From HEALTH TOPICS on the UHS Web site
• Reduce the number of caffeinated drinks you have every Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It is one of the day. If you have coffee in the morning and a Coke in the most popular drugs in the world, consumed by up to 90% of afternoon, try skipping the Coke and replace it with water or people in the world in one form or another, but mostly in beverages. It is a naturally occurring substance found in plants • Brew tea for a shorter time. The less time you brew it, the like cocoa beans, tea leaves, and kola nuts. less caffeine it will contain. Try herbal teas, which usually Caffeine's strongest effects are felt for about an hour after taking • Watch out for soft drinks and energy drinks like Red Bull, it, but some effects last 4 to 6 hours. Caffeine causes increased which can contain added caffeine. The amount of caffeine neuron firing in the brain, which the pituitary gland perceives as an emergency and therefore causes the adrenal glands to release • If you are trying to quit and feel yourself getting a headache, adrenaline. Caffeine also increases dopamine levels, the you can try having a small amount of caffeine to alleviate neurotransmitter that is affected by drugs like amphetamines and the headache. For some people, this helps keep up the heroin. Obviously, it does this on a much lower level than those drugs, but this may be the source of caffeine's addictive quality. • Know what is in over-the-counter medications. They can While caffeine is mildly addictive, it has not been shown to have • Drink water or non-caffeinated drinks when you are thirsty. a direct link with any serious health risks. Still, anyone who has Remember, caffeinated beverages will only add to your been up all night after drinking too much coffee can tell you that caffeine can affect a person's mood and sleep pattern. HOW MUCH CAFFEINE AM I HAVING?
Here are some of the frequent effects of caffeine: In the U.S., the average person drinks 200 milligrams a day • Caffeine is a diuretic. Caffeine prompts the body to lose water through urination. This can lead to dehydration and is the reason that caffeinated drinks are not a good idea when Beverage/Food
Amt. (mg)
working out or doing other activities that require fluids. In fact, it is suggested that you add 8 ounces of water for every • Caffeine can cause you to feel jittery, skittish, restless, excitable or anxious. It can temporarily speed the heart rate. If you're feeling stressed out, a cup of coffee can exacerbate, rather than help, this feeling. Too much caffeine can hurt a person's ability to concentrate, making it difficult to study. • Caffeine can cause insomnia. It can be very hard to fall asleep when you take a lot of caffeine. This is especially true if you take it at night, but is also true of higher doses earlier in the day. • Caffeine at high doses can cause headaches. • Some caffeinated beverages can have other health effects. For instance, the acid in coffee can upset the stomach, and coffee (though not the caffeine in it) can worsen ulcers, raise blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and speed up the heart rate, increasing the risk of heart disease. • Caffeine can have negative effects on pregnant women or on women who would like to become pregnant including an increased risk for difficult conception and miscarriage. Caffeine is transmitted through the placenta and through breast milk to the baby. Therefore, if you're pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, the FDA recommends that you stop taking caffeine or cut back to 1 cup per WHAT OTHER STIMULANTS CONTAIN CAFFEINE?
Some herbal stimulants can contain naturally occurring caffeine, especially guarana and mate. This caffeine can have the same HOW DO I CUT BACK ON CAFFEINE?
effects as coffee or tea. Be careful of energy drinks, which can Remember that caffeine is addictive. If you feel like you cannot contain up to 80 mg of caffeine and other stimulant ingredients. get going in the morning, feel overtired during the day from not having caffeine, or get headaches when you try to stop taking ENERGY DRINKS (ENERGY BOOSTING DRUGS)
caffeine regularly, these are signs of dependence. Energy drinks are beverages like Red Bull, Venom, Adrenaline Rush, 180, ISO Sprint, and Whoopass, which contain large If you are having trouble sleeping, feel like you are consuming doses of caffeine and other legal stimulants like ephedrine, too much caffeine or you do not like the effects of caffeine on guarana, and ginseng. Energy drinks may contain as much as 80 your body, here are some suggestions for quitting or cutting mg of caffeine, the equivalent of a cup of coffee. In comparison, Mountain Dew has 37 mg of caffeine and Coca-Cola Classic has • Switch to decaffeinated beverages, or to a mixture of University Health Service, University of Rochester – Call 275-2662 to schedule an appointment. From HEALTH TOPICS on the UHS Web site
These drinks are marketed to people under 30, especially to Know what you are drinking. Energy drinks are not necessarily college students, and are widely available both on and off bad for you, but they should not be seen as "natural alternatives" campus. Many of these drinks are illegal in Canada because they either. Some of the claims they make like "improved performance and concentration" can be misleading. If you think of them as highly caffeinated drinks, you will have a more DANGERS OF ENERGY DRINKS
accurate picture of what they are and how they affect you. You Individual responses to caffeine vary. These drinks should be would not use Mountain Dew as a sports drink. A drink like Red treated carefully because of how powerful they are. Bull and vodka is more like strong coffee and whisky than • The stimulating properties of energy drinks can boost the heart rate and blood pressure (sometimes to the point of palpitations), dehydrate the body, and, like other stimulants, • Energy drinks should not be used while exercising as the How Stuff Works: Caffeine
combination of fluid loss from sweating and the diuretic quality of the caffeine can leave the user severely dehydrated. • Energy drinks are also used as mixers with alcohol. This Center for Science in the Public Interest - Caffeine content
combination carries a number of dangers. Since energy drinks of food and drugs
are stimulants and alcohol is a depressant, the combination of effects may be dangerous. The stimulant effects can mask
Caffeine Addiction
how intoxicated you are and prevent you from realizing how much alcohol you have consumed. Fatigue is one of the ways the body normally tells someone that they have had enough to Medline Plus
The stimulant effect can give the person the impression they are not impaired. No matter how alert you feel, your blood CNN - "Energy drinks pack a punch, but is it too much?" alcohol concentration (BAC) is the same as it would be without the energy drink. Once the stimulant effect wears off, the depressant effects of the alcohol will remain and could cause vomiting in your sleep or respiratory depression. "Red Bull's Energy-Drink Claims May Be Hype -- But Not Its Both energy drinks and alcohol are very dehydrating (the caffeine in energy drinks is a diuretic). Dehydration can hinder your body's ability to metabolize alcohol and will increase the toxicity, and therefore, the hangover the next day. University Health Service, University of Rochester – Call 275-2662 to schedule an appointment.



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