Almost every student has an encounter with using caffeine as a study aid in university or college, or at work to get ready for the day. But few understand what caffeine is, where it comes from and what effect it is actually having on their bodies besides keeping them awake.
Most people know that coffee, tea and cola have caffeine in them. As a general rule, coffee has the most amount of caffeine in it, followed by tea and cola. Caffeine can also be found in chocolate and some painkillers, but generally in very small amounts.
In Canada, there are rules stating that caffeine cannot be added to any beverage unless it occurs in the ingredients naturally. So coffee, tea and cola can have caffeine in them, because it occurs naturally in coffee beans, tealeaves and kola nuts. Caffeine cannot be added to orange juice, since it does not occur naturally in oranges.
Some products have been using a loophole in the law that allows caffeine to be added to beverages classified as natural health products, such as energy drinks.
Besides keeping you awake, caffeine speeds up your heart rate, increases your blood pressure and increases the blood flow to your muscles. Some people can build up a tolerance to caffeine, meaning that they must consume more for it to have an effect on them.
Primarily caffeine can keep you up when you're tired enough that you should be sleeping. When the drug wears off, you could crash and become very tired. So if you use caffeine to keep yourself awake, you're just putting off the inevitable. You might also end up with a headache after the caffeine is gone from your system.
If you have too much caffeine, you might also experience heightened nervousness, restlessness and insomnia. Having an...