Caffeine is a naturally occurring psychoactive chemical found in cacao beans, coffee beans, tea leaves, yerba mate leaves, and kola nuts. Additionally, it is added to some pain relievers and medications. In many countries around the world, coffee is the chosen form of caffeine intake. One cup of coffee contains anywhere from 60-160mg of caffeine. It is also found in tea infusions, chocolate, yerba mate, and many sodas and energy drinks.

Caffeine is a stimulant which helps you feel alert and less sleepy. Too much caffeine can cause jitters, nervousness, even temporary muscle shakiness. It has the potential to increase your blood pressure and heart rate, and even cause irregular heartbeats. In some cases, feeling of anxiety or panic have been expressed when taking caffeine. Too much caffeine can also make it hard to go to sleep or stay asleep.

Caffeine can stay in your system for up to six hours. If you remember your first cup of coffee, you were probably excited at just how alert you felt after the first drink! Now, it may take a few cups of coffee just to get you out of bed in the morning. This is due to the fact that your body builds up a tolerance to caffeine. The more you use it, the more tolerant to it's effects you become. It is possible to become dependent on caffeine and to experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it. Symptoms include agitation, headaches, anxiety, or feeling of depression.

Caffeine also makes the blood vessels smaller and reduces the flow of blood. This reduction of blood flow is why caffeine is helpful in curing some headaches.

Caffeine and ADHD
A person who has ADHD has a low level of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Stimulants such as caffeine or other ADHD medications act to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain, and may help relieve some symptoms of ADHD.

Most people who take these stimulants experience adverse effects such as shakiness, anxiety, and irritability. For those diagnosed with ADHD who have low levels of dopamine, this increased stimulation can actually balance them out. A few cups of coffee throughout the day can help people with ADHD to focus and feel less hyper.

If you are already taking a stimulant ADHD medication, the use of caffeine is not recommended. Since they are both stimulants, they have a synergistic effect on the brain when taken together. While there are no formal studies saying that mixing caffeine with stimulant drugs is unsafe, it is probably not a good idea. Both substances can cause nervousness, anxiety, jitters, and agitation. Both have been tied to cases of insomnia, and using them together may increase the chances of having insomnia even further. As they both raise heart rate and blood pressure, this combination can be especially dangerous to those with existing heart conditions.

ADHD symptoms vary on a case by case basis, and their cures do as well . Some people may find that caffeine helps to alleviate some of the symptoms of their ADHD, while others may find caffeine makes them worse. Listen to your body and work closely with your doctor to decide if using caffeine for ADHD is a good idea for you.

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Author's Bio: 

Brian Wu graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. Currently, he holds a PhD and is an MD candidate (KSOM, USC) in integrative biology and disease. He is also an experienced writer and editor for many prestigious web pages. Brian values the ability of all ages to learn from the power of stories. His mission is to write about health conditions, educational topics and life situations in an entertaining way in order to help children understand their own life conditions and daily circumstances.