Currently, about 83 percent of American adults drink coffee during the day. In fact, the United States leads the world in consuming the beverage to get the morning off on the right start. And, that number is only increasing – the previous year, it was just 78 percent, so it’s jumped by 5 percent. Plus, it’s not always one cup. In fact, considering the volume at which the U.S. consumes the drink, it’s usually THREE cups a day. It’s not only grumpy adults using caffeine to get their day going, however. Some people are using caffeine for focus, in an effort to clear the mental fog so many of us get.
Using caffeine for focus, really, isn’t far from using it to wake up in the morning. In fact, “waking up” for a lot of caffeine drinkers is simply becoming more focused. But, while caffeine touts an impressive array of health benefits, it can be detrimental to health, too. And, that’s true especially considering the way that some Americans consume coffee. There is even a popular brand called Death Wish Coffee, which contains about 59 milligrams of caffeine per fluid ounce. That’s about five times the caffeine content of a normal coffee. So, what are the pros and cons to using caffeine for focus? Let’s take a look.
Using Caffeine For Focus Does Work
Firstly, let’s say that it does generally improve your focus to drink coffee (or other caffeinated beverages). Caffeine falls under the label of nootropics – substances that affect the way your brain functions. Specifically, caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. So, it kind of speeds everything up in a way. In fact, you can even consider caffeine to be a psychoactive drug. It’s really no wonder that caffeine is so wildly popular. It also has fairly few side effects, when you consume it in small amounts.
The Dark Side of Using Caffeine For Focus
The bad news is that it’s not hard to exceed what is considered a small amount, or even a safe amount. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommend that adults consumer no more than 400 milligrams of the stuff per day. That’s really easy to exceed, considering a “grande” (16 fluid ounce) coffee at Starbucks usually has about 330 milligrams. And, real side effects for this psychoactive drug do exist. In short, using caffeine for focus is not without its risks. Many adults become completely addicted to caffeine. This can result in headaches or a general feeling of being unwell, until you drink coffee.
Addiction is not the worst that can happen when it comes to using caffeine for focus. Remember that 400 milligram limit that the FDA recommends? A 16-year-old recently passed away from a caffeine-induced cardiac arrhythmia on just under 500 milligrams of caffeine—barely over the recommendation. Otherwise healthy, he consumed that amount in about two hours, which the coroner for the case says is the reason it affected the teen so intensely. Now, compare that to how the average adult in the United States consumes three cups of coffee per day. In other words, using caffeine for focus is effective, but you need to be careful.
You don’t need to be afraid of caffeine. After all, it represents a cultural norm in this country, and consuming caffeinated beverages is as much a social event as a utilitarian one. But, you should always be aware of what you eat and drink. If you are concerned about your caffeine consumption, check in with your doctor about how much should be safe for you. Otherwise, stick to a serving of coffee per day, in the morning. You’ll get your much-needed focus, and be well within the safety zone – as long as you’re not powering through 59 milligrams of caffeine in a single fluid ounce.