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What Harm is Caffeine?

Updated on June 22, 2020
Mark O Richardson profile image

Mark is from Utah. He is married and has 3 children. He is a graduate of the University of Utah.


“I like it. If I start my day off with some caffeine, I am awake all day,” says Rachel McNeil, “but if I drink too much, I get jittery.”

Often, soda is a great talking point with people. Whether it comes in small amounts, such as chocolate, or in large amounts, like a cup of coffee, caffeine comes in many forms.

Caffeine Amounts by Product

Serving Size
Caffeine Amount
NoDoz, max strength
1 tablet
Coffee, brewed
8 oz
Snapple Iced Tea, all varieties
16 oz bottle
Mountain Dew
12 oz.
Hershey Bar (Milk Chocolate)
1 bar (1.5 oz)
Cocoa or Hot Chocolate
8 oz


As you can see, the amounts of caffeine vary, depending on the product. People do not always realize the harm of this ingredient. Nor do many realize that some things even contain caffeine.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest gives the many side effects of caffeine. It is said to cause birth defects, cancer, heart disease, infertility, lack of sleep, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. But still, many people would disagree and say that it is not harmful. Over time, it can be, depending on how much one has had over their lifetime.

One problem with drinks is that there is not enough variety for someone who wants to get a drink. People get sick of the same non-carbonated drinks. It is wise to have caffeine in moderation, if at all. Many get addicted to it, then get headaches when they don’t have it. It has its uses. People may use it to wake them up if tired. It would be a good idea to use it instead of falling asleep at the wheel or to use it while working heavy machinery.

However, to avoid being tired, of course, it is always better to get sufficient sleep. I have found that I need at least 6 hours, otherwise I am very tired. But more than 6 is preferred.

Author's Opinion

Personally, I have liked caffeine, especially Cherry Pepsi and Code Red Mountain Dew. In the past, I had strong cravings for soda and used to drink 36 oz or more at a time, multiple times per week.

However, from my experience, due to going two or more weeks without soda, I no longer crave it, fortunately. I haven't sworn it off completely. I may have a can or so per week. Personally, I stay away from the energy drinks because I hear that they are bad for your heart.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Mark Richardson


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