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Don’t’ Tweak: Health Effects of Caffeine Addiction

Your body may be dependent on caffeine.
Your body may be dependent on caffeine.

Fact or fiction: A person can become addicted to caffeine?

If you’re among one of the many individuals who can’t start their day without a morning cup of coffee or an energy drink, then you may think that your body can’t function without it.

Let’s take a closer look at the evidence behind how caffeine affects the mind and body.

Caffeine content can range from 160 milligrams in a typical energy drink to as little as four milligrams in a one-ounce serving of chocolate syrup.

According to WebMD, decaffeinated coffee isn’t completely free of caffeine. Caffeine can be found in various over-the-counter pain relievers, cold medications and diet pills.

These products have been known to contain as little as 16 milligrams, and as much as 200 milligrams of caffeine.

In fact, caffeine itself is a mild painkiller and increases the effectiveness of other pain relievers.

According to MayoClnic, caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system, and regular use of it does cause mild physical dependence. However, caffeine doesn’t threaten your physical, social, or economic health the way addictive drugs do.

If you go cold turkey and discontinue consuming caffeine in some form, then you might find yourself experiencing some of these symptoms associated with caffeine withdrawal:

• Headache
• Fatigue
• Anxiety
• Irritability
• Depression
• Difficulty concentrating

There’s no doubt that caffeine withdrawal can make for a few miserable days, but caffeine doesn’t cause the severity of withdrawal or harmful drug-seeking behaviors as street drugs or alcohol.

It’s for this reason, most physicians don’t consider caffeine dependence to be a serious addiction.

Stay alert.

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