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Medicine Science

Caffeine Addicts Get No Additional Perk, Only a Return To Baseline 506

Dthief writes "Bristol University researchers found that coffee drinkers develop a tolerance to both the anxiety-producing and the stimulating effects of caffeine, meaning that it only brings them back to baseline levels of alertness, not above them. 'Although frequent consumers feel alerted by caffeine, especially by their morning tea, coffee, or other caffeine-containing drink, evidence suggests that this is actually merely the reversal of the fatiguing effects of acute caffeine withdrawal,' wrote the scientists, led by Peter Rogers of Bristol's department of experimental psychology."
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Caffeine Addicts Get No Additional Perk, Only a Return To Baseline

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  • Well, shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by glwtta ( 532858 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @05:27PM (#32437544) Homepage
    Guess I'm gonna have to get started on meth now.
  • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jarjarthejedi ( 996957 ) <> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @05:28PM (#32437564) Journal

    And if you stop drinking coffee your body will adapt to waking up on its own with no need for it. I used to drink tons of soda (even more caffeine than coffee) and always had to have a can in the morning to wake up, I stopped drinking it (well aside from about 2 cans worth a week) and suddenly it was significantly easier to get up in the morning, to the point where, going to sleep at the same time, I was waking up an hour earlier and feeling much better.

    Caffeine is not a good way to start your day off, no matter what folgers may say. It's a useful drug for maintaining alertness every once in a while but used daily it reduces your overall alertness, which is bad.

  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @05:28PM (#32437570) Homepage Journal

    Heroin addicts don't really get high like they used to, they just get well.


  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @05:30PM (#32437602) Homepage

    Uh, a person not on caffeine is "baseline". That's the point. A caffeine addict goes below baseline because they're suffering from withdrawal, and drinking caffeine only counters those symptoms. This doesn't happen to not-drinkers for obvious reasons.

  • by raddan ( 519638 ) * on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @05:32PM (#32437632)
    Or that there really aren't any except withdrawal symptoms and slightly brownish teeth.

    We're awash in chemicals all day. Why do we have to vilify certain ones? People have withdrawal symptoms when they break up with their girlfriends, too, but we don't go around trying to treat people for love addiction. I can assure you that the feelings are just a bunch of chemicals.
  • by logjon ( 1411219 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @05:39PM (#32437696)

    I'm not sure what being American has to do with anything. I mean clearly you can see everything from your little corner of the world where there's something magical about the stimulant caffeine to the point that it doesn't cause withdrawal, so check out: []

    Then: [] [] []

    You know, at this point it's just easier to call you an idiot

  • *GASP* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DIplomatic ( 1759914 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @05:41PM (#32437722) Journal
    I don't believe it. Next you'll be telling me that smoking a cigarette doesn't actually calm me down, it just reverses the effects of nicotine withdraw!
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @05:47PM (#32437800) Homepage

    We're awash in chemicals all day. Why do we have to vilify certain ones?

    Because different chemicals have different effects, and some of those effects are harmful but may be non-obvious unless they are studied.

    I mean, duh?

  • by Shimbo ( 100005 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @06:03PM (#32437992)

    I'm not sure what being American has to do with anything.

    Americans work some of the longest hours around, and probably caffeine fueled hacking is probably more of an American tradition. Red Bull has been banned on and off, on health grounds, in various European countries, for example.

    However, mods defintitely need to sit down, pour themselves another large glass of wine, and have another piece of cheese, before indulging in lazy cultural stereotyping. Cheers!

  • by Nick Number ( 447026 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @06:04PM (#32438010) Homepage Journal

    A helpful subject for further research would be to determine how much caffeine a person can consume without becoming addicted and thus losing the benefits.

    I limit myself to two cups of coffee a week, along with a few sodas, and I don't experience withdrawal symptoms. I could probably have more without running into diminishing returns, but it's hard to know.

    Unfortunately the ideal dosage probably varies widely among people due to all sorts of physiological factors. Perhaps what we need is a procedure for testing when we're approaching the point of addiction, without actually reaching it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @06:19PM (#32438186)

    We're awash in chemicals all day. Why do we have to vilify certain ones?

    Because our governments are addicted to the tax money from some of them and not others. Nasty, horrible untaxed chemicals.

  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @06:49PM (#32438446) Journal

    coffee tax: 1 billion


    alcohol tax: 3,5 billion


    tabacco tax: 14,5 billion


  • by onionman ( 975962 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @06:49PM (#32438448)

    As someone who is going through caffeine withdrawal right now (notice that I don't use quotation marks because it's real), I have a really simple answer.

    My splitting headache and lethargy are due to the the fact that I consume at least two pots of coffee a day until yesterday.

    I do this to myself periodically. I'm usually a straight espresso drinker, but once every year I take a month off of caffeine. The first three days are really painful, but by the end of the first week, I'm fine. For the rest of the month I dream about coffee, and occasionally I'll indulge in a decaf mocha (or some other fat and sugar loaded decaf drink). Now, if you're a caffeine addict, and you've never done this, I highly recommend it. Not because it's good for you or any crap like that... do it because when you start drinking coffee again it feels sooooooo good!!!

