Coffee is a drug? That’s not exactly true. It is the caffeine in the coffee that is the drug that produces an addiction in the body of the chronic coffee drinker. Coffee and caffeine are not against the law and yet there are addictive. And they have negative side effects to the health of the people who drink it.
Addictive effects in the body include:
- mood swings
- cramping, diarrhea, or constipation
- tension or stiffness in neck, shoulders, jaw, hand or legs
- increased premenstrual syndrome
- clenching jaw during sleep
- restless leg syndrome
- rapid heartbeat
- high blood pressure
- shortness of breath
- ringing in the ears
- hand tremors
Most of these symptoms in the body cause long-term problems when people continue to experience them over time. Because it is addictive there are withdrawal symptoms when a person decides that caffeine must be eliminated from their diet.
In a new study researchers found that as little as one cup of coffee a day can have addictive properties. They also found that the withdrawal symptoms may appear to be similar to those symptoms of caffeine intake. Some people going through caffeine withdrawal find that these symptoms are more intense. They include headache, fatigue or drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, depression or irritability and flu like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and stiffness.
The onset of these symptoms is usually within the first 12 to 24 hours and peaks around day 2 or 3. People often report that they experience the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal for 2 to 9 days depending upon their previous addiction, the amount they required to maintain their daily life and other individual factors.
This particular study showed that there was no difference in the type of withdrawal or severity based on the source of the caffeine. The body interprets caffeine as caffeine whether it comes from soda, coffee, tea or chocolate. The withdrawal symptoms are the same and the effect on the body is the same.
Experts disagree as to whether or not people should stop using caffeine. They do agree that it is addictive and creates addictive properties in the body but they don’t agree that the effects necessarily require eliminating caffeine. Researchers and scientists do agree that a slow withdrawal from the drug will produce less side effects and symptoms. They recommend mixing decaf with regular coffee over a period of weeks until you are gradually drinking all decaf coffee.
The withdrawal symptoms are real and are produced because the body requires the caffeine to produce the increased energy and focus each day that it has become used to.