I often tell people I’m addicted to chocolate, sleep and ballet class. If there is chocolate nearby, I don’t even try to resist it – I eat it. I crave quality sleep every night – I really like eight hours, but can function on six if I have to. And I’m adamant about going to my ballet class once a week or I go stir crazy. Does this mean I’m addicted because I can’t resist something, I need something in order to function or I’m tense and nervous without it? Of course not. Because chocolate, sleep and ballet are not addictive. And neither is caffeine.
You may have heard a friend or coworker joke that they are “addicted” to their morning caffeine. But, fortunately, science shows that isn’t the case. Decades of research found that, for most of us, moderate amounts of caffeine are safe and do not harm health, and evidence of true addiction has not been found in studies of caffeine.
Some people might experience mild, temporary effects from abruptly stopping caffeine consumption, like headache, restlessness, and irritability. However, experts agree that discomfort can be avoided by gradually decreasing caffeine intake over time.
To find out more about safety, sensitivity and my suggestions for caffeine intake, read my full article at FoodInsight.org.
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Note of Disclosure: I’m pleased to be a consultant to The International Food Information Council, providing blogs and other social media content that shares their resources for health professionals and the public. I believe whole-heartedly in their mission of effectively communicating science-based information on health, nutrition and food safety for the public good.
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