Effects of Caffeine/Coffee

The Reason I Chose Coffee/Caffeine as My Substance

Coffee is a brewed drink made from the roasted coffee beans in varying grades with different desired flavors and colors like black, light brown, dark brown, and beige (National Coffee Association, 2020). Darkly colored, slightly acidic, and bitter, coffee acts as a stimulant in humans primarily because of its caffeine component. Coffee is one of the popular drinks liked by many people in the world, and it is mostly served hot in homes or restaurants, though iced coffee is also common (Cappelletti, Daria, Sani & Aromatario, 2015). Thus, having described little but key background information on coffee and being among the most drinks people like in the world, it is a relevant substance to study its effects on humans. Further, coffee is the most and regular drink I use; for this reason, it is easy if I use it for study to examine its biological, psychological, social, and spiritual effects it has on me. The findings from this study about coffee effects will be of help to determine whether people using coffee is most positively or most negatively affected. Results can be used to make a difference to those who one way or another are using coffee but are unaware of the impacts incurred.

Biological, Psychological, Social and Spiritual Reactions Effects of Coffee

After having refrained from using coffee for continuous two weeks and done assessment on biological, psychological, social, and spiritual reactions of coffee, the following discussion demonstrates the feedback recorded in the dependency journal.

Biological Reactions

From the dependency journal for the two weeks, I refrained using coffee, and I experienced biological reactions such as feeling a little tired, drowsy, and irritable for the first week. However, in the second week, I started to experience fatigue, drowsiness, accompanied by a little headache. The biological reactions mentioned here are usually caused due to the withdrawal of caffeine substance from the body, which is found in the coffee. Irritability is experienced when the body used to caffeine substance is withdrawn, or the body is no longer given the substance. According to Kubala (2018), most caffeine users have had difficulty in cutting back due to irritability or anger symptoms.

On the other hand, a headache occurs due to much caffeine in the body or as a symptom of caffeine insufficiency in the body. Caffeine causes constriction of blood vessels in the brain leading to slow blood flow; thus, withdrawal of caffeine will cause blood vessels to open and increase the flowing of blood in the brain. The sudden variation in blood flow results in headaches, which can vary in severity and length as the brain adjusts to blood flow increase.  Whereas drowsiness is a result of caffeine deficiency in the body to cause stimulation for the body to remain active as it acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system. People consume coffee in the morning mainly to boost their alertness level so that fatigue is prevented. In the case of sudden stop or decrease in caffeine consumption, a person will feel tired during the day. Therefore, the experience of the biological reaction from coffee restraining is as a result of central nervous system stimulation effects.

Psychological Reactions

On the first days of restraining from coffee, my mood was okay; it was not affected, but as days elapsed, I started experiencing less alertness, and in the second-week anxiety and depressed mood followed. Caffeine is a stimulant, and it increases the heart rate, stress hormones, and blood pressure. Whereas caffeine consumption can cause anxiety, withdrawal can also trigger the effect on the users as the body is physiologically and mentally dependent on it. Anxiety reaction is a common symptom reported in people trying to retrain from usual caffeine use (Kubala, 20180). Caffeine has the ability to raise mood, and its capability to block adenosine causes alertness and mood improvement to the users. The regular consumption of caffeine has been linked to decreased dangers of depression in people. Therefore, if caffeine users withdraw from using it, they may experience a change in mood.

Social Reactions

For the first days of coffee withdrawal, I experienced poor concentration at work, and with co-workers, I became less friendly and less approachable. As the days moved on in the second week, there was a drastic change where I became friendly to people and also approachable. In most cases, the primary reason people like to consume caffeine drinks like coffee is to improve their concentration. Caffeine substance in the body rises adrenaline hormone levels, which is produced by adrenal glands. Caffeine also enhances excitatory neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine activities in body. The reactions increase blood pressure, heart rate, and sparks brain initiating alertness and making a person focused. Thus, caffeine withdrawal impacts negatively on the body concentration making the user less interactive as the body struggles to familiarized performing without caffeine (Eske, 2019).

Spiritual Reactions

Withdrawal from something you like and regularly use is a difficult step a person can take in life. In the first days of restraining from consuming coffee, I questioned my instincts if I can really manage to go for two weeks without coffee. But as the days moved, I started relying on my faith to help me in managing this difficult decision I am facing. Further, I had to establish a stronger relationship with God to give me strength in handling the situation as, through him, all things are possible. Addiction to something is a dangerous situation a person can experience in life. For complete withdrawal from using the substance you are addicted to can caused your spiritual reaction, and most people are negatively affected, causing retreat to pull out of the situation.

The Similarity of this Experience to an Alcoholic Addict

Refraining from using coffee experience is a similar situation to a person addicted to alcohol or drug and is having difficulties in stopping consumption. These two people are just the same, for both are addicted to the substance. They regularly use the substance, and a day cannot pass without taking it or body feeling the substance. According to Eske (2019), to successfully withdraw from using caffeine substance, it is advisable to reduce caffeine gradually, look for the acceptable thing that can replace caffeine, an addicted person should have enough sleep, and drink a lot of water. Similarly, a person addicted to alcohol or drug for complete withdrawal from using the substance will have to look for a substitute like soda, gradually refrain the intake of alcohol, get plenty of sleep, and drink water.

The two experiences are inseparable, especially when you try to compare the effects of the withdrawal process. The biological, psychological, social, and spiritual reactions that a caffeine addict encounters in the withdrawal process is similar to an alcoholic addict will face while refraining. Both users struggle a lot when they try to abstain from the substance and mostly end up failing to complete the refraining process. Addiction commonly affects the substance users’ brain executive performance, and they are likely not to be aware that their actions are causing trouble for themselves and others. Thus, this experience is comparable to alcohol addicts on the effect the substance causes to the users and the process to withdraw from consuming the substance.

Plans for Using the Substance

Coffee has a lot of health benefits to my body that can motivate me to continue using it. Some of the health benefits it has includes improving energy levels in the body and make a person smarter in concentrating. Caffeine can help in burning fats by boosting metabolic rate and enhance physical performance. Coffee contains essential nutrients that can improve body health. Coffee consumption is vital to fighting depression, leaving the user happier free from depression risks.

Furthermore, caffeine can help in lowering the risks of liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes. For the above reasons, my coffee consumption will continue so that I benefit from improving my health. However, the consumption degree should be checked by considering reducing the levels slowly until the correct usage is achieved. In summary, coffee is good and essential to our body only if the right amount of it is consumed. When misused and get addicted, it will affect our body negatively, and withdrawal from consuming it is a complicated process that a person can try. We are responsible for our health, and it is wise if we refrain from getting addicted to substances we regularly consume.

References

Cappelletti, S., Daria, P., Sani, G., & Aromatario, M. (2015). Caffeine: Cognitive and Physical Performance Enhance or Psychoactive Drug. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article/PMC4462044/.

Eske, J. (2019). Caffeine Withdrawal: Symptoms and How To Cope. Medicalnewstoday.com. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324768#caffeine-withdrawal.

Kubala, J. (2018). 8 Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal. Healthline. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-withdrawal-symptoms#section6.

Ncausa.org. (2020). National Coffee Association. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.ncausa.org.

Pietrangelo, A. & Cherney, K. (2018). The Effects of Caffeine On Your Body. Healthline. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/caffeine-effects-on-body#4

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