Top-Rated Free Essay

The Effects of Caffeine

Topics: Caffeine, Coffee / Pages: 3 (639 words) / Published: Apr 21st, 2006
Caffeine

What do you call a cow who's just given birth? De-calf-inated!
How many of you have had a cup of coffee today? How about a soft drink? Chocolate? An Excedrin? All of the above products have one thing in common: They all contain caffeine. In this speech, we'll look at caffeine's origins and how it spread, some caffeinated products, and the effects that caffeine has on the body. On any given day, four out of five Americans have a already digested it, making it the World's most popular stimulant.
According to National Geographic's January edition, less than 200 years ago, people figured out that the buzz they got from coffee and tea was the same chemical. In 1820, after coffee shops had spread across Western Europe, the German chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge first isolated the drug in a coffee bean. The newly discovered drug was dubbed "caffeine" meaning something found in coffee. Scientists then began to find caffeine in many of its natural forms. In more than 60 plants, scientists found caffeine in kola leaves, cacao pods, and tea leaves just to name a few. Caffeine motivated the industrial revolution in Western Europe. Boiling water to make coffee or tea helped decrease the spread of disease between workers. Also, the caffeine in their systems kept them from falling asleep while working the machines. In a sense, caffeine is the drug that makes the modern world possible. Without that useful jolt of coffee or diet coke or Red Bull to get us out of the bed and back to work, the 24-hour society of the developed world couldn't exist. According to webmd.com, Americans of all ages are getting a caffeine buzz. Nearly 90% of adults and 76% of children are getting caffeinated on a daily basis. Caffeine can be found in beverages, foods, and medicines.
**VISUAL AID**
Here are a few examples of caffeine-containing products
With caffeine in most sodas and snacks, it's almost impossible to avoid caffeine even for one day.
The consumption of caffeine has multiple effects on the human body; some are highly desirable, while others are not. Feelings of alertness, quickened reaction time, improved memory, and enhanced mood are its selling points. Low doses of caffeine generally produce increased alertness, increased energy, and an improved sense of well-being. A low dose is considered an intake of less than 200 mg per day (about 2 cups of brewed coffee). Moderate consumption is also acceptable and has few risks. It is defined as 200-300 mg a day (about 3 cups brewed coffee). However, habitual use, even in small doses, can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms. High caffeine consumption is considered to be more than 300 mg a day (more than 3 cups brewed coffee). These doses can lead to anxiety, irritability, disturbed sleep patterns, tremors, and nervousness. Heavy caffeine intake has also been linked to heartburn, ulcers, fibrocystic breast disease, heart problems, heart disease, infertility, and diabetes.
**Visual Aid**
In massive doses, caffeine is lethal. ***Show transparency***
Even though it would be hard to drink that much coffee at one time, it can be done
In conclusion, the dual power to counter physical fatigue and increase alertness is part of the reason caffeine ranks as the world's most popular mood-altering drug, eclipsing the likes of nicotine and alcohol. Getting that jolt, of course, is why many of the most popular beverages on Earth—coffee, cola, tea—just happen to contain coffee. Every working day, Starbuck's opens four new outlets somewhere on the planet. Whether it's a graduate student downing a mocha in the lab or a monk sipping green tea while chanting in the temple, mankind's favorite stimulant is at work everyday, all over the world.

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