Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

To Brew Or Not To Brew

Q: In a recent article, I saw the words "drugs" and "caffeine" together. I drink two to three cups of coffee a day I often "need" the coffee to start my day. Besides the fuel factor, coffee acts a diuretic and keeps me regular. I don't want this caffeine thing to haunt me in ten years. I've heard rumors that caffeine affects every single cell in the body. Is that true? Is the effect permanent? How dangerous is this drug?

Sands Point, N.Y.

Q: Recently a doctor told me that if I drink coffee my fat cells will get hard. Is this true? What effect will this have on my body?

Lima, Peru

A: Caffeine is definitely a drug, and it affects the body in many ways, primarily as a stimulant. In beverages such as coffee and tea, it is the most commonly used drug in the world. The average American drinks 800 cups of coffee a year. The main effects occur in the stomach, central nervous system, muscles, heart and kidneys.

Small amounts of caffeine (25 to 200 mg) can have benefits: increased alertness, quicker reaction times, a mask over fatigue and an overall sense of well-being. Too much caffeine can make you feel jittery and strung out, disrupt your sleep, increase your blood pressure and heart rate, give you skipped heart beats, heartburn or even stomach ulcers and cause dehydration and seizures. Excess caffeine consumption can result in anxiety, restlessness, dry mouth, muscle pain or twitches, ringing in the ears and minor vision problems.

Because of the tolerance that develops, chronic users may not experience these effects, even if they consume amounts that would make a nonuser twitch. People vary greatly in their reactions to caffeine.

Substituting noncaffeinated beverages or lowering your intake of caffeine within the bounds of your own tolerance can eliminate some of the adverse symptoms if caffeine is the cause. However, all forms of coffee, including decaf, cause an increase in stomach acid production.

Is caffeine the kind of driug that can cause withdrawal symptoms?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.