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Everything you need to know about Caffeine

A lot of people tend to use caffeine to stay awake in order to finish assignments,  Caffeine is classed as a stimulant drug that can increase the speed at which messages travel between the brain. (ADF.org)
Caffeine is readily available through fizzy drinks, energy drinks, and of course, coffee. The way people react to caffeine varies from person to person, but here are some common effects of caffeine in moderate doses.

  • Alertness
  • Needing to go to the toilet more. (Caffeine is a mild diuretic)
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach pains

For children under 12, it is recommended that caffeine is not consumed. However, for ages 13-18, no more than 100mg per day is endorsed, and for adults this rises to 300-400mg. (Kidshealth.org & Caffeineinformer.com)

However, many people don’t realise the amount of caffeine that they consume on a regular basis. Here are some common drinks with the amount of caffeine that they contain.

  • Monster Energy Drink   –   160mg
  • Red Bull Energy Drink   –   80mg
  • Coffee   –   115-200mg

So what happens if you consume over the recommended amount?

It is likely that you would experience sleep difficulties and irritability in the short-term which could negatively affect whichever event or assignment you are staying awake for.  But in the long-term, it is likely to affect brain development, particularly in young people.
It also means that you are more likely to become dependant on caffeine and struggle to function without it, very similar to withdrawal symptoms (remember, caffeine is a drug!)

A good first step to decreasing your caffeine consumption would be to start replacing caffeinated drinks such as fizzy drinks/ coffee with de-caffeinated versions. This can then improve your health in the long-term. Keeping your daily caffeine intake below 100mg may not feel like a huge thing to do to improve your health, but by replacing the need for caffeine with eating healthily and regular exercise, you should find that the health benefits improve your physical health as well as your mental wellbeing.

Sources

ADF.org – caffeine

Kidshealth.org – caffeine.html

Caffeineinformer.com – caffeine-safe-limits

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