Whether waking up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, enjoying lunch with a refreshingly cold soft drink or relaxing in the evening with a cup of tea, these daily pleasures often have a common ingredient—caffeine.
People have enjoyed foods and beverages containing caffeine for thousands of years. It is one of the most well-studied ingredients in the food supply. Even so, controversy and misperceptions about this food component continue.
The word "addiction" is an old word meaning simply to be devoted or habituated to a practice. People who say they are "addicted" to caffeine tend to use the term loosely, like saying they are "addicted" to chocolate, running, working or television.
According to the World Health Organization, "There is no evidence whatsoever that caffeine use has even remotely comparable physical and social consequences which are associated with serious drugs of abuse." Some sensitive individuals may experience mild, temporary effects, including headache, restlessness and irritability when their daily intake is quickly and substantially altered. Medical experts have long agreed that any discomfort caused by abruptly stopping consumption of caffeine can be avoided by progressively decreasing intake over a few days.
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