Effects of Caffeine

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Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine has been a hot topic in the medical community as of late. Studies have shown that the effects of caffeine are undoubtedly beneficial to people's health. However, other studies have shown that its effect can have a negative impact on health.

So what is caffeine and where do you find it? According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, it is "a bitter alkaloid C8H10N4O2 found especially in coffee, tea, and kola nuts and used medicinally as a stimulant and diuretic," (Merriam-Webster). It can be found in foods such as chocolate, cappuccino frozen yogurt and mocha cheesecake. Surprisingly enough, it can also be found in beverages such as Sunkist Orange Soda, Mountain Dew and Jolt. Medically speaking, caffeine is considered a drug. What distinguishes it as a drug is that a habitual user experiences withdrawal symptoms whenever he or she cuts back on the amount typically consumed or decides to quit it cold turkey. In his article, Flora (2004) reports that withdrawal from caffeine can be considered an official disorder and will "likely be included in the next edition of the DSM, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the bible of psychiatric disorders," (par. 3). Caffeine is such a powerful stimulant that the American Psychiatric Association has "added three related disorders to the list of official diagnoses associated with caffeine: caffeine intoxication, caffeine-related anxiety and caffeine-related sleep disorders," (Mann, par. 4) Even though caffeine is technically considered to be a drug, it does have some health benefits. For instance, an article from The Cleveland Clinic notes that caffeine "increases alertness, decreases fatigue and improves muscle coordination," (par. 2), and Flora notes that it enhances physical endurance (par. 7). It is reported that 89% of the American public prefer choose caffeine as their drug of choice (Psychology Today, par. 1). What a wonderful thing caffeine is. At least it...
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