A report on Caffeine and it's harmful effects to the body.

Essay by LoserKidHigh School, 10th grade March 2004

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It's 11:00 PM at night, and you've already experienced a busy day of school and after school activities. You're tired and you know you could use some sleep, but there's still a matter of doing your homework or watching that video that's due back at the video store. So, instead of getting your sleep, you reach for the remote and the caffeine.

Does this sound familiar? If it does, you aren't by yourself, especially with so many caffeinated drinks and products readily available. However, the usage of caffeine isn't all it appears to be.

Caffeine is a drug that is produced naturally, in the leaves and seeds of many plants. Also produced artificially, caffeine, at times, added to certain foods. Caffeine is part of the same group of drugs sometimes used to treat asthma.

Caffeine can be found in tealeaves, coffee beans, chocolate, numerous soft drinks, pain relievers, and over-the-counter tablets, such as No-Doz and Vivarin. By definition, caffeine most certainly is a drug. It arouses the central nervous system, stimulating increased heart rate and attentiveness. Those sensitive to caffeine usually experience a momentary increase in energy, and an elevation in mood.

When it is in its natural form, caffeine has a very bitter taste. It is used in Barq's Root Beer to add flavor, and to create its signature taste. The majority of caffeinated drinks, however, have gone through enough processing to hide their bitter taste. Most teens get the majority of their caffeine intake through soft drinks, which can have added sugar and artificial flavors.

when taken in moderate amounts, many feel that caffeine can increase their mental alertness. Maybe, someone you know feels they need that first cup of java in the morning to get their day started.

Increased dosages of caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness,