
Could it be possible that those who set guidelines, make policies and authorise labels like ‘use caffeine with care/caution’ are using caffeine daily, albeit at lower doses?
Could it be possible that if we are consuming caffeine, then we have a blind spot and making decisions for others is not clear and true because we are still part of the caffeine club, so to speak?
In other words, we are never going to say an Absolute No to caffeine because we still need it to keep us going in our daily life and that means we are not free of this drug inside us.
Could it be possible that making adjustments and changing our way of living is going to come from asking questions, reading articles like this, that present another way and inform us of the detail we need to know, so we can learn and understand more about harmful substances like caffeine?
One teaspoon of caffeine equivalent to 28 cups of coffee (2)
The following doses have been studied in scientific research –
250 mg per day for headache and improving mental alertness.
150 – 600 mg for tiredness.
2 – 10 mg/kg or more has been used for improving athletic performance.
Doses in excess of 800 mg per day can result in urine levels greater than the 15 mcg/mL allowed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
20 mg/200 mg three times per day, combination of caffeine/ephedrine for Weight Loss.
300 mg for headache after Epidural Anaesthesia.
400 mg or more for preventing Gallstone Disease.
One cup – 8 ounce serving
Coffee 95 – 200 mg caffeine
Black Tea 40 – 120 mg caffeine
Green Tea 15 – 60 mg caffeine
12 oz. serving
Soft Drinks 20 – 80 mg caffeine
48 – 300 mg caffeine per serving Energy Drinks or Sports Drinks provide (3)
400 mg caffeine each day safe for most healthy adults (9)
50 – 200 mg normal dose of caffeine
Higher doses have much more potent effects.
Higher dose of 500 mg or 600 mg caffeine – affect like a low dose of an amphetamine. (10)
High doses of caffeine can lead to cardiac arrest (2)
Can we really just ignore this and read on or does this require a serious stop moment?
What we have read thus far tells us loud and clear that caffeine is a legal drug – a substance that gives us a false state of being.
So how can we just accept that these recommended doses are truly helping us or do we opt for a convenient truth that just suits us and our lifestyle?
Note – different research varies and most of us have no idea who funds these research studies.
This means, we do not have a true and accurate figure about the real content of caffeine but for the purpose of this article we get a snapshot presentation of what is going on out there.
Caffeine is a natural substance that can be extracted from plants.
Natural sources of caffeine include:
Caffeine can be produced synthetically
Caffeine is a type of drug that promotes alertness.
These drugs are called Stimulants.
Caffeine acts as an “adenosine receptor antagonist”.
Adenosine is a substance in our body that promotes sleepiness. (10)
Caffeine affects the body very fast
Consumed as a food or medicine, the blood and body tissues absorb caffeine within 45 minutes.
It reaches peak level in the blood within 1 hour and remains there for 4 to 6 hours.
Caffeine changes the way our brain and body work. (2)
Sleep and Caffeine
Caffeine has a similar structure to adenosine, a chemical that is present in all human cells.
In the brain, adenosine acts as a central nervous system depressant.
Adenosine promotes sleep and suppresses arousal by slowing down nerve activity.
Adenosine binding also causes blood vessels in the brain to dilate, increase oxygen intake during sleep. When awake the levels of adenosine in the brain rise each hour, making the brain and the body more alert.
To a nerve cell, caffeine looks like adenosine and caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors.
Caffeine does not decrease the cell’s activity as it utilizes all the receptors adenosine binds to and the cells can no longer sense adenosine.
As a result, instead of slowing down because of the adenosine level, cellular activity speeds up.
Caffeine blocks adenosine’s ability to open up the brain’s blood vessels, causing them to constrict.
This is why caffeine is used in pain relief medicine for headaches.
If the headache is vascular, relief comes as the caffeine narrows the blood vessels.
The blocking of adenosine causes excitatory neurotransmitters to increase in the brain.
The pituitary gland notices this increased activity and releases hormones that tell the adrenal glands to produce epinephrine. (2)
THIS IS SERIOUS
PLEASE RE-READ THE ABOVE SECTION AGAIN
Let us join the dots here and make it super simple so we all understand and get it.
Adenosine is a chemical, which is present in all living tissue, so that means every cell in our body has this.
In the brain, the job for this chemical is to slow things down, in other words reduce function and nerve activity.
Adenosine promotes sleep and suppresses arousal.
Caffeine looks like adenosine to a nerve cell but it does not decrease the activity.
Instead, it makes use of all the receptors that adenosine binds to and the cells are fooled because they can no longer sense what is real and what is not.
In other words, our cells can no longer sense adenosine.
As a result, activity starts to speed up in our cells instead of slowing down.
Caffeine takes over and blocks the job of adenosine, where it opens up the blood vessels in the brain. Instead it causes these blood vessels to constrict.
In other words, caffeine works totally opposite to our natural state of being.
This blocking of adenosine causes brain activity and these changes lead to a wrong message being sent to our adrenal glands to produce epinephrine – a hormone commonly known as adrenaline.
This means caffeine is artificially changing our biochemistry inside and altering us to have a false state of being.
This means our adrenal glands are over working every single day to produce a stress hormone because caffeine makes it do that.
This means the body is no longer in true balance, so it is going to affect all our organs and sooner or later give us the signs through illness and dis-ease that something is not right.
This means using caffeine ensures a constant availability of hormones (adrenaline), normally reserved and released when we are under stress.
This means our daily caffeine consumption gives rise to a false energy to keep us going, whilst underneath draining us.
This means that over time we are exhausted as we are living out of sync, but this goes un-noticed as we use the caffeine to keep ignoring our real state.
What if we need to address our exhaustion and make it a Priority, so that we can get to the root cause of WHY we need caffeine in the first place?
Caffeine can interfere with the sleep cycle
Sleep loss is cumulative and even small nightly decreases can add up and disturb daytime alertness and performance. (2)
Caffeine can reduce the amount and quality of deep sleep.
Most obvious affect – stimulant can make it difficult to fall asleep.
Effects of caffeine can occur even if it is consumed early afternoon or evening. (10)
Study – Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours Before Bed
The study compared the potential sleep disruptive effects of a fixed dose of caffeine – 400 mg administered at 0, 3, and 6 hours prior to habitual bedtime, relative to a placebo on self-reported sleep in the home.
Sleep disturbance was also monitored objectively using a validated portable sleep monitor.
Demonstrated a moderate dose of caffeine at bedtime, 3 or 6 hours prior to bedtime each have significant effects on sleep disturbance relative to placebo.
The results of this study suggest that 400 mg of caffeine taken 0, 3 or 6 hours prior to bedtime significantly disrupts sleep.
Even at 6 hours, caffeine reduced sleep by more than 1 hour.
This degree of sleep loss, if experienced over multiple nights, may have detrimental effects on daytime function.
The present results suggest the common practice of afternoon consumption of caffeine should at a minimum be restricted to before 17:00, particularly with regard to moderate-large doses of caffeine, commonly found in popular premium coffees and energy drinks. (11)
Sleep is an all-natural performance enhancer that gives an energy boost.
It improves your health and mood.
Best of all – it is Free and no prescription required.
You cannot find it online but you can get it at home.
Sleep Education Website – http://sleepeducation.org/news/2015/04/16/pure-caffeine-powder-can-be-deadly
Please read our red section above and add the following –
Could it be possible that caffeine is going to affect our sleep cycle and sleep rhythm because of what it does to our cells?
Could it be that Simple?
Other Caffeine Activity –
Increases Dopamine Production
A very large amount of caffeine can also activate the brains’ rewards centres.
Increased activity of this area is also associated with stimulant drugs such as amphetamine or heroin.
The reward centre of the brain soon after caffeine consumption starts pumping out more dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that causes a feeling of reward and happiness.
It is this chemical substance that is often said to cause addiction.
As with any drug, a person builds tolerance to any drug and will start to require increasingly larger doses of caffeine.
Activation of Frontal Lobes
2005 study from Medical University in Innsbruck, Austria showed caffeine consumption activates the frontal lobes of the brains.
These areas are responsible for short-term memory and attention. Thus, caffeine can increase these functions in a person.
Slowed Hippocampus Function
The long-term consumption of low doses of caffeine slowed the functions of hippocampus.
This area in the brain is responsible for long-term memory and learning.
The study concluded that although caffeine might improve person’s alertness for a short period of time, it actually slows down the learning and memory via decreasing the function of hippocampus.
Dr Han Me et al.,
Pusan National University of Korea (12)
If we keep this simple, there is a chance we can understand the detail being presented here –
Caffeine activates the brain’s reward centre and this is the same for Heroin and Amphetamines.
The full forensic presentation about this drug called Amphetamines is on this website.
So the first thing is we cannot ever negate, ignore or deny the fact that caffeine is a drug.
