Free research paper sample on Caffeine:
In today’s society, caffeine is a way of life and can be found in various shapes and forms. Though most people might not regard caffeine as a drug, it very much is. Around 90% of Americans swallow caffeine each day and at the amount of 300 milligrams. Caffeine is a white powder that is fairly soluble in liquid at a person’s body temperature. In the supermarket, many products up and down the isle can be found that contain caffeine in some sort of form. Coffee, which usually contains the most, to the ever popular choice of soda are just some of the products that include the substance, caffeine. Not only can it be found in many regular products, but also in the form of over-the-counter medicines. Caffeine is prescribed for treatment of drowsiness and fatigue. As with all forms of it, caffeine is dangerous and has put a big burden on society today. People do not know its destructive affects and continue to abuse it unknowingly. The stimulant, caffeine has had an adverse effect on behavior in America and is simply going to get worse as time goes on.
Before learning of the effects it has on a person’s psychological state and their behavior, one must fully understand the effects it has on the body. Its chemical name is trimethylxanthine and is ingested orally. Once inside of the body, caffeine is absorbed within 30 minutes and then enters the blood stream.
According to scientific research, “caffeine’s half-life is about 3 hours. It is metabolized almost completely, with only 10% or less being excreted from the body unchanged” (Badgett par.2). This means that most of the substance is absorbed through out the body. Caffeine has a direct influence on a person’s central nervous system because it helps obstruct the brain’s neuroreceptors for adenosine, which is natural behavior sedation. By blocking this it cause the stimulation effect on the body. As all of this is happening within the body, the pituitary glands notice the action and are tricked into thinking a crisis is underway, which in turn alerts the adrenal glands. This triggers the release of adrenaline into the body, which has numerous effects on the body. For example your pupils dilate, heart rate increases, and the liver release sugar into the blood for a kick of energy. Now that a basic understanding of how caffeine affects the body, the ways it affects the way people act can be grasped.
The central thing that caffeine has the biggest effect on is on sleep. A while ago, caffeine was used for handling of unnecessary sleepiness, but now after much research and many studies, it is concluded that caffeine may not be the best idea for sleeping disorders. The effects of the substance on the sleep cycle are tremendous. It starts off by many people taking caffeine in some form to battle tiredness and other such conditions. Hoping that once the caffeine is ingested, the day will be filled with energy and alertness; however this is only the start of things. That night while trying to rejuvenate the body’s energy, many things begin to happen. Taking caffeine during the day leads to sleep onset and sleep maintenance difficulties. Tossing and turning is very typical through out the night. The quality of one’s sleep is drastically impaired due to all the energy in the body. One important thing of sleep is to be able to go into REM sleep, but with the effects of caffeine, the body is not able to fall deep asleep. This can cause problems both now and in the future. Because dreams occur in REM stage, it is reported that dreams are affected on an occasional basis. With all the short-term effects on sleep, acknowledging the more severe effects is a must. The long terms affects of caffeine are very serious. Users experience chronic insomnia, which is a big problem. The caffeine cycle is one big circle. Consuming caffeine lets one experience a stimulate type of feeling. Now comes the bad part, the caffeine totally disrupts sleep patterns, making the user feel the urge to intake caffeine once again the next morning to help revitalize their body from the previous night’s rest. The cycle keeps repeating itself because the user feels the need to a quick fix to energize them self. As stated above caffeine has a serious effect on ones sleep. People don’t understand that by including caffeine into the diet, it disrupts sleep and only makes one think it will help relieve the problem.
A big concern today that was not present in past years is the effects of caffeine on children. According to a journal article by Eileen O’Connor, she states that, “Children today drink as much as they did 20 years ago, averaging as much as 20 ounces a day” (par.1). This problem has direct affect on a child’s behavior and their future. Consuming this much caffeine in a younger person has a stronger effect on the body then that of a matured adult. Their bodies have a lower tolerance and are more susceptible to stronger effects. Many of the products children consume everyday contain caffeine one way or another, and the parents who purchase it for them, don’t see the dangers in it. Children today have enough trouble paying attention and cooperating with others, that they don’t need impact of caffeine on their body. In many environments, which children have to be focused, the children are having trouble paying close attentions. This is all the result of kids having a can of soda for lunch, rather then a caffeine free drink. Kids do not know the adverse effects cause every time consuming caffeine. It is up to the manufactures and parents of the kids to take action and prevent or at least cut back on the consumption of caffeine. The children are tomorrow’s leaders and need the all the help they cant get to ensure a bright future for them.
Like all drugs, caffeine has the potential of causing addiction. This is a very serious problem, to what seems like such a harmless drug. When comparing caffeine to other drugs commonly know to be addictive, one might not come to terms of the similarities. It works on the same level as such drugs as amphetamines, cocaine and, heroin, which stimulate the brain. When experiencing the feeling of not being able to function on a day to day basis without it, then that is classified as being addicted. This disorder happens to many Americans yearly. One reason it is so addictive is because it raises the dopamine levels in one’s body. Because of the increased dopamine levels, the body starts to experience a heightened level of pleasure. Many researchers believe this is a direct correlation of why so many people become addicted to caffeine. Also many people rely on caffeine to get them through the long day ahead. Then that night as their sleep suffers, they wake up even worse the next morning. This in turns forces them back to caffeine to give them the strength to make it through this day now. This cycle repeats it self day in and day out, until the addict comes to terms of what is happening and decides to change their habit. Because the number of Americans that consume caffeine is around 90%, this is a big cause for concern. Caffeine addiction is a serious problem that has to be dealt with before society as a whole becomes hooked on something so troubling.
As with addiction, caffeine users also have a troubled time going through withdrawal. With the disruption of regular caffeine intake, characteristics related to withdrawal arise such as severe headaches. Also while cutting caffeine out of ones diet, tiredness and fatigue begin to occur. In addition subjects tend to experience a decline in attention and failure to complete various task. This is a problem since many people out in the work force tend to resort to caffeine. Coffee machines can be found in most offices, supplying the workers with a fresh jolt of energy, only to later on succumb to exhaustion. Instead of helping the problem out in the short term, they are creating bigger problems down the road. For example work production decrease and so forth. Once the user begins to use the stimulant to combat these negative feelings, he/she starts the dependence all over again. The effects of withdrawal have put a burden on society. People become more agitated, which is a big cause for concern. There are no cures for withdrawal as of this time; however it is mainly up to the user to become aware what is happening and to display great poise. In order for society to become more immune to the pressures of an easy fix of caffeine. Withdrawal places a great weight upon humanity and is a serious problem that has great effects on how we all live.
Caffeine might not be as innocent as everyone might think. The effects that it has cast through out society affect everyone one way or another. This all happens because it is so accessible to anyone who wants it and sometimes even if they don’t want it. Being that it is easily addictive in any form, users must be aware of its consequences. From the quality of sleep to our sons and daughters, caffeine is causing America’s behavior to circle downwards. Caffeine may be needed in some instances for medical conditions, but should not be available in an everyday product. In recent times, an abundant amount of products have been advertised as caffeine free, giving the people a choice in their health. The effects caffeine has on its user might be temporary; however the effects it has on the body provides evidence for researchers to worry.
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