These days it is easy to overdose on caffeine (Wikipedia).
In fact, some people even boast about getting their caffeine fix and tell themselves, and others, that they cannot function without it. You see this across the web; in social media bios, tweets, Facebook posts and more. Caffeine addiction is often presented as some kind of ‘badge of honour’, or thinly disguised by phrases such as ‘Starbucks Addict”.
Caffeine is a drug and if you can’t function without it, you probably have an addiction.
Consuming too much caffeine can creep up on you. I for example used to drink white tea and green tea regularly. I became a caffeine addict unknowingly. In fact because I drank large quantities of green and white tea it was easy to think of it as being healthy. White tea can have 60 mg of caffeine per cup (I used a mug, which is larger), so it’s not hard to hit a suggested maximum intake of 400 mg caffeine per day (Australian Beverages Council information page).
Have a good read of the Wikipedia article linked at the top of this post. Among others things, the article covers some of the mental health aspects of consuming too much caffeine, as well as side effects (see graphic in the article) – some of which are mind related. Personally, I did not suffer caffeine related mental health issues, however I did have some physiological issues; more on these later.
WebMD have a terrific resource here, which includes details on side effects of caffeine.
Now, notice that I started this post with the words: “These days…” I did so because currently, unlike in decades past, it is so easy to consume too much caffeine – it is included in energy drinks and even some caffeine boosted confectionary!
Just in case you think that consuming too much caffeine is difficult, and won’t apply to you, or your loved ones, have a read of this:
As a 19-year-old dies after downing a high-caffeine drink, the worrying truth about the energy drink craze that’s putting young lives in danger – the article covers a number of key points, one of which is the way marketing is used to encourage consumption of this caffeinated crap by the young. In my view, it is not ethical.
Please also bear in mind that one of the functions of our brains is to think and avoid potential harm.
When we fail to do that, a kind of ‘natural selection’ kicks in and people with poor thinking skills can thus be eliminated from the breeding pool.
No apologies for being blunt. If you are a parent, part of your responsibility is to help your children make wise choices. Please don’t start bleating about how hard it is.
Six Tips To Reduce The Stress Hormone, Cortisol This shocking article is the one which had the most profound effect on me. I had been aware of my lowered metabolism, adding unexpected girth to my waist and a looser oesophagus than I liked. I decided to stop drinking tea cold turkey after reading the article. I had withdrawal symptoms for two to three weeks, gradually tapering off. Today I rarely drink tea (don’t like the taste of coffee, though adore the smell). My oesophagus has tightened and the minor GERD has virtually disappeared. Better health is an excellent reward for giving up green & white tea, which I loved.
Hopefully you can stop doing yourself in with caffeine. If you want some help, please get in touch.
PS: No medical professional told me about the need to stop consuming caffeine to assist with GERD sysmptoms – I found out about it online. It is important to take personal responsibility for our health. Medicos can and will ‘drop the ball’ and in any case, to many of them you will just be number – sometimes a large one ;-).