Next – when we take caffeine this part of the brain releases more dopamine – a chemical that creates a feeling of reward and happiness.
Dopamine is also known to cause addiction.
Caffeine, like any drug requires us to have more because our body gets used to the usual dose and needs more to get the same reward and happiness feeling.
This is because our body builds a tolerance with any drug, so higher doses are needed to get the same effect.
Does this mean that this is why we all want more caffeine in our coffee and energy drinks and why caffeine is now increasingly found in food, medicine and weight loss products?
In other words, we want reward and happiness and are willing to have a false version by way of taking a legal drug called caffeine.
This means we miss out on the Real Truth, which is JOY and this is available to us all equally, without the need for any drug.
Joy is a constant state of being and does not require us to feed it anything or do anything to get it. It just is.
Next – Caffeine activates the frontal lobes in the brain, so we get that false attention that we call Focus and we get the short-term memory like we are on it, but are we really just fooling our self?
Next – Most of us know caffeine is addictive and that means we keep wanting more. Over time, this long-term habit at low doses will slow down functions in our brain responsible for learning and long-term memory.
So we can have the short-term fix but it comes with consequences.
How many of us have considered this and the real consequences of living in this way every day?
Could it be possible that we have found our way to reward and give ourselves momentary happiness with our daily caffeine intake and our kids have found the same through a modern day beverage called Energy Drinks?
The food manufacturers have found more business by adding caffeine to what they can get away with because we are asking and wanting more of the reward.
But in truth is anyone really winning the game here?
Are we all up the creek without a paddle?
Have we ever considered that some of our symptoms that lead to an illness or dis-ease in our body might be coming from how we are living and that includes what we choose to eat and drink and how we behave in life in all areas?
In other words if our life is not the same same in every area then chances are the holes are going to show up and we call that a problem, an issue, an accident, an incident or illness and disease.
Is this making any sense?
Are we ready to ask – IS THERE ANOTHER WAY simply because things are getting worse?
Are there people who have got out of the caffeine game and started to make real change like the author of this blog?
Is this in itself worth a study, so others know it is possible to make lifestyle changes and new daily choices that can lead to a life where JOY is a daily vibration that requires no effort, drug or emotion?
What if a website like this is possible simply because the author has made choices to no longer find reward and happiness with an licit drug, which gives us an artificial life?
World Caffeine Consumption
54% – Coffee
43% – Tea (10)
85% use caffeine products daily. (10)
44% consumers drink two to three cups of coffee per day on average. (13)
300 mg average daily caffeine consumption by adults.
This is three times higher than the world average.
Caffeine is considered a moderately effective alerting agent.
It affects our reaction times, mood and mental performance.
When caffeine is consumed daily, it is less effective as a stimulant.
The body then builds up a tolerance to it. (10)
Common Side Effects at High Doses of Caffeine
- Increased Breathing Rate
- Increased Heart Rate
- Muscle Tremors
Withdrawal Symptoms which can occur if regular use of caffeine is stopped.
These include –
- Bad Moods
- Low Energy Levels
The FDA – U.S. Food and Drug Administration is collecting reports of adverse events that have occurred in people who took products marketed as “energy drinks” or “energy shots”.
FDA cautions consumers that products marketed as “energy shots” and “energy drinks” are not alternatives to sleep. (10)
Caffeine powder is highly potent
It is impossible to accurately measure caffeine powder at home. Therefore, the risk of an accidental, lethal overdose is high.
A small overdose of caffeine powder can be deadly.
No stimulant is a substitute for healthy sleep.
President Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler – American Academy of Sleep Medicine (14)
Symptoms of caffeine overdose include rapid heartbeat and seizures
A small overdose of pure caffeine powder can result in death. (14)
Caffeine is used for improving concentration, alertness and energy.
However, these effects are brief if high doses of caffeine are consumed daily. (6)
What does high doses of caffeine mean to us?
What does drinking caffeine safely really mean?
What if we are not able to work out safe doses because our mind is in an altered state and we have caffeine in our food too, so it is not that clear cut?
What if we cannot discern what are safe limits for us because in truth there are no safe limits when we use any drug?
What if the underlying exhaustion that has been there for a long time, simply does not allow us to discern our daily doses of caffeine consumption?
Guidelines to follow –
Limit your caffeine consumption to about 300 to 400 mg per day.
This equals to three to four cups 8 oz. coffee. (10)
Who takes note of a coffee limit when our lifestyle is all about living in the Fast Lane?
Who is interested in a real stop and pause moment to just Plug in and Connect?
Who bothers to take notice of sensible guidelines about anything, when we have lost all common sense about what our body needs and what it does not?
Who cares about these caffeine guidelines, when the drive to get our next hit is far more important so that we can just keep going, as that is what everyone else is doing around us?
Vary widely from one product to another.
Caffeine content of coffee can be very unpredictable.
Scientists at University of Florida bought 16 oz. cup same type coffee for 6 days.
Each cup was analysed and found wide range of caffeine levels in the 6 cups.
Lowest level was 259 mg of caffeine and highest was 564 mg. (10)
The caffeine content in coffee depends on many factors, which include the type of bean used and how the coffee is prepared.
Same for tea – size of tea bag, number tea leaves and brewing time can affect caffeine level.
Caffeine is added to many soft drinks
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies caffeine as a substance that is “generally recoznised as safe” – GRAS.
This means that caffeine is not regulated by the FDA as a food additive.
It must appear as an added ingredient on a drink’s label but the label does not need to show the actual amount of caffeine in the drink.
Caffeine alertness tablets have up to 200 mg of caffeine in 1 tablet (10)
Who needs coffee when we can just pop a pill to get our next shot?
Caffeine – a crystalline compound of alkaloid type which is found in tea and coffee plants and is a stimulant of the central nervous system.
Concise Oxford English Dictionary (15)
Odourless white powder or white glistening needles, usually melted together.
Bitter taste. Solutions in water are neutral to litmus.
NTP, 1992 from CAMEO Chemicals (16)
White, prismatic crystals
International Labour Office.
Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety. Vols. I & II
Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Office, 1983., p 118 from HSDB (16)
Molecular Formula: C8H10N4O2
International Chemical Identifier: RYYVLZVUVIJVGH-UHFFFAOYSA-N
Molecular Weight: 194.194 g/mol
pH = 6.9 (1% solution)
O’Neil, M.J. (ed) The Merck Index – An Encyclopaedia of Chemicals, Drugs and Biologicals.
Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013., p.289
From HSDB (16)
Caffeine is a methylxanthine naturally occurring in some beverages and also used as a pharmacological agent.
Caffeine’s most notable pharmacological effect is as a central nervous system stimulant, increasing alertness and producing agitation.
Caffeine relaxes smooth muscle.
Stimulates Cardiac Muscle.
Appears useful in treatment of some types of headache.
Cellular actions of caffeine have been observed but it is not entirely clear how each contributes to its pharmacological profile.
Among the most important are inhibition of cyclic nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, antagonism of ADENOSINE receptors and modulation of intracellular calcium handling.
The chemical classification of caffeine is Xanthines.
Caffeine is a methylxanthine alkaloid found in the seeds, nuts or leaves of a number of plants native to South America and East Asia that is structurally related to adenosine and acts primarily as an adenosine receptor antagonist with psychotrophic and anti-inflammatory activities.
Upon ingestion, caffeine binds to adenosine receptors in the central nervous system (CNS), which inhibits adenosine binding.
This inhibits the adenosine-mediated down regulation of CNS activity; thus, stimulating the activity of the medullary, vagal, vasomotor and respiratory centers in the brain.
This agent also promotes neurotransmitter release that further stimulates the CNS.
The anti-inflammatory effects of caffeine are due to the nonselective competitive inhibition of phospohodiesterases (PDEs).
Inhibition of PDEs raises the intracellular concentration of cyclic AMP (cAMP), activates protein kinase A, and inhibits leukotriene synthesis, which leads to reduced inflammation and innate immunity. (16)
Does anyone understand all this stuff?
This is a tiny bit of what is out there about caffeine and it tells us that this drug can be useful.
Is this the Truth when we use words like ‘useful’?
Is this a form of reductionism when we endorse something that in part may work but it negates the whole – the bigger picture?
Is it true to say that if we are going to tell the world that caffeine is good for us in any quantity or any form, then first we need to give all the facts – the good, the bad and the ugly so we get the whole truth?
Could it be possible that caffeine may appear to work and do one job, like get rid of a headache but if we look at the WHOLE and not just one part, we would realise it does harm because it is a drug that disturbs our internal natural state?
Caffeine is used to treat Orthostatic Hypotension. (16)
Also called Postural Hypotension – Orthostatic Hypotension is a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down. (17)
Apnea of Prematurity
Caffeine citrate is used IV or orally in the short-term (10-12 days) treatment of apnea of prematurity in neonates who are between 28 and less than 3 weeks of gestational age.
