Why We Love Caffeine


People Love Caffeine, But Why? Japanese pachinko machines work like regular pinball machines, except instead of playing one large steel ball at a time, they shoot off dozens of smaller balls, clattering loudly through the playing field, bouncing, racing and ricocheting into obstacles, bumpers and rabbit holes. Lights flash, whistles blow, bells ding, all the while the balls are in play. Until they gradually exit the playing space and everything stops. Kind of like your body on … [Read more...]

Your Habit: Set Point, Tolerance, Withdrawal

Coffee ate my brain

When is caffeine too much of a good thing? The body knows. In most instances, we self-regulate our consumption before serious adverse reactions occur. Our bodies tell us how much we can handle, and we learn to stay within that limit. But over time, we become less sensitive to caffeine's effects, so we gradually increase consumption, to a point. This response is known as tolerance – and it varies from person to person. (Tolerance happens with alcohol and other drugs too, not just … [Read more...]

8. Caffeine: Addiction, Withdrawal, Disorders


If quitting caffeine has been on your mind, this is the chapter to read.... Got a caffeine habit? Welcome to the human race. Ninety percent of the world consumes caffeine every day – as coffee, tea, chocolate, soda or other buzzed-up substance. In Asia and Russia, tea is drunk from morning to night; and coffee's hot in Japan and Korea. In South America, people get their fix from coffee, guarana, or yerba mate (so many choices!). In Brazil – the world's main coffee supplier – … [Read more...]

Caffeine: Are You Addicted?


If you consume caffeine every day, in a regular fashion, you've either got a habit or are addicted – pick the term you prefer. Experts quibble over whether to call caffeine addictive or just habit-forming. The difference is somewhat a matter of semantics, but not entirely. An addiction suggests self-destructive behavior, one that poses a threat to individuals or society, as in a heroin or cocaine addiction. For most of us, caffeine doesn't match that type of downward spiral. Caffeine's … [Read more...]

Caffeine Addiction Symptoms


When does caffeine cause someone to lose control? For many of us, caffeine is no more habit-forming than relying on a morning shower to wake up. But compulsive caffeine consumption – to the point where sleep is disrupted on a regular basis, or hands tremble – suggests a physical and a psychological dependence, perhaps even a mental health disorder. The word "addiction" is an emotionally charged grenade, packed with social stigma and misconceptions. Many health professionals now use the … [Read more...]

Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms: Ouch!


If the world's supply of caffeine suddenly dried up, we'd have a global headache on our hands – literally. Most of our heads would be pounding. Throngs of us would feel grumpy, dopey, sleepy, grouchy, achy, depressed, or all of these. In other words, we'd be suffering from Caffeine Withdrawal Syndrome. Caffeine Withdrawal Syndrome was added in 2013 to The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But why? Apparently, people were … [Read more...]