“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” – T.S. Eliot
Ninety percent of Americans consume some form of caffeine on a daily basis, and it’s the most popular psychoactive substance in the world (largely because it’s safe, legal, and widely available). Different cultures consume caffeine in many different forms, the most common being coffee, tea, espresso, sodas, and, more recently, energy drinks. Caffeine is usually enjoyed for its beneficial effects on wakefulness, attention, and energy, but it also has benefits in other areas of health. Unfortunately, caffeine can also have some undesirable side effects, and a high habitual intake can increase their risk. Below, we examine caffeine’s potential positives and negatives and offer some recommendations for how to maximize its advantages.