Caffeine is designated an orphan drug by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in apnea in premature neonates.
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2013;
Drug Information 2013. Bethesda, MD. 2013, p.2567 from HSDB (16)
Liver and Colon
It has been suggested that caffeine enemas may help prepare the colon for endoscopy or colonoscopy by supporting excretion of bile through the colon wall.
Proponents claim that a caffeine enema increases the levels of glutathione, an antioxidant and so it supports the natural processes of detoxification in the liver.
However, there is little evidence to support this theory. (2)
What this is saying is that regardless of whether there is evidence to confirm caffeine enema works or not, there are people out there doing it.
What if there is a real natural way to detox our liver and we could start with the obvious like knocking out all substances and choices that harm our body?
That means out goes the late nights, boozy lifestyle, copious amounts of sugar and everything else that is harming us and that includes caffeine.
What if we then added our emotions like anger, other harmful behaviour and our buried hurts to further support our liver to pulse in harmony so it doesn’t need to wait for a detox?
Caffeine can have a negative impact on pregnancy, fertility, glucose control and other aspects of health. (2)
People with Type 2 Diabetes report blood glucose levels rise after consuming caffeine.
There is evidence that caffeine may impair insulin action, leading to a small but detectable rise in blood sugar levels, particularly after meals. (2)
High caffeine intake may worsen symptom of anxiety and depression. (2)
234 middle school students in Korea.
Higher caffeine intake was linked to higher weight.
Higher risk of severe depression.
Lower academic achievement.
Whether caffeine leads to depression or depression causes people to consume more caffeine remains unclear. (2)
What if we just stop right now and read the blog on this website about Depression?
What if our understanding of why things happen can support us to make different choices?
What if these students are taking caffeine because SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT in their life?
What if we can no longer use our old way for research studies but look for a whole meaning to WHY things happen in the first place so we can get to the root cause?
What if our future research could be based on real life science?
In other words anecdotal evidence, which are the people – as they are the living sciences, who do not require being inside a laboratory or controlled conditions to give us an outcome.
Infants whose mothers drink large amounts of caffeinated beverages may be jittery and have trouble sleeping. (2)
Caffeine may reduce muscle activity in the fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from the ovaries to the womb.
This could mean that caffeine reduces a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant by about 27%.
300 mg a day of caffeine equal to 3 cups coffee, can lead to –
Abnormal foetal heart rhythm
Delayed foetal growth
Loss of pregnancy
National Institutes of Health (NIH) research shows if both parents consume more than two caffeinated drinks a day in the weeks before conception, a loss of pregnancy may be more likely. (2)
Could it be possible that life before pregnancy was crazy days, with little regard for the precious body and so the anxiousness and nervous tension continues but this time with the added tension as there is now a baby to consider?
Could it be possible that if there was little or no preparation for pregnancy, chances are the body is not going to be able to just stop and rest deeply during this time?
Could it be possible that the pressure of time running out before the actual birth means more motion for the body when what the body really needs is more stillness?
An additional intake of caffeine can trigger a gout attack in people with the condition.
Drinking 6 or more caffeinated beverages in 24 hours has been associated with four-fold increase in the risk of recurrent gout attacks. (2)
Dietary and medicinal caffeine consumption –
Risk factor for triggering chronic daily headache, regardless of headache type.
1,356 study of women –
329 mg caffeine a day equivalent 3 cups of coffee.
70% higher chance of bladder problems. (2)
WHY? – THIS IS HUGE
70% higher chance of bladder problems on 3 cups coffee a day is speaking volumes.
Are we paying attention or are we waiting for more research, while we carry on with our daily caffeine intake?
Study published in the Journal Menopause found women who consumed caffeine during menopause were more likely to have hot flushes and night sweats. (2)
In its natural form, caffeine tastes very bitter.
Most caffeinated drinks have gone through enough processing to camouflage the bitter taste.
Teenagers get caffeine from soft drinks and energy drinks.
In addition to caffeine, these drinks also have added sugar and artificial flavours.
Caffeine is not stored in the body but its effects can be felt for up to 6 hours.
Caffeine may cause the body to lose calcium and can lead to bone loss over time.
Consuming 100 mg of caffeine a day can lead a person to become “dependent.”
This means that someone may develop withdrawal symptoms like tiredness, headaches and irritability if they quit caffeine suddenly. (18)
For the record – the above is from a kids’ health link
So what is the spelling out to us?
Are our kids tired and irritable and not getting adequate quality sleep?
Are our kids relying on caffeine at a younger age to mask their exhaustion?
Are we setting examples and being real true role models for our children?
Are our own caffeine habits blinding us to what is going on for youngsters?
Are we seeing it as normal if our kids have caffeine, simply because we do?
Caffeine is used for the short-term relief of fatigue or drowsiness. (5)
Caffeine is widely consumed and is naturally found in the leaves, seeds and fruits of more than 60 plants including –
It is also found in processed foods –
The darker the chocolate, the more caffeine it generally contains. (19)
Caffeine is often added to over the counter medicines such as pain relievers, diet pills and cold medicines.
It can be removed from a food by a chemical process called decaffeination. (5)
Evidence suggests moderate coffee consumption can bring benefits and risks. (2)
What is moderate?
Do we follow the dictionary and all unite on this one word?
Do we as a world unite on any word in its true meaning?
Do we all have the same definition in our heads about this word?
Does our first cup of coffee change our marker of moderate?
Does our energy drink change what moderate means to us?
Does our caffeine filled snacks bar give us a new view of moderate?
Does our excessive daily caffeine consumption make us forget the word?
A high consumption of caffeine may not be healthful.
The recent trend of adding caffeine to drinks and snacks that do not naturally contain it has raised new concerns. (2)
Could it be possible that we are demanding drinks and snacks to keep going and so the suppliers are staying ahead of the game and giving us exactly what we want – more caffeine?
They also get what they want – more business and so the cycle continues.
Before we blame the suppliers, we need to stop and consider WHO is making the demand that keeps them in business. This goes for any product or services.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consider caffeine to be both a drug and a food additive.
In prescription and over the counter medicines, caffeine is used to treat tiredness and drowsiness and to improve the effect of some pain relievers.
Caffeine belongs to a group of medicines called Central Nervous System (CNS) Stimulants.
Foods containing caffeine can help restore mental alertness.
Caffeine’s use as an alertness aid should only be occasional.
It is not intended to replace sleep and should not regularly be used for this purpose. (2)
Is this making any sense?
Caffeine can help restore mental alertness but should only be occasional.
How many of us are up for this occasional stuff in our busy busy lives?
How many of us could never even contemplate caffeine as occasional?
How many of us are so exhausted and we need to stay sharp for work, so we reach for the caffeine and it has become our way of living?
How many of us have caffeine first thing in the morning and without it we know we could not function?
How many of us use caffeine to stay awake and push through whatever we need to do?
How many of us use caffeine to drive us to get things done at the expense of our body?
How many of us use caffeine as a daily alertness aid and life without it would be impossible?
How many of us use caffeine as an artificial way of keeping us awake and alert every day?
Caffeine is also found naturally in:
Yerba mate leaf (2)
Caffeine in plants acts as a natural pesticide.
It paralyzes and kills insects that attempt to feed on them.
Decaffeinated coffee is not caffeine-free. (2)
A cup of decaffeinated coffee can have up to 14 milligrams of caffeine. (20)
Caffeine is regularly added to
Some of these products have concerns, especially regarding the potential impact on children and adolescents.
The FDA has questioned the safety of this practice. (2)
WHY would our suppliers ADD CAFFEINE to any product?
WHY are most of us not aware that our waffles and syrup have caffeine?
WHY has so called healthy foods like sunflower seeds got caffeine added?
WHY on earth would water have caffeine regularly added to it?
Is questioning the safety of this practice enough?
Do we need to go for a reality check and ask –
WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON?
SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT
Can we imagine life on earth without caffeine?
Would life be worth living without caffeine in jelly beans?
Is it the caffeine that makes us want to chew gum for hours on end?
Is it the caffeine added to marshmallows that makes us want more?
Caffeine is also found in the following –
This healthy option of on-the-go snacking can have a good dose of caffeine depending on the brand and flavour. Most of us may not be aware or realise this. We see the word ‘energy’ and take that as a good sign that it will give us a ‘jolt’.
Some protein bars containing 50 mg of caffeine per bar. (21)
Ice Cream and Frozen Yoghurt
Coffee and chocolate flavours have caffeine.
Many popular brands with these flavours contain 30 – 45 mg of caffeine.
11 mg of caffeine can be found in our cereals.
10 mg of caffeine can be found in puddings, especially chocolate flavour.
