More on my feelings about caffeine as a drug, here's a great video about coffee.
This is a topic I think about all the time, really. Caffeine is such a powerful drug.
Considering the fact that I've heard of many studies concerned with the effect (not positive mind you) that caffeine has on your ability to get a good night's sleep, I find this gentleman's premise highly suspect.
He says this:
> In order to be more informed, I went off to do some research. The short answer is that back in the 1980s a few studies of caffeine came back with negative health results. These studies were widely republished and started a backlash against coffee but have since been disproven.
> Caffeine is one of the most studied drugs ever and there are essentially no health problems for normal people ingesting normal amounts of the stuff. And, aside from that, the benefits that it provides are real and measurable.
But he links to nothing and cites none of it. I also am clearly not citing any research articles. The point is, he makes it sound like it is cut and dry: "Caffeine is great! With no side effects!" when it isn't that clear. Obviously there is some debate. He shouldn't act so matter of fact. Especially when there is a lot of money to be made from coffee being healthy (or at least not unhealthy). Who is paying for these studies and what exactly the research showed is important.
Until then, I will be avoiding intaking caffeine on a regular basis, because a) I like sleeping, and b) I don't like being physically addicted to things that cost money.
bentomas: i completely agree. my sister's professor at northwestern, a guy who allegedly studied caffeine for the US government (soldiers and stuff), believed that if caffeine had been somehow discovered today, it would be made illegal almost instantly.
though i think what it comes down to, for me, is balance. too much caffeine, enough to build an addiction, is clearly bad. but having a tiny bit, i think, does increase my focus and can actually be fun. so while i'm trying to cut back on coffee, i think a cup here or there won't hurt :)