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The Truth About Caffeine

By Virginia Laird

You have all heard the arguments to rid your life of caffeine. Some say it is addictive. Others will argue that it causes sleep problems. Even more urge caffeine users to try living without it because caffeine itself causes dehydration. Can all this really be true?

Caffeine is Addictive ... or is It?

There is no doubt that caffeine does truly have an effect on the body. Your body may come to rely on caffeine. However, caffeine is not addictive in the same sense as drugs. Drugs have major withdrawal effects that can lead one to a hospital stay when trying to get clean. Yes, when you stop taking in caffeine quickly, your body will have minor withdrawals. Those symptoms can include headache, fatigue, and irritability. Because of the short-lived side effects of stopping caffeine, experts do not list this as an addictive drug.

Can Caffeine Usage Affect Sleep?

Like most people in the world of “there are not enough hours in the day,” you probably spend many days wishing you had just a few extra hours of sleep. You may be sitting up at night wishing you hadn’t had that extra soda or cup of coffee earlier in the day. Though most will tell you that caffeine is your reason for not getting enough hours of restful sleep, research says otherwise. It can be true that drinking caffeine a few hours before bed can cause you to be a little slower to tire. The truth is that caffeine travels through your system relatively quickly. It only takes between five and seven hours for it to pass through the body. With that in mind, there is no way that caffeine is the villain behind insomnia.

Can Caffeine Cause Dehydration?

Although caffeinated beverages can act like a mild diuretic, caffeine itself does not cause dehydration. The cause of any dehydration goes back to the amount of fluids one chooses to take in. Certainly when using a diuretic it is vital to increase water. The effects of a diuretic can cause dehydration when proper liquids have not been replaced. Bottom Line: Drink water, too.

I am not advocating you should jump on the caffeine bandwagon. Hopefully, uncovering the myths about using caffeine will help you make an educated decision as to whether or not the use of caffeine is for you.

To learn more about your health and wellness, visit your local The Joint Chiropractic.

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