9 mg of caffeine in our normal hot cocoa mix.
Used for menstrual cramps and other pain, many popular brands incorporate caffeine. (19)
Glossy magazines giving us coffee shot cupcakes and the ingredients include coffee syrup, 3 tablespoons of coffee and plenty of sugar.
So here we have another way to consume caffeine that many of us may not realise is a high dose in the form of a cupcake.
Are we really clever with all these things we keep creating?
Is it getting us away from the truth that things are just not right?
Do we really love all these new ways to consume caffeine?
Is it telling us we need more of the same thing in different forms?
Other Adverse Effects of Caffeine
Consuming the recommended daily amount of 400 mg caffeine a day can lead to –
Jitters and Shakes
Is this list telling us something about caffeine consumption?
With our daily dose of coffee, protein bars and everything else that has caffeine, are we suffering with any of the above?
Have we ever linked that our irritability or headache might have something to do with our daily caffeine intake?
Have we ever put our jitters and nervousness down to that coffee we rely on?
Have we ever thought that chocolate contains caffeine, so that could have an adverse effect on our stomach and upset it?
Caffeine increases the release of acid in the stomach. (2)
Medicines may interact with caffeine and these include some –
Carbamazepine – as caffeine could increase the risk of seizures
Herbs and Supplements can interact with caffeine to varying degrees –
Red Clover (2)
Caffeine is not considered an addictive substance. (2)
Caffeine is chemically addictive – a fact scientists established in 1994. (22)
How many of us have noticed how many contradictions are out there about caffeine?
People who drink too much alcohol often have coffee or an energy drink to sober up.
Caffeine does not sober a person up or make them fit to drive.
It may make them more alert, but it does not reverse the poor judgement and other effects associated with Alcohol.
In fact, it could be more dangerous because without the drowsiness, a person is more likely to believe they are sober, which could lead to hazardous activities such as driving home or consuming more alcohol. (2)
7 March 2018
House of Commons – Science and Technology Committee to hold an inquiry into the consumption of energy drinks.
Study by the Translational Research in Public Health found young people consume more energy drinks than those in other European countries.
185% consumption increase between 2006 and 2015.
Report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found –
68% aged 10 – 18 were consumers of energy drinks
EFSA estimates an adult can consume up to 200 mg caffeine without adverse health impacts.
EFSA’s guideline for children – limit is exceeded by a single can of some energy drinks.
World Health Organization (WHO) –
Average can energy drink contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.
Almost daily maximum limit recommended for children.
EU regulations require drinks containing 150 mg/l of caffeine to have additional health warnings.
Some retailers have voluntarily imposed bans on energy drink sales to children. (23)
So here we have our kingpins, the world bigwigs on health –
World Health Organization telling us that
one energy drink on average has 10 teaspoons of sugar.
Most of us would never have 10 teaspoons of sugar in one cup of coffee or tea so what is this telling us?
Can we be honest and admit that most of those drinking energy drinks are having more than one drink a day?
Have we carried out enough research studies asking dentists what is the real state of the teeth in children, adolescents and young people who are energy drinkers?
Have we stopped to question what on earth is going on if caffeine energy drinks are coming with excess sugar?
How are the suppliers Getting Away with It?
Is it because the demand is coming from us the consumer and they simply supply?
Can we blame them when it is us who want it and they just give it?
Is it time to step up in personal responsibility and make the changes within our own life that can inspire others to do the same?
In other words, be the change we want to see in our world and be committed and consistent – true actions always speak louder than words.
Could this be the game changer now and for the long term?
Some supermarkets will ban sale of so called energy drinks to under 16s.
500 ml (17oz) energy drink can contain –
20 teaspoons sugar
160 mg caffeine
More caffeine than 2 espressos – strong black coffee.
Source – Daily Mail 30 January 2018
This is super serious and WHY are we allowing this to go on?
We could say it is great that some supermarkets are calling on a ban but in reality we all know those who want it will find another way.
So is this ban a solution to a much deeper problem that we as a world now face?
Have we created the fizzy energy drink because regular soda was not cutting it?
Could it be possible that the rise in energy drinks becoming so popular is because more and more of our younger generations are living way off from their natural state and caffeine and sugar combined gives them the false boost they want and need?
Have we stopped to consider – how is modern life today for our kids, teenagers, adolescents and youth?
What is different now that gives such a rise in – energy drinks, social media and every one with a mobile phone and a licence to do whatever they want without any limit?
WHY have we lost touch with real life values like common sense, respect and decency towards our self and others?
WHY have we made it normal to openly abuse others and hide under the cloak of anonymity?
Does any of the above have something to do with WHY energy drinks are on the rise?
Can we start to join the dots and keep asking questions until we get to the root cause of WHY we now have an energy drink epidemic?
There is controversy around energy drinks.
They have been banned from some student campuses because of reports of health problems and even fatalities.
Amount of caffeine in an energy drink depends on the brand and type.
One energy drink covers a health warning that it should not be consumed by children, those with heart problems or those who have an intolerance to caffeine.
The high concentrations of caffeine and sugar could have a negative impact on the body. (2)
Hello – can we really say ‘could have’ when we all know with certainty that high concentrations of any substance that alters our natural state, like caffeine and sugar is going to have a negative impact on the body.
WHY are we using words to dilute the Truth?
Is this why our world is currently so lost when it comes to Truth?
Energy drinks are beverages that contain caffeine and other plant-based stimulants, sugars and other additives.
Marketed as energy boosters that improve mental and physical performance.
They are distinct from sports drinks which contain electrolytes and marketed as beneficial during or after physical activity.
Energy drinks market is the fastest growing beverage market in the United States.
2017 sales $16,000,000,000. (24)
Difference between ‘Energy Drinks’ and ‘Energy Shots’
Energy shots are concentrated forms of energy drinks, sold in small amounts – 2 fl. oz.
They have the same amount of caffeine or other ingredients as energy drinks.
Energy shots called micro shots are available in even smaller concentrations – 1-5 teaspoons.
Energy drinks are sold in 12 and 16 fl. oz. containers. (24)
Have we all heard of energy shots?
Do we know about micro energy shots?
Who is drinking energy shots?
Let us go back to supply and demand.
There can only be a supply if we demand it, so that means we are asking for a strong fix of caffeine to rev us up and demanding that it does what we want.
Where is all this going and where is it going to end up?
Have we got on the front foot when it comes to the consequences of these energy shots?
Have we got enough research studies to see what energy drinks are doing to the body?
Are we going to use our common sense here, join the dots and start making better choices?
Are we going to start to question with honesty – why do we need caffeine in our life?
Are we going to get really honest and find out why we rely so much on caffeine products?
Ingredients in Energy Drinks and Shots
Caffeine is the most common ingredient in energy drinks and shots.
These products also contain taurine, guarana, kola nuts or yerba maté.
Taurine is an amino acid, which manufacturers add to energy drinks as a caffeine adjuvant (to aid the effects of caffeine).
Guarana, kola nuts and yerba maté contain caffeine as well as other stimulants.
Energy drinks also often contain large amounts of sugar, comparable to sodas and fruit drinks – 27g per 8oz. and artificial sweeteners, either as a substitute or in addition to sugar.
How Energy Drinks and Shots are Regulated
Commonly referred to as “drinks”, many energy drinks and shots are labelled as “dietary supplements” rather than “beverages”.
Note – active ingredients in dietary supplements do not require prior U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
The FDA must prove that an ingredient is unsafe before a product may be taken off the market. (24)
Is this clever marketing?
Is this a solution – another way, so we the consumers get what we want?
Are our suppliers fooling the regulators, who police what we can and cannot have?
Do the people, the nation and our world truly benefit when drinks containing copious amounts of sugar and caffeine are labelled as dietary supplements?
Caffeine is the primary active ingredient in energy drinks
The FDA does not require manufacturers to disclose the amount of caffeine in products.
Caffeine is not a “nutrient” when added to “food” so it must be listed as an ingredient.
The American Beverage Association encourages its members to disclose caffeine content on their products but this is only on a voluntary basis.
The FDA does not currently regulate other ingredients frequently used in energy drinks (such as taurine and guarana), so levels of these ingredients may vary between brands. (24)
Is this a solution to bypass the rules and regulations?
Who makes the laws in the first place on our behalf?
Are our suppliers on the front foot and our policy makers not up to speed?
Are we making our business about people or are we making it all about profit?
Is this an honest way to do business when it is not open and transparent?
Is any of this really going to stop us when we know we are hooked on energy drinks?
Do any of us read the small print or get put off just because there is a warning label?
Do we really want to know the TRUTH about what goes inside our energy drinks?
Are Energy Drinks and Shots Safe?
Caffeine has been designated as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) when used in cola type beverages, up to a level of 0.02% (200 parts per million).
