Soda. Tea. Coffee. Chocolate.
What do all these things have in common? Yes, sure they taste good, but what else?
That’s right; they all contain caffeine. If you’ve always wondered why your mother always said not to drink soda before bed, you’ve come to the right place.
So, what is caffeine?
Caffeine is a bitter substance that is found in Kola nuts, the plant used in many different products such as chocolate and soda. When used as an ingredient in these items and ingested, the caffeine acts as a stimulant to the body’s nervous system, increasing the speed at which messages travel to and from our brains. For a time, it can assist you in staying alert and giving you a temporary boost of energy.
Ever seen the TV shows where the parents wake up and look horrible, then drink a cup of coffee and look all set to go? That’s the caffeine working. It’s basically jump starting their brains.
While not entirely bad, your body will eventually become “used” to the caffeine, and you will need to take more to achieve the “energy boost” that you desire. The first time you only needed one soda…..now you need three.
Sounds like a good thing, right? Wrong.
Blah blah blah…so what’s wrong with it already?
In large amounts, or even in small amounts used over long periods of time, caffeine can be detrimental to your body. It can:
• Cause abnormal heart rhythms and increase heart rate
• Dehydrate you
• Keep you up at night
• Cause headaches
• Make your body shaky
• Interact with some medications in negative ways
• Affect an infant through breast feeding
Why I would like to cut caffeine out of my diet:
In addition to the above side effects, heavy users of caffeine can become dependent on the drug and will experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to lessen their intake of it. My father has this problem with Mountain Dew. He drinks 3-5 a day in the morning alone and will experience massive headaches when he passes one up.
Along with that thought….most caffeine products are fatty and have a high sugar content anyway (hello chocolate and soda). You sure don’t want to become dependent on something that has not just one bad ingredient….but two! The less soda you drink, the happier your body will be.
I’ve never been a big user of caffeine myself, besides the occasional chocolate bar or soda. However, lately, because I take lunch breaks at work at the nearest fast food restaurant, i’ve been drinking more and more soda recently. Three nights ago, I failed an assignment for class because I drank too much soda and couldn’t sleep the night before. I slept late through the deadline and missed the turn-in date.
I still made an A in the course, but just barely.
I almost dropped a letter grade…because I drank a soda.
Sorry, you can take your soda back *insert soda producer here*. I’ll have a water.