How Dangerous is Caffeine?


| 5 Comments
If you could drink one beverage in the morning to get you going what would it be?

Most Americans wake up and drink some sort of beverage with their daily morning meals.  According to a study done by the NCA, over 54% of Americans drink a cup of coffee everyday.

That number grows even larger if you look at all Americans who drink a caffeinated beverage on a daily basis.  According to another study that was done, over 70% of Americans drink a caffeinated beverage daily.

After reading a variety of others posts within the blog, one trend that i see is often people do things and do not even realize the potential harms or consequences of those actions.  

Recently an article was posted on MSNBC.com about a young girl who died after drinking two cans of Monster Energy Drink on two consecutive days.  Her parents have filed suit towards the company for not warning consumers of the potential dangers of the beverage.  Monster is an energy drink that contains high amounts of sugar, vitamins, caffeine. and a host of other substances.  The young girl's death has been attributed to a heart attack that was caused by the "toxic' levels of caffeine that were found in her body.

As i stated before energy drinks contain large amounts of sugar, usually upwards of 40 grams per container.  In addition most coffee drinkers will add a teaspoon or two of sugar for taste.  This leads me to ask the question of is drinking large amounts of caffeine (Coffee, Energy Drinks) potentially fatal? And in addition does the additive of sugar increase your risks?

After doing a bit of research on the topic i found that caffeine does have a variety of negative affects on the body if it is NOT drank in moderation.  These affects include restlessness, irritability, anxiety, heartburn, headaches which can sometimes be severe, high blood pressure, withdrawal, a variety of others, and in some extreme cases DEATH.  Also, the study I looked at stated other substances such as vitamins, calorie intake and yes sugar can greatly affect how caffeine affects the body.

With numerous studies and research conducted by groups of scientists it has been concluded that excessive amounts of caffeine can in fact do harm to your body.  So why haven't more people stood up against energy drinks before?

With numerous deaths, heart attacks, and lawsuits being brought up against Energy drink companies I would not be surprised if the formula used for these drinks is changed soon.

As for coffee users, the results were a little bit different.  Coffee does not include the same artificial and natural substances that most energy drinks have.  Unless you are consuming coffee in extremely large amounts you are most likely just going to experience the above side affects, and the occasional feeling of withdrawal.

Now although caffeine is a drug i don't want to discourage you from drinking it.  If taken in small amounts caffeine can have positive affects on the body such as increased muscle strength, mental faculty, reduced asthma symptoms, increased metabolism, and a variety of other benefits.

The one thing that i want you to take away from this post is not just the affects of caffeine and sugar on your body, but that many of us will do a variety of everyday activities which we would never have thought could have negative consequences.  Just watch what you do, and make sure you are on your toes.

In addition how do you guys think caffeine personally affects your body compared to others?  Also are there any everyday activities that you do that if you sit and think about that may actually have negative consequences? 

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Sources:


5 Comments

Those energy drinks really can do damage. I'm wondering if this could also have anything to do with genetics, and if some people react to caffeine more dangerously than others.

I find it really surprising that someone died from caffeine overdose because the way I understand it working is that it pumps a sort of adrenaline in your body making us feel awake, and I feel it would require a lot of caffeine to create a situation where your body just can't handle how jumpy you are, and there is no way that two cans of Monster would contain so much caffeine. That means that one can is halfway fatal for you.

">This site shows how many cans/cups of your caffeinated drink would kill you.http://www.energyfiend.com/death-by-caffeine

I suppose with everything in life, moderation is needed and that goes with coffee as well.

As I was searching online, the addiction portion of it is a larger problem than the actual death. It could disrupt your sleep and everyday functions if it gets too out of hand.

Personally, I like to keep it at one cup of coffee in the morning, when I really feel tired.

What type of things would cause you to have negative effects? Also, I agree with Eugene, I also do not see two cans of Monster being fatal to somebody. I understand that there is a lot of caffeine and sugar in energy drinks and that the make the heart racy and jittery but I have never seen or heard of someone dying from only two Monsters. I have been witness to someone drinking 7 and 9 before within a couple of hours time and they (despite the jitters and complaint of chest pain) were okay. Yes, it was dumb on their part to undertake such a challenge but regardless they were still okay. What isn't mentioned is whether or not the poor girl who died from the two cans of Monster had a pre-disposition to heart failure or other cardiac issues and whether or not she had a strong healthy heart or a weak heart that could have been taxed from a number of things. I think the really issue here is that so many Americans have been faced with the idea that they "need" caffeine to get through everyday tasks and that people believe that if the day was longer, they could get more done. It's unfortunate how we Americans often times don't value life as much as we should do to overbearing everyday pressures. Here is an article that lists all of the issues associated with caffeine dependency. I thought it might be of interest to you. http://www.caffeinedependence.org/caffeine_dependence.html

I myself have experienced the fatigue that goes along with crashing after drinking caffeine and have tried to stop drinking caffeine altogether only to find myself craving my usual drinks and experiencing headaches, I’m guessing from withdrawal. I typically just associate my headaches with dehydration because when I drink coffee or Redbull (my two drinks of choice) I do not drink enough water.
But after looking up the top 10 withdrawal symptoms, I wonder how I function on days that I do get my usual dosage!?

Yes, caffeine is a physically addictive drug, and this article takes a look at that. However, at the end it states the the percentage of people who are true caffeine addicts is very small, but unknown. It also notes some cases that give a good idea of what happens whenever you are truly a caffeine addict, and it's pretty severe. I think we could compare caffeine addiction to any other behavior we do frequently and get used to doing, like working out, reading before bed, napping, or eating certain foods. Sure, your behavior might change a little bit after you stop doing it, but it's wouldn't be anything extreme, at least for the average coffee drinker.

First of all i disagree with you Eugene. You may not think that two cans of monster can be potentially dangerous but also you do not know how somebody is going to be affected by caffeine. First of all somebody may react differently to caffeine than someone else. Also it depends how they can handle and process caffeine. Jamie ethan is right. You have to remember that caffeine is in fact a drug. You may feel withdrawal systems because of your continual use of it. I wonder how withdrawal systems would affect somebody depending upon their body type. A blog on that would be interesting. For all we know it might not be any difference. I wonder if there is a common threshold that people get to before they start feeling caffeine withdrawal after the stop of use.

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