As manufacturers are not required to disclose caffeine content, it is difficult to conclusively determine if the caffeine levels in energy drinks are safe.
FDA commissioned study found that most energy drinks contain much more caffeine per serving than typical sodas.
Energy Drinks – 80 mg caffeine per 8 fl. oz. serving
Energy Shots – 220 mg caffeine per 2 fl. oz. serving
Soda some brands contact 40 mg per 12 fl. oz. serving
Caffeine intake per day –
400 mg or less of caffeine for healthy adults is considered safe.
1 g can cause acute clinical toxicity.
5 – 10 g can be lethal. (24)
SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT
Who is setting the bar for what a ‘healthy’ adult is and what is considered ‘safe’?
WHY is it that as a world we cannot unite and agree on words when we use them?
Caffeine and sugar intake from energy drinks compounded, as products sold in large, non- resealable containers.
Risk for Youth and Young Adults
Energy drinks are frequently and increasingly marketed to young people.
50% energy drink market consists of children, adolescents and young adults.
The American Academy of Paediatrics stated caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents.
One concern is the increased risk of caffeine toxicity.
Children should not consume more than 2.5 mg/kg of caffeine per day.
Adolescents should not consume more than 100 mg of caffeine per day. (24)
THIS IS IMPORTANT – here we have the specialists on children telling us NO to energy drinks and yet 50% of this market is children, adolescents and young adults.
What is going on?
WHY is this happening?
WHY are parents and custodians of children not demanding answers?
WHY is this stuff not making front page news headlines so we can see it?
How about billboards everywhere, spelling out what The American Academy of Paediatrics are saying?
How about classroom awareness lessons on caffeine and other stimulated substances?
How about a real change in the Responsibility department so everyone benefits?
3,000 exposures to Energy Drinks
2013 – reports received by U.S. Poison Control Centers
2007 – 2011
Emergency department visits involving energy drinks doubled for age 12 and above.
1 in 10 of these visits resulted in hospitalization. (19)
Note – these are old statistics
What is the real figure today 7 years later?
We all know things are out of control now.
Have we read enough so far to realise this is a huge big fat WAKE UP CALL for all of us.
8,000 Emergency Department visits involved mixing energy drinks with alcohol or other drugs. (24)
Again, what is the real figure today – 7 years later?
WHY is there little research that can be accessed when it comes to caffeine consumption and the harmfull effects on the human body?
WHY do we not have independent studies that are not funded by any organisation, to give us the Truth about caffeine consumption?
Energy Drinks – Health Risks
500 mg equivalent to 4 or 5 cups coffee is in most energy drinks
Large amounts of caffeine can cause serious heart rhythm, blood flow and blood pressure problems.
High blood pressure is the main cause of haemorrhagic stroke.
Caffeine can disrupt the developing cardiovascular and nervous systems in a child. (25)
Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks
Alcohol decreases the metabolism of caffeine, prolonging its effects. (2)
Young adults often mix energy drinks and alcohol – a dangerous practice as caffeine in the energy drinks masks the depressant effects of alcohol and has no effect on the liver’s metabolism of alcohol; those who mix alcohol and energy drinks are much more likely to binge drink. (24)
Drinkers who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks are three times more likely to binge drink than drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks.
They are also twice as likely to report experiencing sexual assault, sexually assaulting someone else, riding with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol, being physically hurt or injured and requiring medical treatment. (2)
Children and Young People’s Perceptions of Energy Drinks:
A Qualitative Study – Published 30 November 2017
This study aimed to explore children and young people’s attitudes and perceptions in relation to energy drinks in a UK context.
Eight focus groups from four schools were conducted with pupils aged 10 – 11 years (n = 20) and13 – 14 years (n = 17).
Energy drinks were reportedly consumed in a variety of public and private places generally linked to social activities, sports and computer gaming (particularly amongst boys).
Participants demonstrated strong brand awareness and preferences that were linked to taste and perceived value for money.
The relatively low price of energy drinks and their widespread availability were identified as key factors, along with gendered branding and marketing. Some participants demonstrated a critical approach to manufacturers’ claims and many were keen to become better informed, often through school or peer-based interventions.
Energy drinks are characterised by their high caffeine content (>150mg per litre) and represent one category of sugar sweetened beverages.
185% increase in sales of energy drinks between 2006 and 2015
672,000,000 litres consumed in 2015
GLOBAL ENERGY DRINKS MARKET WORTH $50 BILLION (26)
Low and no-sugar energy drink varieties have been launched but their caffeine content remains high.
High sugar energy drinks remain popular and represent one of the main sectors driving growth for the soft drinks industry.
Evidence suggests regular or heavy energy drink use is likely to be detrimental to children and young people in the short and long term.
Correlational studies have identified links with common health complaints such as headaches, stomach aches and sleeping problems, with increase in prevalence with greater energy drink use.
Strong evidence that youth energy drink consumption clusters with other health damaging behaviours, including binge drinking, smoking, illicit drug use, screen time and poor dietary behaviours.
There have been calls to restrict the sale of energy drinks in recognition that childhood and adolescence are periods of rapid growth and brain development, when adequate sleep and good nutrition are especially important. However, these drinks are increasingly popular amongst youth consumers. (26)
WHY are high sugar energy drinks so popular?
WHY do we have low sugar energy drinks with high caffeine content?
WHY are we ignoring the fact that these energy drinks are harming our children?
WHY are we not joining the dots to see things are going to get worse, if the main consumers of energy drinks are children, teenagers, adolescents and young people?
What is the future of our world if our younger generations are consuming energy drinks?
Recent analysis of International Sales Data –
UK had the second highest rate of energy drinks sales per head globally.
Little is currently known about the drivers behind these trends. (26)
After reading this article and answering all the questions that have been presented by Simple Living Global and then reading all other content on this website, we can say that more will be known about the drivers behind these trends.
Children and young people consume energy drinks at home, during sport and exercise and at parties.
Less is known about where and how they obtain these drinks.
A separate body of literature exists in relation to consumption of energy drinks by young adults, often examining the experiences of university or college students.
Much of this literature focuses on co-consumption with alcohol and generally finds that this behaviour is associated with a range of negative outcomes, which in many cases are worse than those associated with energy drinks or alcohol consumption alone.
Alcohol with energy drinks consumption amongst young adults appears to be motivated by hedonistic tendencies, as well as being linked to societal norms of masculinity. (26)
The relatively low cost of some energy drinks, in relation to other beverages was identified as a key factor in children and young people’s decisions to purchase these drinks.
‘Own brand’ energy drinks available from local convenience stores were amongst the cheapest drinks on sale – cheaper than water and pop.
These drinks were often included in multi-purchase offers, where buying more than one product results in a discount. Some children and young people reported pooling their money and sharing energy drinks with friends to take advantage of special offers or the proportionately lower price for large cans or bottles.
Energy drinks appeared to be easily accessible to children and young people.
Participant reporting “every shop apart from the pet shop and furniture shop sells energy drinks”.
The mapping exercise confirmed their widespread accessibility and availability, with most convenience stores placing energy drinks near or opposite the entrance and they were often given greater shelf or fridge space than other drinks.
Some participants suggested that the positioning of energy drinks within stores could be changed in order to restrict access by children and young people.
Children and young people consume energy drinks in a wide variety of places, including public spaces such as on the street, in parks, at leisure centres, football pitches, BMX tracks and skate parks.
Much of the discussion focused on the journey to and from school.
However, some participants described consuming energy drinks at home, often linked to computer gaming and sleepovers.
Girl 1 – most kids drink them on the morning on the way to school…or on the night walking home.
Boy – age 10 Sometimes it is sleepover day when your mates come round. So you go to the shop, you get loads of, you get energy drinks and you go in your house and you just play on your X-box and stuff like that.
In addition to seeing energy drinks for sale in local shops, participants identified a range of different media through which they were targeted with promotional messages about energy drink products.
These included: Internet – in the form of pop-ups or banners at the side of webpages; television including energy drink consumption or product placement during popular shows; computer games, bus stop adverts, supermarket promotions; sponsorship of sport or other events.
As a consequence, participants in both age groups displayed a strong awareness of the major energy drink brands, and many were familiar with particular advertising slogans and strategies. They perceived that the branding and packaging of these drinks made them attractive to children and young people. Some were identified as targeting boys in particular, through brand names, packaging colours and sizes and the association with extreme sports.
Children and young people reported that certain energy drinks have links with particular computer games, for example via codes under the ring-pull, which could be used to boost the stamina of characters. All of the games mentioned carried age restrictions and were marketed as being suitable for players 18 years and over, yet many of the boys in our focus groups were familiar with them. (26)
Consumption appeared to be highly gendered, in that boys were perceived as being more likely to drink energy drinks and in greater quantities, than girls. This was often associated with boys reportedly being more active and more likely to take part in sports-related activities.
