Caffeine and other OTC stimulants are commonly taken by people every day in large numbers to help give them the necessary energy levels to complete their long work days and speed up their overall productivity.
It is estimated that 100 million people drink coffee every day to help them get through their days with many other people consuming energy drinks and pills to help them get the necessary energy levels to get through their jobs and the gym. The most commonly taken over the counter stimulants are coffee, tea, energy drinks, and diet pills. Taking any of these incorrectly can lead to serious health side effects that we all need to be aware of in order to maintain a healthy and happy life. By taking reasonable dosages and being sure to take breaks we enable our bodies not to be overly taxed with stress hormones.
How Many Mg's of Caffeine and Other Energy Boosters Should I be Taking?
People want a one sized fits all answer to questions such as this, but stimulants like other drugs need to be taken in personalized amounts because our bodies all react differently to how these energy boosters effect us. When our bodies react differently to substances and are effected by drugs differently it is referring to "biochemical individuality" which means our bodies are different and therefore cannot be looked at as equal.
To find the best dosage of caffeine and other stimulants we therefore must dissect the amount of mg's of these products that we have been consuming. Coffee (95-200mg's), black Tea (14-70mg's), and green tea (24-45mg's) are three of the most commonly consumed over the counter stimulants consumed by people. For some people a cup of coffee can give them sides effects such as anxiety and shaky hands while other people can feel very little from the same dose.
Many times depending on which of these choices you prefer can help categorize you as someone who has an average, weak, or strong tolerance for OTC energy boosters and probably also for stimulating prescription and illegal drugs as well.
Can I Take Over the Counter Stimulants like Coffee Everyday?
Many people unknowingly make a very unhealthy decision by consuming stimulants every day without taking days off from them. When we do this we elevate the level of the stress hormone cortisol which can have extremely bad side effects on our body.
Cortisol is a corticosteroid which unlike anabolic steroids actually breaks down tissue like muscle and bones for energy. When we use stimulants excessively though the catabolic effect can be dangerous even breaking down bone tissue and impair our adrenal functioning making us feel extremely tired even if we consume more stimulants. By taking breaks and by consuming reasonable amounts of these energy boosters we enable our body to recover so we can feel healthy and energized.
Can Taking Non-Prescription Stimulants be Dangerous to Our Health?
Everyone knows that taking illegal and prescription stimulants like Adderall, Cocaine, MDMA, and Amphetamines (Speed) have dangerous side effects but can over the counter stimulants like caffeine be addictive and raise cortisol levels?
According to a Johns Hopkins' study even just one cup of coffee a day can produce caffeine addiction for the user. Many people who take this OTC stimulant have addictive tendencies because some of the side effects that are classic signs of addiction.
"The latest research demonstrates, however, that when people don't get their usual dose they can suffer a range of withdrawal symptoms, including headache, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. They may even feel like they have the flu with nausea and muscle pain."
The larger the dose of caffeine that was given the more withdrawal symptoms were present further worsening the addiction. One method that has been successful in helping people rid themselves from these addictions is through gradually lessening the amount taken on a daily basis, by waning the dose it gradually takes someone off the substance without causing extremely bad withdrawal symptoms.
Caffeine Has Been Shown in Studies to Raise Stress Hormones
Because studies show that caffeine increases the level of the stress hormone cortisol in our body if we are putting our bodies at risk for some serious side effects. Cortisol is actually an important hormone which gives us energy, helps mental clarity, and properly use sugar (glucose) in our body. Unfortunately cortisol is better known for the extremely bad sides effects it causes including decreased immune function, increased belly fat, and a lack of energy.
The more caffeine we consume the worse the side effects will be, but one interesting finding in this study was the fact that our bodies adapt to constant caffeine usage. If we consume this over the counter stimulant every day we will likely see a decrease in the strength that we feel from it, but also the amount of the side effects due to the increased cortisol levels. When people realize that they aren't getting the same boosts of energy from their coffee they instead add an additional cup, but as they increase the dose they notice that the results aren't as strong as they like until they get to a point where the coffee can actually make them feel tired and sick.
Over the Counter Energy Boosters Can Enhance Our Lives
These non-prescription stimulants may not make sense for all people, especially those with blood pressure or other health problems. For people in good health these energy boosters can help us get more work done, focus better in important situations, and help enhance our athletic performance. By taking into account the powerful effects of cortisol and the addictive nature of caffeine we can receive the many benefits without having to worry about negative health side effects.