Are you addicted to caffeine? Experts say moderation is key

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — October is Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month. According to the Kuakini Medical Center, 90% of Americans drink caffeine on a daily basis. 

Local health professionals say it’s not only caffeine people should be mindful of, some of the other components of a morning latte can be detrimental.

“It’s not just the caffeine in coffee, if you’re drinking a cup of coffee and it has cream sugar and all the syrups and stuff, then you’re getting a lot of calories,” said dietician at MercyOne’s Iowa Heart Center, Diane Mcilhon.  

It is recommended that adults consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, which is about three to four cups of coffee.

Mcilhon said anything above that can cause stomach aches, insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety.

Coffee is not the only popular caffeinated drink. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teens.

However, a 2019 study published in the journal of the American Heart Association confirmed that consumption of these drinks altered heart rate and blood pressure.

“Most of us in the medical community would prefer people drink, you know, coffee or tea, as opposed to utilizing energy drinks. Because those energy drinks tend to have a lot higher doses of caffeine and I think can be more problematic,” VP Medical Director at UnityPoint Health, Patricia Newland said. 

Health professionals advise against cutting caffeine out all at once. Caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, depression, irritability, and fatigue. 

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