Boys’ use of energy drinks was often described as linked to wanting to appear tough or attractive to girls, whereas girls expressed a preference for ‘expensive-looking’ brands in smaller cans which they associated with being sophisticated.
Boy – age 11 Sometimes the boys think that they look proper rock-hard when they have them in front of the girls and stuff. And then when they go out, you buy like three.
There was some evidence of boys and girls choosing to consume energy drinks as part of desire to ‘fit in’.
Parents and Carers
Parents, carers and other adults played a role in children and young people’s decisions to consume energy drinks, either by facilitating or limiting their access or by modelling this behaviour.
Participants gave examples of family members who drank energy drinks and were ambivalent about children and young people also drinking them, while others were more firmly ‘against’ these products. Some reported that parents had provided energy drinks to rehydrate after sports activities or as a treat for doing chores.
Most participants reported purchasing energy drinks themselves, often using lunch money or ‘pocket money’. Given that energy drinks tended to be consumed in a range of settings outside of the home, family members were not always aware of this behaviour. As a consequence, parents and carers were not generally identified by children and young people as important actors in discussions about possible intervention options.
Many participants suggested that there should be age restrictions on energy drinks, similar to those in place for cigarettes and alcohol. However, there was little agreement on what would be an appropriate age limit, with suggestions ranging from 8 to 18 years (linked to the age of the participants, i.e. generally suggesting that consumption should be limited for children younger than themselves). Furthermore, most believed that this type of intervention could be easily overcome by asking older friends, siblings or parents to purchase energy drinks on their behalf.
Regardless, participants generally acknowledged that an age limit would help to send a clear message that these products are not recommended for children and young people.
School-based interventions were suggested as a potential way of raising awareness of the potential effects of energy drinks and prompting voluntary behaviour changes. Some children and young people were confused about precisely how their health could be affected, offering opportunities to discuss energy drinks during assemblies, biology lessons, or personal, health, social and economic (PHSE) education.
Existing school food policies appeared to inhibit energy drink consumption for the majority of children and young people during school hours, particularly in primary schools. However, examples were given of pupils finding ways around these rules and also of school staff lacking knowledge of energy drinks, highlighting the importance of education for adults as well as children and young people.
Boy age 13 – I don’t think that some teachers understand what the energy drinks are. Like, sometimes we bring sports drinks into school and the teachers say they are energy drinks when they are not, like isotonics (sports drinks).
Sometimes we will be drinking energy drinks but they won’t notice.
Comparison with Existing Literature
This is the first study to explore in-depth the views of children as young as 10 years in relation to energy drinks.
Several studies have identified taste as key motivating factor, with the perceived stimulant properties and performance enhancing effects of energy drinks representing secondary motivators.
Similarities between marketing tactics of major carbonated drinks manufacturers and the tobacco companies of previous decades have already been highlighted. There are also obvious parallels with alcohol marketing. (26)
So here we have the first ever study exploring in detail the views of some children in relation to energy drinks.
WHY is it the first study and WHY have we the public not been demanding more, knowing that energy drinks are full of caffeine and sugar?
Is it because our own life is full of caffeine and sugar and so we find it hard to then ask our children to do something different?
OR is it because we just accept what our kids are doing and what they get up to is something we do not really want to pay attention to?
This study is a microcosm and so we could apply it to the big wide world which would be called the macrocosm and say –
WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE WITH THE ENERGY DRINKS EPIDEMIC.
$50 BILLION for this market alone is speaking volumes and it is high time we paid attention.
Things are not going to magically get better and where is this all going to end if we refuse to take accountability and personal responsibility for how we are living.
It is easy to say that the problem is not on our doorstep or our kids seem ok on the stuff but is this really the Truth?
Are we being honest of just lying because it seems that everyone else is doing the same thing?
Have we stopped to consider when did this all start?
Is it the modern screen generations that we are raising in society?
Are our young children out of sync with bedtime routine and sleep?
Are we asking enough questions to nail this and get to the root cause?
Are our modern lifestyle choices allowing this to happen to the point it is out of control?
Are our teenagers seeing this as a social thing and using it as a step before alcohol?
Are they growing up fast and then moving onto drugs in addition to energy drinks?
Are we paying attention to how they really and truly are living behind our backs?
Are we too busy trying to provide, be the friend parent and offer zero discipline?
Are we always trying to be nice, impress them and act like the modern cool parent?
Are we getting it right if we allow our children to be taking a substance that is false?
Are we being responsible if we endorse this legal drug called caffeine in energy drinks?
Are young adults preferring these drinks to keep them going instead of the cup of coffee?
Is this study one of many to come until 150 years later, like cigarettes the world will wake up to the dangers of energy drinks OR are we going to get on the front foot and deal with it now?
WHY are we not educated or being informed and if not who benefits, who stands to gain?
WHY are more of us not making noises and talking about this at every dinner table every day?
WHY are we demanding a drink that gives us a false energy to keep going and all the while bury the agony, misery, exhaustion and everything else that will not come to the surface?
WHY have we made a choice to join the bandwagon of all those who subscribe to this way of living and make it our normal when in truth it is way off what true normal should be?
Take a look again at how our kids are talking and what they are saying about energy drinks in this small study – we may just get a deeper insight into why and what they are up to.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the handbook used by health care professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. DSM contains descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders.
It provides a common language for clinicians to communicate about their patients and establishes consistent and reliable diagnoses that can be used in the research of mental disorders. It also provides a common language for researchers to study the criteria for potential future revisions and to aid in the development of medications and other interventions.
It was anticipated that American Psychiatric Association (APA) spent $20 – $25 million on the extensive process of developing DSM-5. (27)
Diagnostic Criteria 305.90 (F15.929)
A. Recent consumption of caffeine (typically a high dose well in excess of 250 mg).
B. Five (or more) of the following signs or symptoms developing during, or shortly after, caffeine use:
5. Flushed Face
7. Gastrointestinal disturbance
8. Muscle twitching
9. Rambling flow of thought and speech
10.Tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia
11.Periods of inexhaustibility
C. The signs or symptoms in Criterion B cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
D. The signs or symptoms are not attributable to another medical condition and are not better explained by another mental disorder, including intoxication with another substance.
Caffeine can be consumed from a number of different sources, including
Energy Aids (e.g., drinks)
Over-the-Counter Analgesics and Cold Remedies
Caffeine is also increasingly being used as an additive to vitamins and to food products.
More than 85% of children and adults consume caffeine regularly.
Some caffeine users display symptoms consistent with problematic use, including tolerance and withdrawal.
The data are not available at this time to determine the clinical significance of a caffeine use disorder and its prevalence.
In contrast, there is evidence that caffeine withdrawal and caffeine intoxication are clinically significant and sufficiently prevalent.
The essential feature of caffeine intoxication is recent consumption of caffeine and five or more signs or symptoms that develop during or shortly after caffeine use (Criteria A and B).
Symptoms include –
Which can occur with low doses (e.g., 200 mg) in vulnerable individuals such as children, the elderly, or individuals who have not been exposed to caffeine previously. Symptoms that generally appear at levels of more than 1 g/day include muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia, periods of inexhaustibility, and psychomotor agitation.
Associated Features Supporting Diagnosis
Mild sensory disturbances (e.g., ringing in the ears and flashes of light) may occur with high doses of caffeine. Although large doses of caffeine can increase heart rate, smaller doses can slow heart rate. Whether excess caffeine intake can cause headaches is unclear. On physical examination, agitation, restlessness, sweating, tachycardia, flushed face and increased bowel motility may be seen.
Caffeine blood levels may provide important information for diagnosis, particularly when the individual is a poor historian, although these levels are not diagnostic by themselves in view of the individual variation in response to caffeine.
The prevalence of caffeine intoxication in the general population is unclear.
In the United States, approximately 7% of individuals in the population may experience five or more symptoms along with functional impairment consistent with a diagnosis of caffeine intoxication.
Development and Course
Consistent with a half-life of caffeine of approximately 4-6 hours, caffeine intoxication symptoms usually remit within the first day or so and do not have any known long-lasting consequences. However, individuals who consume very high doses of caffeine (i.e., 5-10 g) may require immediate medical attention, as such doses can be lethal.
With advancing age, individuals are likely to demonstrate increasingly intense reactions to caffeine, with greater complaints of interference with sleep or feelings of hyper-arousal.
Caffeine intoxication among young individuals after consumption of highly caffeinated products, including energy drinks, has been observed.
Children and adolescents may be at increased risk for caffeine intoxication because of low body weight, lack of tolerance, and lack of knowledge about the pharmacological effects of caffeine.
