Science Models
Science Fair Projects

Coffee Addiction

Published on May 10, 2017


The goal of the project is to study coffee addiction its causes and effects of coffee withdrawal in 3 persons.

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plant. They are seeds of coffee cherries that grow on trees in over 70 countries, cultivated primarily in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Green unroasted coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Due to its caffeine content, coffee often has a stimulating effect on humans.

Today, coffee is the third most popular drink in the world, behind water and tea. Some controversy is associated with coffee cultivation and its impact on the environment. Many studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and certain medical conditions; whether the overall effects of coffee are ultimately positive or negative has been widely disputed. The method of brewing coffee has been found to be important to its health effects.

A General Introduction On Caffeine

Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that is a psychoactive stimulant drug. Caffeine was isolated in 1820 by a German chemist, Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge. Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the beans, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants.[6] It is most commonly consumed by humans in infusions extracted from the bean of the coffee plant and the leaves of the tea bush, as well as from various foods and drinks containing products derived from the kola nut. In humans, caffeine acts as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but, unlike many other psychoactive substances, is legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions

Caffeine Consumption And Its Effects

Caffeine is a potent and quick-acting drug which produces an effect similar to the stress response in our bodies. Caffeine affects each person differently, depending on individual circumstances such as weight, build, etc. It has an almost instant effect on your mind-body which will continue to influence your state for 6-8 hours afterwards.

Every time we drink tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, or cola we are giving our body a 'hit' of caffeine. Along with nicotine and alcohol, caffeine is one of the three most widely used mood -affecting drugs in the world.

If you have more than two or three caffeine drinks per day your 'habit' may be affecting you emotionally and physically much more powerfully than you might expect.

Some commonly observed effects of caffeine are:

1. Stimulates your heart, respiratory system, and central nervous system.

2. Makes your blood more `sludgy' by raising the level of fatty acids in the blood.

3. Causes messages to be passed along your nervous system more quickly

4. Stimulates blood circulation

5. Raises blood pressure

6. Causes your stomach to produce more acid

7. Irritates the stomach lining

8. Makes digestion less effective by relaxing the muscles of your intestinal system

9. Its diuretic effect caused increased urination - although you would have to drink about 8 coups of coffee in one sitting for this to occur

10. Stimulates the cortex of your brain heightening the intensity of mental activity. This can result in a temporary feeling of alertness and, in the short term, banishes drowsiness and feelings of fatigue. In those who already have high levels of anxiety the heightened intensity of mental activity can produce unpleasant effects. But check out below which contradicts this.

11. Affects the length and quality of sleep. Heavy caffeine users suffer from sleep-deprivation because their nervous system is too stimulated to allow them deep, restful or prolonged sleep.

12. The American Medical Journal has reported a correlation between caffeine and decreased bone density or osteoporosis in women.

In addition to the above effects prolonged or very heavy caffeine use can produce the following:

13. `Caffeine nerves' a jittery feeling with shaking hands, palpitations, and wobbliness in the legs.

14. Caffeine addiction which involves nervousness, irritability, agitation, headaches or ringing in the ears.

15. Causes your adrenal glands to release their hormones into your bloodstream

16. Causes blood sugar, or blood glucose, to be released from storage through the effects of the adrenal hormones. This gives you a temporary lift but…

17. …requires your pancreas to over-work. This is because your pancreas now has to produce extra insulin to reduce this extra blood sugar. Once the extra insulin has 'mopped up' the extra blood sugar your temporary lift from the caffeine ends. Your vitality level is back to normal. However in heavy caffeine users the pancreas, in time, becomes over-sensitive and over-zealous. Now it begins producing too much insulin – it 'mops up' not just the excess blood sugar but the blood sugar you need to feel alert and energetic. The initial effect of this is a let-down effect and a craving for more caffeine to give you a further boost. A later effect can be excessive and chronic tiredness, even on waking in the morning. Some people find that many of the psychological complaints common to reactive hypoglycaemia (the emotional yo-yo effect, shakiness, palpitations, weakness, tiredness, etc.) disappear within a few days of stopping caffeine.

Coffee Addiction

On the other hand...

... some research indicates that caffeine in coffee (though not cola) can be beneficial in preventing heart disease (1) - or, at least, that coffee drinkers had a lowered incidence of heart disease. Nevertheless they were unable to confirm that one caused the other nor why this apparent relationship might be appearing

Sources Of Caffeine

As little as 20 mgs of caffeine can produce noticeable body and mood changes. As a very rough guide to how much caffeine you may be taking on a daily basis...

An average cup of tea contains around 50 mgs of caffeine.

An average cup of instant coffee contains around 70-100 mgs. Instant decaffeinated coffee contains about 3 mgs.

