Here’s a taster.

Espresso, a highly potent, concentrated form of coffee, has been showing up with increasing frequency around the nation. Users accustomed to less potent forms of coffee, who have not developed sufficient tolerance, might find themselves experiencing unpleasant side-effects.

Symptoms of caffeine overdose can include heart palpitations, anxiety, tremors and a general feeling of being “jittery.” One study on caffeine use during pregnancy discovered an elevated risk of miscarriage. Surging use of espresso, which comes in a finely ground brown powder in its unbrewed state, has some experts fearing accidental exposure.

Childhood caffeine exposure can lead to habitual abuse later in life.

Caffeine can also be ingested in a number of forms besides coffee—many of which are disturbingly marketed to young people, whose developing brains are easily hijacked by the drug. It is present in a variety of sodas, “energy drinks,” pills and even some candies. It has also been showing up in chocolate—a popular treat among children. Some kids will pass caffeine-laced cakes or candies to their entire class as a means of commemorating special occasions, like birthdays.

Teachers and parents might view occasional caffeine consumption during childhood as “normal,” but childhood caffeine exposure can lead to habitual abuse later in life.


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