Risk and Prognostic Factors
Caffeine intoxication is often seen among individuals who use caffeine less frequently or in those who have recently increased their caffeine intake by a substantial amount. Furthermore, oral contraceptives significantly decrease the elimination of caffeine and consequently may increase the risk of intoxication.
Impairment from caffeine intoxication may have serious consequences, including dysfunction at work or school, social indiscretions, or failure to fulfil role obligations. Moreover, extremely high doses of caffeine can be fatal. In some case, caffeine intoxication may precipitate a caffeine-induced disorder.
Other mental disorders
Caffeine intoxication may be characterized by symptoms (e.g., panic attacks) that resemble primary mental disorders. To meet criteria for caffeine intoxication, the symptoms must not be associated with another medical condition or another mental disorder, such as an anxiety disorder, that could better explain them.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Withdrawal or Tobacco Withdrawal
Medication-Induced Side Effects (e.g., akathisia)
can cause a clinical picture that is similar to that of caffeine intoxication.
Other caffeine-induced disorders
Caffeine intoxication is differentiated from caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, with onset during intoxication and caffeine-induced sleep disorder with onset during intoxication by the fact that the symptoms in these latter disorders are in excess of those usually associated with caffeine intoxication and are severe enough to warrant independent clinical attention.
Typical dietary doses of caffeine have not been consistently associated with medical problems. However, heavy use (e.g., >400 mg) can cause or exacerbate anxiety and somatic symptoms and gastrointestinal distress. With acute, extremely high doses of caffeine, grand mal seizures and respiratory failure may result in death.
Excessive caffeine use is associated with –
Caffeine Withdrawal 292.0 (F15.93)
A. Prolonged daily use of caffeine.
B. Abrupt cessation of or reduction in caffeine use, followed within 24 hours by three (or more) of the following signs or symptoms:
2. Marked fatigue or drowsiness
3. Dysphoric mood, depressed mood, or irritability
4. Difficulty concentrating
5. Flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or muscle pain/stiffness).
C. The signs or symptoms in Criterion B cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
D. The signs or symptoms are not associated with the physiological effects of another medical condition (e.g., migraine, viral illness) and are not better explained by another mental disorder, including intoxication or withdrawal from another substance.
Headache is the hallmark feature of caffeine withdrawal and may be diffuse, gradual in development, throbbing, severe, and sensitive to movement.
However, other symptoms of caffeine withdrawal can occur in the absence of headache.
Caffeine is the most widely used behaviorally active drug in the world
and is present in many different types of beverages, for example –
Because caffeine ingestion is often integrated into social customs and daily rituals (e.g., coffee break, tea time), some caffeine consumers may be unaware of their physical dependence on caffeine. Thus caffeine withdrawal symptoms could be unexpected and misattributed to other causes (e.g., the flu, migraine).
Furthermore, caffeine withdrawal symptoms may occur when individuals are required to abstain from foods and beverages prior to medical procedures or when a usual caffeine dose is missed because of a change in routine (e.g., during travel, weekends).
The probability and severity of caffeine withdrawal generally increase as a function of usual daily caffeine dose. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms may occur after abrupt cessation of relatively low chronic daily doses of caffeine (i.e., 100 mg).
Associated Features Supporting Diagnosis
Caffeine abstinence has been shown to be associated with impaired behavioral and cognitive performance (e.g., sustained attention). Electroencephalographic studies have shown that caffeine withdrawal symptoms are significantly associated with increases in theta power and decreases in beta-2 power. Decreased motivation to work and decreased sociability have also been reported during caffeine withdrawal. Increased analgesic use during caffeine withdrawal has been documented.
More than 85% of adults and children in the United States regularly consume caffeine, with adult caffeine consumers ingesting about 280 mg/day on average.
The incidence and prevalence of the caffeine withdrawal syndrome in the general population are unclear.
In United States, headache may occur in approximately 50% of cases of caffeine abstinence.
In attempts to permanently stop caffeine use, more than 70% of individuals may experience at least one caffeine withdrawal symptom (47% may experience headache), and 24% may experience headache plus one or more other symptoms as well as functional impairment due to withdrawal. Among individuals who abstain from caffeine for at least 24 hours but are not trying to permanently stop caffeine use, 11% may experience headache plus one or more other symptoms as well as function impairment. Caffeine consumers can decrease the incidence of caffeine withdrawal by using caffeine daily or only infrequently (e.g., no more than 2 consecutive days). Gradual reduction in caffeine over a period of days or weeks may decrease the incidence and severity of caffeine withdrawal.
Development and Course
Symptoms usually begin 12-24 hours after the last caffeine dose and peak after 1-2 days of abstinence. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms last for 2-9 days, with the possibility of withdrawal headaches occurring for up to 21 days. Symptoms usually remit rapidly (within 30-60 minutes) after re-ingestion of caffeine.
Caffeine is unique in that it is a behaviorally active drug that is consumed by individuals of nearly all ages. Rates of caffeine consumption and overall level of caffeine consumption increase with age until the early to mid-30s and then level off. Although caffeine withdrawal among children and adolescents has been documented, relatively little is known about risk factors for caffeine withdrawal among this age group.
The use of highly caffeinated energy drinks is increasing with young individuals, which could increase the risk for caffeine withdrawal.
Risk and Prognostic Factors
Heavy caffeine use has been observed among individuals with –
Thus, these individuals could be at higher risk for caffeine withdrawal upon acute caffeine abstinence.
The unavailability of caffeine is an environmental risk factor for incipient withdrawal symptoms. While caffeine is legal and usually widely available, there are conditions in which caffeine use may be restricted, such as during –
These external environmental circumstances may precipitate a withdrawal syndrome in vulnerable individuals.
Genetic and Physiological Factors
Genetic factors appear to increase vulnerability to caffeine withdrawal, but no specific genes have been identified.
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms usually remit within 30-60 minutes of reexposure to caffeine. Doses of caffeine significantly less than one’s usual daily dose may be sufficient to prevent or attenuate caffeine withdrawal symptoms (e.g., consumption of 25 mg by an individual who typically consumes 300 mg).
Culture-Related Diagnostic Issues
Habitual caffeine consumers who fast for religious reasons may be at increased risk for caffeine withdrawal.
Functional Consequences of Caffeine Withdrawal Disorder
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms can vary from mild to extreme, at times causing functional impairment in normal daily activities. Rates of functional impairment range from 10% to 55% (median 13%), with rates as high as 73% found among individuals who also show other problematic features of caffeine use.
Examples of functional impairment include –
Being unable to work, exercise or care of children
Staying in bed all day
Missing religious services
Ending a vacation early
Cancelling a social gathering
Caffeine withdrawal headaches may be described by individuals as “the worst headaches” ever experienced.
Decrements in cognitive and motor performance have also been observed.
Other medical disorders and medical side effects.
Several disorders should be considered in the differential diagnosis of caffeine withdrawal.
Caffeine withdrawal can mimic –
Migraine and other headache disorders
Other drug withdrawal states (e.g., from amphetamines, cocaine)
Medication side effects
The final determination of caffeine withdrawal should rest on a determination of the pattern and amount consumed, the time interval between caffeine abstinence and onset of symptoms, and the particular clinical features presented by the individual. A challenge dose of caffeine followed by symptom remission may be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Caffeine withdrawal may be associated with
Unspecified Caffeine-Related Disorder 292.9 (F15.99)
This category applies to presentations in which symptoms characteristic of a caffeine-related disorder that cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning, predominate but do not meet the full criteria for any specific caffeine-related disorder or any of the disorders in the substance-related and addictive disorders diagnostic class. (28)
Conditions for Further Study
Caffeine Use Disorder
A problematic pattern of caffeine use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least the first three of the following criteria occurring within a 12-month period:
1. A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control caffeine use.
2. Continued caffeine use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by caffeine.
3. Withdrawal as manifested by either of the following:
a. The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for caffeine.
b. Caffeine (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
4. Caffeine is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
5. Recurrent caffeine use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated tardiness or absences from work or school related to caffeine use or withdrawal).
6. Continued caffeine use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems cause or exacerbated by the effects of caffeine (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of use, medical problems, cost).
7. Tolerance as defined by either of the following:
a. A need for markedly increased amounts of caffeine to achieve desired effect.
b. Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of caffeine.
8. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain caffeine, use caffeine, or recover from its effects.
9. Craving or a strong desire or urge to use caffeine.
A diagnosis of substance dependence due to caffeine is recognized by the World Health Organization in ICD-10
Since the publication of DSM-IV in 1994, considerable research on caffeine dependence has been published, and several recent reviews provide a current analysis of this literature. There is now sufficient evidence to warrant inclusion of caffeine use disorder as a research diagnosis in DSM-5 to encourage additional research.