A 6 oz cup of espresso coffee (much larger than the normal cafe cup, incidentally) contains about 80-90 mgs. A single-hit cappuccino will contain the same amount.

Filter coffee (called 'drip' in the US) can contain 25-50% more caffeine than instant.

A 340 ml or 12 oz can of regular or diet cola contains between 35 and 45 mgs. of caffeine depending on the brand

Some so-called 'energy drinks' contain very high doses of caffeine - equivalent to to 4 or more cups of strong coffee in one dose!

One ounce or 28 grams of chocolate contains about 10-15 mgs.


In large amounts, and especially over extended periods of time, caffeine can lead to a condition known as caffeinism. Caffeinism usually combines caffeine dependency with a wide range of unpleasant physical and mental conditions including nervousness, irritability, anxiety, tremulousness, muscle twitching (hyperreflexia), insomnia, headaches, respiratory alkalosis, and heart palpitations.[103][104] Furthermore, because caffeine increases the production of stomach acid, high usage over time can lead to peptic ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Caffeine may also increase the toxicity of certain other drugs, such as paracetamol.

There are four caffeine-induced psychiatric disorders recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition: caffeine intoxication, caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, caffeine-induced sleep disorder, and caffeine-related disorder not otherwise specified

Caffeine intoxication:

An acute overdose of caffeine usually in excess of about 300 milligrams, dependent on body weight and level of caffeine tolerance, can result in a state of central nervous system over-stimulation called caffeine intoxication (DSM-IV 305.90), or colloquially the "caffeine jitters". The symptoms of caffeine intoxication are not unlike overdoses of other stimulants. It may include restlessness,fidgetiness, nervousness, excitement, euphoria, insomnia, flushing of the face, increased urination, gastrointestinal disturbance,muscle twitching, a rambling flow of thought and speech, irritability, irregular or rapid heart beat, and psychomotor agitation. In cases of much larger overdoses, mania, depression, lapses in judgment, disorientation, disinhibition, delusions, hallucinations, andpsychosis may occur, and rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue) can be provoked.

Extreme overdose can result in death.[110] The median lethal dose (LD50) given orally, is 192 milligrams per kilogram in rats. The LD50 of caffeine in humans is dependent on weight and individual sensitivity and estimated to be about 150 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body mass, roughly 80 to 100 cups of coffee for an average adult taken within a limited time frame that is dependent onhalf-life. Though achieving lethal dose with caffeine would be exceptionally difficult with regular coffee, there have been reported deaths from overdosing on caffeine pills, with serious symptoms of overdose requiring hospitalization occurring from as little as 2 grams of caffeine.

An exception to this would be taking a drug such as fluvoxamine or levofloxacin, which block the liver enzyme responsible for the metabolism of caffeine, thus increasing the central effects and blood concentrations of caffeine dramatically at 5-fold. It is not contraindicated, but highly advisable to minimize the intake of caffeinated beverages, as drinking one cup of coffee will have the same effect as drinking five under normal conditions. Death typically occurs due to ventricular fibrillation brought about by effects of caffeine on the cardiovascular system

Caffeine withdrawal a case study

The following symptoms were observed in common on the 4 members of my society, I conducted the study on. I choose them as they drink coffee twice a day i.e. in morning and in the evening

The symptoms observed were

The symptoms were observed roughly 12-18 hrs after withdrawal. They get worst after 24-48 hrs and could last for a week.

• Irritable

• Restless

• Muscles stiffness

• Difficulty in concentrating

• Headache moderate to severe

• Chills &/or hot spells

• Causes more blood to gather in head causing migraine like headache due to our body becoming over sensitive to adenosine.

• Excessive sleepiness

What the experts suggest?

To avoid uncomfortable withdrawal effects it is wise to ease off caffeine over a period of 7-14 days to reduce the discomfort. Reduce and then stop the richest sources (especially coffee) first. It is unwise, particularly if you are a heavy user, to suddenly stop caffeine altogether

When you stop caffeine you allow your body to catch up on its lost rest. This takes some time. Using caffeine to force yourself into activity is like flogging an exhausted horse.
For the first few weeks after stopping caffeine you may find that you are sleeping deeper and for longer. For this reason it is a good idea to allow yourself an extra hour per night for a few weeks, increasing this if you continue to experience lethargy in the mornings.

If you feel drowsy during the day use breathing exercises preferably out of doors, to alert yourself.

And remind yourself that the drowsiness is a sign that you are allowing your body to get back into a more normal state and that your natural energy levels will soon return once things have got back to normal after the onslaught of the caffeine regime


Though the effect of coffee or caffeine on our body is debated many agree for it being positive while many agree for it being negative. The most accurate statement at such a debate will be using it in a controlled way can be useful rather harmful. As is well said Conscience keeps more people awake than coffee