Caffeine, the Miracle Drug

At the mention of the word caffeine, generally coffee and energy drinks are the first to come to mind.  Possible explanations for this reason could be due the amount of commercial ads directed towards both younger and older generations regarding products that provide easy, accessible, energizing liquid.  However, as people begin to drink more caffeine, the less informed they are of the negative effects it can cause.

Coffee is most commonly used as a means of waking up and getting through a day of work. Commercial ads advertising their coffee brands often times depict a man or woman waking up for work in the morning with the appearance of an irritable and crabby-like zombie. However, once they have had their coffee they suddenly become a much more lively and bearable person to be around. The result of coffee commercials such as these has thus created the public notion that it’s difficult to wake up without the aid of caffeine first thing in the morning.

Energy drink companies such as Nos, Red Bull and Monster, also contribute to the public’s perception of caffeine by creating the impression that their caffeinated products will enhance an individual’s athletic performance. For instance, Red Bull commercials often coin the phrase “Red Bull gives you wings” which is followed by athletes fearlessly participating in intensive sports such as bmx, parkour, surfing, and skydiving. Due to these commercial ads, caffeine is again glorified as a substance that has the ability of improving concentration and even strength.

In medicine, on the other hand, caffeine is defined as a chemical drug used in medications, which can treat illnesses such as headaches, pain relief, shortness of breath in newborns, asthma, and gall bladder disease. As in any drug, however, symptoms can also occur from consuming caffeine. Medical professionals warn that the side effects of this drug include restlessness, dizziness, anxiety, high blood pressure, weak bones, glaucoma, and heart conditions. People can also build a tolerance to caffeine causing them to require a larger does in order for the drug to be effective. As result, withdrawal from caffeine can lead to severity in these symptoms.

In general, commercial advertisements have influenced the public’s perception of caffeine by portraying it as beneficial substance that energizes people and helps them to accomplish their goals. While science has verified caffeine as stimulant, which helps improve mental alertness as well as certain illnesses, they have yet to successfully raise full awareness to the public regarding the side effects of this drug. Due to the fact that caffeine is an ingredient in several foods and drinks, many do not understand the harm that can result from consuming excessive amounts. If people are better educated about how caffeine can both help and harm them then dependency and withdrawal symptoms on the drug could possibly decrease.

-Natalie Eidson

References: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-979-CAFFEINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=979&activeIngredientName=CAFFEINE

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Posted on February 17, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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