The proposed criteria for caffeine use disorder reflect the need for a diagnostic threshold higher than that used for the other substance use disorders. Such a threshold is intended to prevent over diagnosis of caffeine use disorder due to the high rate of habitual nonproblematic daily caffeine use in the general population.
This criterion above tells us that we up the threshold for caffeine use at the point of diagnosis than that used for other substance use disorders. This is because there are currently people who use caffeine daily by way of habit and they are not having a problem.
Is this true, really true?
Are we missing something important?
Would we all unite and agree on this?
What if the general population are problematic because of their daily caffeine consumption and proposing a higher threshold for a diagnosis to be called ‘problematic’ misses the masses and creates even more problems down the road as we were not on the front foot with our diagnosis marker?
What if the high rate of people who are taking caffeine daily are going un-noticed, under the radar so to speak and by not taking them into consideration, we create a false new marker of what is caffeine use disorder?
What if the majority of our world population are actually in Truth ‘problematic’ because of their caffeine consumption and other lifestyle choices but as this is what we call ‘normal’ we allow and accept these ills to continue?
Caffeine use disorder is characterized by the continued use of caffeine and failure to control use despite negative physical and/or psychological consequences. In a survey of the general population, 14% of caffeine users met the criterion of use despite harm, with most reporting that a physician or counselor had advised them to stop or reduce caffeine use within the last year.
Medical and psychological problems attributed to caffeine included –
Complaints of anxiety
In the same survey caffeine users –
45% reported desire or unsuccessful efforts to control caffeine use.
18% reported withdrawal.
8% reported tolerance.
28% used more than intended.
50% reported spending a great deal of time using caffeine.
19% reported a strong desire for caffeine that they could not resist.
Among those seeking treatment for quitting problematic caffeine use –
88% reported having made prior serious attempts to modify caffeine use.
43% reported having been advised by a medical professional to reduce or eliminate caffeine.
93% endorsed signs and symptoms meeting DSM-IV criteria for caffeine dependence.
96% with the most commonly endorsed criteria being withdrawal.
89% persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to control use.
87% use despite knowledge of physical or psychological problems cause by caffeine.
59% most common reasons for wanting to modify caffeine use were health-related.
35% a desire to not be dependent on caffeine.
The DSM-5 discussion of caffeine withdrawal in the Section II chapter “Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders” provides information on the features of the withdrawal criterion. It is well documented that habitual caffeine users can experience a well-defined withdrawal syndrome upon acute abstinence from caffeine, and many caffeine-dependent individuals report continued use of caffeine to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
The prevalence of caffeine use disorder in the general population is unclear. Based on all seven generic DSM-IV-TR criteria for dependence, 30% of current caffeine users may have met DSM-IV criteria for a diagnosis of caffeine dependence, with endorsement of three of more dependence criteria, during the past year.
75% – 80% of the general population uses caffeine regularly.
Development and Course
Individuals whose pattern of use meets criteria for a caffeine use disorder have shown a wide range of daily caffeine intake and have been consumers of various types of caffeinated products (e.g., coffee, soft drinks, tea) and medications.
A diagnosis of caffeine use disorder has been shown to prospectively predict a greater incidence of caffeine reinforcement and more severe withdrawal.
There has been no longitudinal or cross-sectional lifespan research on caffeine use disorder.
Caffeine use disorder has been identified in both adolescents and adults.
Rates of caffeine consumption and overall level of caffeine consumption tend to increase with age until the early to mid-30s and then level off.
Age-related factors for caffeine use disorder are unknown, although concern is growing related to excessive caffeine consumption among adolescents and young adults through use of caffeinated energy drinks.
Risk and Prognostic Factors
Genetic and Physiological
Caffeine and tobacco use disorders are associated and substantially influenced by genetic factors unique to these licit drugs. The magnitude of heritability for caffeine use disorder markers appears to be similar to that for alcohol and tobacco use disorder markers.
Functional Consequences of Caffeine Use Disorder
Caffeine use disorder may predict greater use of caffeine during pregnancy. Caffeine withdrawal, a key feature of caffeine use disorder, has been shown to produce functional impairment in normal daily activities. Caffeine intoxication may include symptoms of nausea and vomiting, as well as impairment of normal activities. Significant disruptions in normal daily activities may occur during caffeine abstinence.
Nonproblematic use of caffeine
The distinction between nonproblematic use of caffeine and caffeine use disorder can be difficult to make because social, behavioral, or psychological problems may be difficult to attribute to the substance, especially in the context of use of other substances. Regular, heavy caffeine use that can result in tolerance and withdrawal is relatively common, which by itself should not be sufficient for making a diagnosis.
Other stimulant use disorder
Problems related to use of other stimulant medications or substances may approximate the features of caffeine use disorder.
Features of caffeine use disorder (e.g., tolerance, caffeine withdrawal) may be positively associated with several diagnoses:
So here we have a whole section on caffeine, from the kingpins – the professionals, those in authority providing a common language for clinicians and researchers.
The cost of producing this manual is around $20 – 25 million so let’s pay attention.
Firstly, what they quote as a high dose is not the same as what is recommended as a safe amount to use daily.
This in itself confirms that as a world we are not yet one-unified.
In other words, we are not all on the same page, not yet in agreement, not yet aligned to the absolute truth and so there are mixed messages out there.
Next – who writes all this stuff and who comes up with all these different criteria?
How many are working on this and is this why the cost is in the millions to have one book that is not being advocated or used by all medics and health professionals as the common language throughout our world?
If this manual was the absolute truth, then why is everyone not aligning to this and making it the one and only go to for diagnosis?
Back to the details –
Caffeine is being added to vitamins.
How serious is this and more to the point – WHY?
85% of us consume caffeine regularly and that includes children.
Reading this forensic article about caffeine, the reader will be left in no doubt that caffeine is harmfull to the human frame and yet the majority are consuming it with no signs of change, other than to have even more.
Could it be possible that education about caffeine consumption is not given by some medical experts or health professionals, when someone presents symptoms like insomnia, restlessness, nervousness and excitement because it is not on their radar?
In other words, they themselves are tired and have fatigue, rely on coffee and other caffeine products to function and keep going and so this is a blind spot, which does not allow them to see and feel what the real diagnosis is.
Next – could it be possible that we are not the same and so one person may have the effect of high doses of caffeine, even when they are consuming small amounts, but because the ‘guidelines’ tell them it is safe they take that as gospel and they do even more harm to their body?
What if caffeine intoxication is there from day dot but we are tolerant to a degree and so it goes undetected and that actually suits our lifestyle?
WHAT IF THERE ARE NO SAFE LIMITS FOR CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION BECAUSE IT IS AN ARTIFICIAL WAY TO FUNCTION IN LIFE?
Next – the experts tell us here that children may be at increased risk for caffeine intoxication and one reason is lack of tolerance.
So how does a child’s body ‘tolerate’ energy drinks daily with copious amounts of sugar and a high dose of caffeine?
Can we just stop and say SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT?
Next – what is clear from the DSM manual is what caffeine does to our mental state.
The fact caffeine use is associated with all the disorders listed above speaks volumes.
Is it time again to say SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT?
Next – something cannot be right because when we stop our caffeine or reduce the amount we choose to consume, we get the withdrawal symptoms. This confirms that taking this drug in the first place was not the answer.
Next – are we concerned that caffeine is in our medicine, our foods and our supplements that we take for health benefits?
Are we really aware of the dependency we have with caffeine and how this is part of our Foundation because anything we repeat becomes our foundation?
Have we stopped to consider that most of us do not prepare our body for surgery?
Those who rely on caffeine will be in for a shock when nil by mouth is needed and then add to that tension and withdrawal state before an operation, which of course is additional trauma to our body.
Most of us have heard or tried it and realised how difficult it is to withdraw caffeine from our diet.
Does this alone, give us a hint, a clue, a light bulb moment – a true WAKE UP CALL that something is seriously not right?
So here it is – the first ever presentation in detail about caffeine for humanity, so we all get the Truth.
What is the Intelligence that we are all subscribing to that does not challenge the obvious white elephant that this article is presenting?
In other words, we all know we are endorsing a drug that is playing havoc with our mind and body, yet we keep finding solutions and ways to function but never question what drives us to continue thinking in this way and believe we are advancing and evolving.
What if we do not need another research study telling us what caffeine is doing to our mind and body?
What if we started EDUCATION in schools about caffeine in foods and ENERGY DRINKS and presented what is in this article?
What if we had billboards saying CAFFEINE IS A LEGAL DRUG
What if we started advertising with these words –
CAFFEINE GIVES US A FALSE STATE AND IS VERY HARMFULL
What if all the media around the world made front page news headlines for one week repeating the Truth –
COFFEE IS ARTIFICIALLY KEEPING US GOING – IT IS A DRUG
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