“Don’t talk to me unless I’ve had my coffee, lol”                                                                                    “Can’t start the morning without my coffee, XD”                                                                                 Many of us out there do enjoy us some coffee. For sure. And if it’s not coffee, it’s Red Bull, Monster, 5 Hour Energy or even just some old fashioned Mountain Dew. Caffeine plays a part in almost all of our lives. For sure. In fact, about 80% of America takes in caffeine on the daily. Nothing wrong with that. But remember…everything in moderation.                        Did you know caffeine is technically a drug? Yeah. Same category as Marijuana. Ya know, the ganja, The Devil’s Cabbage, Lucifer’s Lettuce, Magic Fuzz. All of the above. Same category as heroine. Obviously not as severe but you see what I’m getting at right? Caffeine is potentially dangerous, addicting, and damaging if not handled and used correctly. Allow me to spell it out for you here.

So, caffeine is not just some horrible, life-shortening drug that’s no good. There has to be a reason it’s so widely used right? Good guess. Caffeine has plenty of health benefits to count.

Did You Know That…                                                                      

  • 3 cups of coffee a day can drop the chance of getting liver cancer by 50%
  • 4 cups of coffee a day can drop the chance of getting mouth/throat cancer by 50%
  • Caffeine can reduce the risk of suicide in adults
  • Caffeine can also boost long term memory           
  • Plus caffeine has been proven to protect against: Parkinson’s, Stroke, and Heart Disease!                                                                                                               

Sweet news right? WRONG!!  Correct. Very good news. We all could use a few health benefits in our lives. But, as you have learned in this cold existence, there is no purity, everything has a negative, nothing is simply good, all things are evil and joy cannot be found. So. Yeah. Onto the things that caffeine doesn’t do well. yippee…

Unfortunately, caffeine, being a drug, acts like a drug. Interesting fact, addiction, dependency, withdrawal, and overdose, are all fun activities that are very possible with caffeine. What are the effects of these? Well that’s quite a list. If you were to consume over the recommended maximum amount of daily caffeine consistently, (400 mg >21 years olds, 300 mg <21 years old) your body would build up a tolerance and eventually a dependence. Now, whenever a body builds a dependence on something, especially a drug, one of 2 things is typically the next step. Either Overdose, or Withdrawal. Both can be catastrophic. If you are to overdose on caffeine, you can expect to experience confusion, hallucinations, dairhea, extreme thirst, excess urine (very dark), trouble breathing, irregular heartbeat, muscle twitching and in extreme cases, Death by convulsions. Which is really one of the worst ways to go. Should you develop a dependency on caffeine and then cut yourself off too quickly, you’ll go into withdrawal. Which leads to nausea, vomiting, achy muscles and extreme fatigue. Either one, overdose or withdrawal, is not excellent. Experts, and everyone else, say that the best way to avoid these, is to simply not develop the habit, which leads to addiction. While I’m talking about avoiding addiction, you may find it interesting to know that people ages 16-24 are most susceptible to addiction. In fact, 3/4 addictions occur within that age group. And, as you know by now, you certainly can be addicted to caffeine. What are the consequences? Well, on top of all of the above, teens taking in large amounts of caffeine are at risk of sleep loss, weight gain, and acne. Do you need more of that than you already have? I think not. Keep that in mind next time you reach for that third cup of coffee.

 The key here is knowing your limit. Remember, under 21, it’s recommended to take in no more than 300 mg a day. So what’s in your favorite drinks? Here’s a short list.

  • Regular Coffee (8 oz): 100-150 mg
  • Monster Energy (1 can): 86 mg
  • Red Bull (1 can): 111 mg
  • 5 Hour Energy (1 bottle): 207 mg
  • Mountain Dew (1 can): 54 mg
  • Tea (8 oz): 35-90 mg

So, with a limit of 300 mg of caffeine a day, keep these numbers in mind. I won’t tell you how to live your life, but this is a pretty solid suggestion. And remember kids:

                                 DON’T DO DRUGS