Perhaps many of us use this drug as a means of staying alert at work or during
long or night drives. Others of us may be hopelessly “addicted” to
our four-to-five cokes per day! All of us have used caffeine in one form or
another for its drug effect — stimulation of the nervous system. So how
should we feel about it’s use?
In mild or small doses, caffeine will, indeed, keep the nervous system more
alert. In larger doses, however, such as found in over-the-counter pills which
are sold to keep one awake, irritability, shakiness and poor judgment can be
the result. As you can imagine, these symptoms could lead to accidents. Also,
the bladder is stimulated and leads to more “pit stops”! Finally,
heart palpitations or skipped beats can be caused in certain people, which can
occasionally be dangerous.
How much is too much caffeine? Since we are all so different, the best advice
is to stop when you begin to get edgy, shaky or irritable.
On the subject of coffee, there are many unfounded rumors and stories. To the
relief of coffee drinkers everywhere, coffee has not been proven to cause any
disease of the heart or otherwise, or cancer. Studies have not been proven to
show any benefit for decaff over regular for cancer, heart or other
My best advice is to moderate your caffeine intake, don’t rely on it to
keep you awake, get adequate rest and see your family doctor if you feel you
have a medical problem.