Stimulants are drugs that improve our physical and mental health temporarily, so we have increased energy, increased alertness and feelings of well-being.
But we can become addicted to stimulants, and as harmless as we think they are, they can start to work in the total opposite way. I am not talking about the ones we know about, like speed, cocaine or cannabis. I am talking about caffeine, the one that seems harmless, but can be quite damaging to our health.
What are the problems with caffeine?
In the long-term caffeine becomes addictive, meaning the more we drink, the more we feel the need to drink. Caffeine may make us feel more alert and more energised as a short-fix, but in the long-term it means we can become addicted.
What does caffeine do?
Caffeine blocks the receptors for brain chemicals, leading to increases in adrenalin and alertness. The more caffeine we drink the more the body becomes used to, the more it becomes insensitive to its own natural stimulants.
This spiral continues as we become more and more reliant on it just to make us feel normal, resulting in the body’s inability to produce its own natural stimulants and leading to an addiction. Feelings of depression, exhaustion and an inability to cope without a regular consumption of caffeine usually follows.
But coffee is not the only product that contains caffeine. Caffeine is also used to manufacture Coca Cola and energy drinks including Red Bull. It is also used in tea. Green tea and chocolate drinks contain caffeine, but not in the same measure as those drinks mentioned above.