- Mental Health
Caffeine Side Effects
How dependent are you on caffeine (coffee, tea, Rockstar Energy Drink, Monster Energy Drink, Red Bull)?
Does caffeine help you to concentrate?
How reliant are you on that first cup of coffee before facing the world?
Caffeine is one of more than 50 drugs restricted by the International Olympic Committee for the effect it has on athletic performance1. No wonder so many people use it to get them out of bed in the morning!
Caffeine can turn you from a sluggish sloth to a high-powered hawk. If you are a committed coffee drinker, try the following experiment:
To find out
if coffee really affects your concentration.
types of coffee you have not tried before, one caffeinated and one
decaffeinated. Put them into identical jars so you don't know which is
which. Try each one every day for a week and see if you can tell which
is the caffeinated coffee.
Note the effect each
coffee has on you. Does it make you less sleepy and more alert? Do you
react faster and concentrate better?
Can you say
for sure that one type of coffee has a real stimulating effect on you?
You may even notice some negative effects. One type of coffee may make
you urinate more, or may make your heart beat faster.
is a chemical - even in small doses it can have a stimulating effect on
your nervous system2 by boosting the way messages are
transmitted between cells. It affects muscle cells in your heart and the
airway into your lungs (a chemical related to caffeine has been used to
treat asthma). It makes your kidneys take more water out of your blood
to form urine, so you will urinate and drink more3. In
addition, caffeine causes the release of insulin, a hormone that acts to
reduce the amount of sugar in your blood. If you don't have something
to eat with your coffee, you may quickly feel hungry.
You are not necessarily caffeine-free just because you don't
drink coffee. Do you drink tea, cocoa or soft drinks? These are also
likely to include caffeine. If you really want to reduce your caffeine
intake, try the following instead: a smaller cup; instant rather than
ground coffee; decaffeinated rather than caffeinated coffee (or a
mixture of the two); weaker tea; decaffeinated soft drinks; or herbal