Koffein. That is German for caffeine, something many of us don't seem to be able to get along without. We buy super sized drinks in a coffee shop to fuel our day. We pour ourselves cups at home and either drink them black or add sugar and creamer or milk. We gulp down energy drinks or caffeinated soda. Teas and some herbal supplements carry caffeine as well.
Caffeine is most commonly used to improve mental alertness. That's why so many of us consume it. It's a legal stimulant and many of us are addicted to it. Withdrawals can be painful headaches, the jitters, and an intense desire to hurt someone if we don't get it “right now”. (Okay, I made up the last one. At least I hope I did.)
Caffeine can be used in combination with other things to deal with headaches, especially migraines. People with ADHD use it as a depressant instead of a stimulant. It helps them stay focused and wind down instead of being hyper all the time.
But too much can cause problems. It can cause a racing heart, a bad side effect if you already have heart problems. It can lead to the jitters or hyperactivity in those who are particularly sensitive to it. It can cause sleep problems, including insomnia, if taken before bedtime. It can cause or increase anxiety.
As with anything in this world, using it in moderation is key. I have an energy drink and I nurse it all day. I've found that it gives me the right amount of stimulation without giving me the racing heart and nausea that I get downing the whole thing in a short amount of time. I don't get jittery. I don't get light headed. I can also down a liter of Mountain Dew in a day, though again like the energy drink I nurse it all day.
I know people who can suck down two or three energy drinks in a day and feel nothing. Their bodies have built up such a tolerance to the caffeine that it doesn't phase them. That can prove to be dangerous to them because they still get the physical side effects and so much caffeine is not good for them.
I'm not saying don't ingest caffeine. I tried to stop. The headaches were horrendous and even after a few days didn't go away. A single can of Mountain Dew and the headaches stopped. I'm just saying ingest it in moderation. A single cup of coffee or tea instead of a pot full. A single can of soda. If at all possible, don't do energy drinks.
Be safe and be aware of what can happen if you overdose on anything, including caffeine.