Caffeine is one of the most used drugs on the planet. But what exactly is it and what does it do to you? Get clued-up on caffeine here...
What is it?
Caffeine is probably used more widely than any other drug on the planet. It occurs naturally in more than 60 different plant species.
Caffeine is a stimulant, which most people get in tea, coffee, energy drinks like Red Bull, soft fizzy drinks, particularly cola flavoured ones, and some pain killers.
There is about 75-200mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee, about 50mg in a cup of tea and a 360ml bottle of cola contains about 30-50mg of caffeine.
How does it make you feel?
Caffeine makes you feel bright and alert. It gives you a wake-up boost when you're feeling tired, drowsy or bored. This is why most people use it.
It takes about 2 hours for the effects of caffeine to wear off.
Having too much of it in one go, usually about 400mg, is pretty unpleasant. It can give you the shakes, make you anxious, headachey, sleepless and might upset your stomach too.
What are the health effects?
Caffeine raises blood pressure so it isn't good if you have high blood pressure or heart disease. So far, no one has found any really scary long-term health effects.
Regular and frequent use of caffeine will give you tolerance - this just means that you get less sensitive to the effects of it.
Caffeine is a legal drug, so legal we tend to forget it is a drug.