Caffeine Addiction

This entry was posted by Thursday, 6 February, 2014
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funny cartoon about too much coffee

Conked By Caffeine


Caffeine is one of those counterintuitive things. You think it’s going to turn out bad for you  and it turns out good.

I recently wrote an article about coffee . I called coffee a “guilty pleasure”. I talked about how surprisingly good it seems to be  for you with good effects on blood flow, liver function, and diabetes.

I didn’t let myself get too carried away. Some inner birdie chirped in my ear to watch it. Don’t forget to tell them to use common sense, said the birdie.

So I did.

I ended with “Don’t get too carried away. I don’t want to hear you’re drinking back-to-back coffees all day.”

Good thing.

Now comes a new study  about “caffeine use disorder”.  This comes from Dr. Laura Juliano (American University) and was published in the Journal of Caffeine Research. Dr. Juliano did a literature review pulling in information about the habits of many drinkers of coffee and other caffeinated beverages.

What did she find?

Pretty much what the birdie  – the one who said I better stick that declaimer in my last article? – figured. If you douse yourself in the stuff,  you’re looking for trouble.

Okay. This doesn’t seem to apply to everyone. But, for some people, there’s a real chance you can get hooked on caffeine like you can get hooked on a drug. Withdrawal symptoms. Can’t cut down even when you know you have to.

A cup or two of coffee should be okay but three or more cups can, for some people, lead to trouble.  Any source of caffeine  that dumps 400 mg of caffeine into your system each day could make you a caffeine junkie. Pregnant women should keep it to about 200 mg a day. About a cup of coffee.


How right was the birdie? Does coffee fall from its pedestal? Not the healthy drink I triumphantly proclaimed in November? Or is this last study just making seeming science out of the obvious fact that if you’re one of those who gets too buzzed out on caffeine, you should use a cup of common sense?

MISTER ScienceAintSoBad thinks it’s a good study. It reminds us to keep some sense of proportion even when numerous studies seem to “give permission” for something we love. I guess we’ll tack this onto our Controversy Board for now and track developments  while sipping (in moderation) a cup of  java.

– – – – –

The drawing is mine

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