The effects of caffeine on one's mental state are an important area for scientists to explore because about 90 percent of the world's adults take the stimulating substance. Some prefer coffee, some tea, some soda pop and others take it in energy drinks. Caffeine is also in chocolate, some over-the-counter pain relievers and other products, including Viter Energy Mints.
As to depression and caffeine, some scientists say it helps alleviate symptoms, and some say it causes depression to worsen. Some claim caffeine's positive effects are so great that it can help prevent suicide.
It seems caffeine may enhance memory and learning, but not if it is taken before the lesson is to be learned. Research from a few years ago says caffeine should be taken after that important business meeting, crucial college lecture or other knowledge-imparting event you need to recall.
Some studies show a benefit from caffeine on memory, some show none. Same with alcohol. But it seems scientists find with few exceptions that good diets promote healthy minds and bodies.
Caffeine and fasting are controversial in some circles. Is it truly fasting if you have coffee or other liquids during your time of abstaining from eating? Some people say to be a pure fast, one must drink only water and eat nothing. Others maintain that having coffee and/or other liquids is healthier and ensures you don’t become dehydrated.
Did you know timing when you drink coffee intake may improve your life? In the morning when the alarm goes off, the first thing many people think of is getting a coffee fix. Coffee or tea doesn’t just taste good, the ritual is not just comforting, you actuallyneedthe caffeine to feel alert, normal and ready to face the day. And if you’ve developed a dependence on caffeine, you might even get a headache, be crabby and out of sorts or be too sleepy to perform well if you dont’t get it.
Caffeine isn’t addictive, but it sure is habit-forming. You don’t hear about jonesing coffee addicts robbing stores and hijacking motorists to get money for a fix. That’s because while caffeine does cause dependence, it isn’t in the same category as opiates or alcohol.
That’s a good thing that caffeine, unlike alcohol and drugs, does not cause disease, crime, financial ruin, automobile and other types of accidents and a breakdown in social interactions because in the United States 90 percent of people take it in one form or another.
Caffeine cycling for chronic users brings back that old black magic. If you’re a regular or chronic caffeine user, you may have noticed the stimulating effects of the substance aren’t as strong as when you first started to take caffeine. If you want to experience that near-bliss you used to get from that first cup of java, you can do caffeine cycling where you stop taking it for a while and then start again.
Researchers call the need people have for caffeine tolerance or dependence (both psychological and physical) rather than addiction. Some people who are dependent on caffeine suffer headaches, sleepiness and a bad mood if they don’t get their dose. But don’t confuse these symptoms with addictions to substances like alcohol and narcotics, where heavy users suffer intensely when they try to stop.
Another reason people get sleepy after caffeine is that people can build up a tolerance for caffeine, a stimulant and the most-consumed mood-altering substance in the world. It’s like alcohol. After months of years of heavy drinking, you need more to get the drug’s full effect.
Yet another reason people feel sleepy soon after taking caffeine is that it may wear off, and, as Men’s Health puts it, “The high comes with a crash.”
Ten minutes after that first sip of coffee, the subtle but invigorating effects of caffeine kick in, making getting out there and facing the day seem less daunting.
And in a surprising finding, one study found that decaffeinated coffee, which contains only 2 to 3 percent of the caffeine of regular coffee, also contributes (slightly) to a person’s alertness.
We have good news and bad news for the 30 to 40 percent of you who promote the efficacious movement of the bowels every morning with a big cup or two of coffee. The good news is, coffee and tea help some people move their bowels. The bad news also is that joe can help you go.
How can that be bad? Because you rely on a chemical to make you regular. Some people report constipation if they don’t get their usual dose of coffee. There don’t seem to be any scientific studies on this effect that are indexed on Google, but there are several anecdotal Web pages where people state stopping coffee cold turkey causes constipation at least temporarily.
About 90 percent of American adults take caffeine daily. Half or more of them are subject to caffeine withdrawal symptoms when they don’t get a fix, including headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, depression and irritability.
This may not seem like much of a problem because caffeine and coffee users are like Charlton Heston and his guns: They’ll give up caffeine when someone takes their coffee from their cold, dead hands.