Caffeine and its Effects

What are the effects of caffeine?

Caffeine can alter one's health in many ways. It is found in sodas, teas, coffees, and even bottled waters.

Since our culture doesn't regard caffeine in the same manner as it does many other drugs, its powerful stimulant effects are often either underestimated or even ignored. Caffeine's kick comes with a cost.

Want the jitters? Gulp that beverage and you've got 'em. Caffeine stimulates parts of the brain that are responsible for the "fight or flight" mechanism, which is why people who consume the drug may experience anxiety. Similarly, it interferes with sleep patterns, and can disrupt a good night's sleep. College students try to take advantage of this, and may make a habit of keeping the coffee percolating all night long in order to finish that term paper before the deadline. Of course, they are often sitting in front of the computer with shaky hands staring at a blank screen. Panicking. The screen is blank because they can't concentrate enough to think of even remotely interesting ways to discuss the significance of, say, the Spanish-American War.

Caffeine can also specifically affect women. For one, it can have the same effect on the kids of breastfeeding mothers who drink the stuff as it does on sleep-deprived collegians everywhere. Even the equivalent of three cups of coffee a day can cause Baby to be irritable and may make him or her have difficulty with sleeping, just like Mom.

Also, if a woman suffers from PMS symptoms, caffeine may easily make her irritability symptoms worse. Caffeine use has also been linked to PMS' breast tenderness and fibrocystic breasts as well.

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