  • Re:Makes sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alarindris ( 1253418 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @07:00PM (#32438558)

    Caffeine is not a good way to start your day off, no matter what folgers may say.

    This is so true.

    There are many potheads that are all about "wake and bake". Yeah pot is fun and right away in the morning it feels awesome initially but the burnout is terrible.
    There are many drinkers that go out for bloody marys the next day. "Hair of the dog that bit ya'". And then you feel worse an hour after you stop drinking and go back to sleep.

    Eat a good breakfast, with protein, grain, carbs, sugar, salt, water or juice, and take a shit.

    You'll feel good no matter what.

  • Re:Well, shit (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @07:46PM (#32439004)

    What makes you think that will end differently?

  • Re:well GREAT (Score:3, Insightful)

    by haruharaharu ( 443975 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @07:48PM (#32439028) Homepage
    Or you could exercise. I know, crazy talk, but it works.
  • Re:well GREAT (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @07:51PM (#32439048)

    *whoosh*... the point was, your teeth will go away, therefore no trips to the dentist. some call this humor. apparently you didn't get it.

  • by Noren ( 605012 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @07:59PM (#32439130)
    Sorry to disillusion you, but let me lay out the possibilities:

    A. Your uncle had an incredibly, unbelievably unusual metabolism toward alcohol OR
    B. He had been consistently lying about the amount of his alcohol consumption. This is extremely common behavior in alcoholics. The rest of his family supporting his story and generally being in denial is also very common.
  • by DynaSoar ( 714234 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @08:20PM (#32439316) Journal

    It speeds the heart and increases blood pressure, but does not raise mental awareness. Simple, simple, simple.

    Hell yeah, much simpler than all that nonsense cranked out by the experimental and cognitive psychologists, physiologists, pharmacologists and the like when they did all that complicated science. Especially since it said the opposite from what you did. After dozens of designs and replications. For decades. What were we thinking? What a fucking waste.

    Are there any other fields of inquiry to which you have full and correct knowledge of, making it unnecessary to waste time and money pursuing ever more incorrect knowledge despite scientific backing?

  • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted.slashdot@org> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @08:41PM (#32439510)

    That’s true for every drug. It’s the definition of the whole thing.
    It’s why they raise the dosage all the time. (Often it’s impossible to raise it fast enough to not get down to zero anyway.)

    Seriously: News at 11.

  • Re:well GREAT (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:41PM (#32439970) Homepage Journal

    You're probably better off getting them capped with ceramics (crowns) now and save what's left of the tooth structure for when you need to recap them in 10-20 years' time. It costs about 1.5x-double but it definitely pays off in the long run. Fillings in your situation are simply a very poor bandaid to a much larger enamel problem.

  • by adolf ( 21054 ) <> on Thursday June 03, 2010 @03:06AM (#32441586) Journal

    Mmmm. Cold-turkey addiction-stopping: Of course you were an ass.

    When someone stops doing something they're familiar with (girlfriend of some years, heroin, tobacco, coffee, soda, cocaine, masturbation, wife, Intarwebs, talk radio, Slashdot - pick one), they're going to experience withdrawl.

    So, don't do that. Scale back. Substitute something else some of the time. And enjoy your soda when you get some.

    Then, tomorrow, enjoy less of it.

    And the day after that, a little less.

    I've beat my share of addictions, I think: For instance, I've quit smoking several times, each time for at least a year or two. I've scaled up and down on coffee, and at different times, soda. I've gone with and without alcoholism. (Somehow, I've avoided forming habits with harder drugs...) None of these things are easily left cold, and every time I've tried to leave them cold, I failed immediately. So, again: Don't.

    If you need caffeine, there's lots of other ways to get a small fix to help cure a migraine. Hot tea, for example: It's unavailable most places (in the US, at least), so it's easier to do without than some other things (soda pop is everywhere). Scale back. Don't change everything: If you're trying to cure a years-long caffeine binge, don't try to eliminate your sugar intake at the same time. Want to drink a soda in the morning? Go ahead. Afternoon? Have a cup of tea. Evening? Who knows: I'm not you.

    Changing a lifestyle (ie: treating an addiction) doesn't happen overnight. Realize this, plan for it, and enjoy life.

    It's not necessarily something that's easy to do, but it doesn't have to be the hell you've put yourself through in the past.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2010 @03:43AM (#32441798)

    You seem to be of the misunderstanding that there are only two possible way to have a life, the "American" way as you described it or "living in a bankrupt sun belt socialism". If this is your true belief, I'm truly sorry for your lack of world knowledge.

    Take me for example, I'm as normal as you can get. I live in Sweden, have a good job within IT. I have 7 weeks of paid vacation and I work 9:30 to 17:00 mon-fri. Overtime is very rare (3 evenings in 2 years), and if it is required, I'm paid for it. I likely don't make as much as you do gross, but I live in a nice house, we have two newer cars and we usually take two vacations every year going outside Europe. But sure, I do live in en evil socialist state and we apparently have no freedom whatsoever, but I suppose I have been brainwashed to like it, just like you have with your life, eh?

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham