What Is Caffeine?

Let Go & Grow Community LG&G Library Health & Body What Is Caffeine?

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    Caffeine is a popular and common stimulant found in foods and beverages such as coffee, sodas, teas, energy drinks, energy bars, ice cream, chocolate, and more. This stimulant is a bitter substance that occurs naturally in more than 60 plants including coffee beans, tea leaves, kola nuts, and cacao pods. There is also a synthetic caffeine which is added to some medicines, foods and drinks. Caffeine increases the activity of your nervous system and is the most commonly consumed psychostimulant substance in the world. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies caffeine as safe and has stated that consuming up to 400mg of caffeine per day has not been associated with any adverse health effects in healthy adults- however, many studies over the years have observed some mixed results and some people may experience various negative side effects with the intake of less than 400mg per day. Within one hour of eating or drinking caffeine products, the substance reaches its peak level in your blood and you may continue to feel the effects of caffeine for four to six hours. Caffeine has many effects on your body, including the following- caffeine:

    • stimulates your central nervous system (making you feel more awake)
    • may cause frequent urination (caffeine is a diuretic, meaning that it helps your body get rid of extra salt and water)
    • may cause heart palpitations
    • may cause anxiety
    • may cause insomnia
    • may cause increased blood pressure
    • may cause increased heart rate
    • may interfere with the absorption of calcium in your body
    • may increase the release of acid in your stomach, leading to upset stomach or heartburn
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