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Effects of Caffeine & Sugar

author image Jerri Ann Reason
Jerri Ann Reason graduated from The University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Science in education in 1991 and from University of West Alabama with a Master of Arts in counseling. She has taught school, owns her own daycare and currently provides content for various websites.
Effects of Caffeine & Sugar
Your Coffee, Your Caffeine Photo Credit cup of black coffee and coffee roasted beans image by Maria Brzostowska from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Just say the words "sugar" and "caffeine" to a mother of a child who is sensitive to one or the other, or even both, and you will most likely get the education of a lifetime. By looking at the components of sugar and caffeine and understanding how each affect the body, individuals will most likely form their own opinions on the intake of caffeine and sugar.


The average American eats as much as 3 pounds of sugar a week. The highly refined sugars such as sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup are found in all kinds of foods. Bread, breakfast cereal, mayonnaise, peanut butter, ketchup, spaghetti sauce and a plethora of frozen foods made for microwaving include sugar, and the amount continues to increase at an alarming rate.

One of sugar's major drawbacks is the manner in which it upsets the blood-sugar balance. The more sugar consumed, the more likely the incidence of illness. Simple sugars upset asthma, cause mood swings, provoke personality changes, disturb mental illness, exacerbate nervous disorders, and sugar is responsible for contributing to diabetes and heart disease. The chance of hypertension and arthritis are increased markedly when sugar levels aren't controlled. Sugar consumption in America is one of the three major causes of degenerative diseases.

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Caffeine is considered the most widely used drug and the effects on the psychological state of those who consume caffeine are overwhelming. The effects include agitation and disorientation. Caffeine is habit-forming, and as with most drugs of this nature, the tolerance levels develop over time. Caffeine can affect sleep as well. The effects of caffeine on the central nervous system come from stimulation, and in low doses, it can help with improved attention and concentration. High doses of caffeine can have the reverse effects.

In large quantities, caffeine stimulates the heart, dilates the vessels, causes bronchial relaxation, increases gastric acid production and boosts the metabolic rate. Withdrawal symptoms result from the increase of tolerance, and as with many other drugs, physical cravings occur as well.

Mixing Caffeine and Sugar

The effects of combining sugar and caffeine are devastating on the body. The blood glucose levels soar and then crash shortly thereafter, and when combined with caffeine, the enormous surge of energy from the sugar and the stimulant in caffeine lead to a crash of blood sugar within hours. The body then resorts to a vicious cycle of cravings. The swings that the two in conjunction cause create a desire for more carbohydrates than are actually needed. Over time, the craving results in an enormous imbalance in blood glucose levels.

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