Do you have Caffeine Use Disorder?
Researchers of a new study are warning that regular consumption of coffee or sodas may lead to caffeine dependency, also known as “caffeine use disorder”.
According to the study, published in the Journal of Caffeine Research, an increasing number of people are becoming addicted to caffeinated beverages and are no longer able to cut back without experiencing unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal.
In a press release, American University psychology professor and study leader, Laura Juliano, stated that a lot of regular caffeine consumers typically struggle when trying to reduce their consumption because the withdrawal symptoms they experience while cutting back are so severe.
She added that, among both professionals and lay people alike, there is a misconception that giving up caffeine is easy to do – when, in fact, research shows that over half of regular coffee drinkers report having problems quitting or cutting back on the amount they drink.
In this newest study, Juliano confirmed that she and her fellow researchers observed many regular caffeine consumers who were unable to quit or cut back caffeine on their own. By the same token, these caffeine-dependent individuals did report that they would be interested in an outside treatment program that, similar to a stop smoking or drinking program, could help them quit.
The results of the study were based on an analysis of research showing evidence that supported the existence of physical caffeine dependence among regular caffeine consumers, as well as the symptoms such consumers experienced as a result of caffeine dependence.
As Juliano explained it, the addictive properties of caffeine are “not always recognized” because it is a “socially acceptable and widely consumed drug” that is deeply “integrated into our customs” and daily routines. Although she points out that many people consume caffeinated beverages without becoming addicted or otherwise physically dependent, there are others who suffer from its negative and addictive effects, some of which can be so severe that it interferes with daily functioning.
So how much is too much caffeine?
According to Juliano, you should limit your caffeine consumption to the equivalent of no more than three, eight-ounce cups of coffee per day, assuming you are a healthy adult. If you are pregnant or if you suffer from anxiety or insomnia, you should consume no more than half that amount.
SOURCE: Journal of Caffeine Research, Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda, Steven E. Meredith, Laura M. Juliano, John R. Hughes, and Roland R. Griffiths. Journal of Caffeine Research. September 2013, 3(3): 114-130. doi:10.1089/jcr.2013.0016. Published in Volume: 3 Issue 3: September 13, 2013
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