Caffeine

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a stimulant.

Caffeine occurs as a drink, for example in coffee, tea and energy drinks. It also occurs as a white powder, which can be snorted or put in a capsule / drink. In addition, there are many capsules, pills and other powders on the market that contain caffeine that are swallowed, drunk and/or snorted.


Effects

The effect of a substance is determined by the properties of the substance itself, but also by the set and setting of the user. Here we describe what effects caffeine generally has.

Because caffeine affects metabolism, it is a common ingredient in popular fat burners such as Stackers.

Positive effects (negative) Side effects

Energetic feeling

You have feelings of being energized. Sitting still is sometimes more difficult and this energetic feeling is often expressed through the urge to dance or move.

Increase in blood pressure and heart rate

Due to increased cardiac stimulation, heart rate and blood pressure rise.

Alertness

This drug can make you more active than usual. You are feeling sharp, awkae and it is easy to focus your attention on the things that are happening around you.

Insomnia

Some drugs keep you from falling asleep. Stimulants often have this effect, but even after using psychedelics or downers, sleep is disrupted and it is possible that you can’t sleep.

Increase in self-confidence

You feel more confident. It may be easier to ignore the opinions of others, and you will feel less self-conscious about yourself and your own actions.

Decreased appetite

Stimulation of the fight-or-flight response in the body can suppress appetite.

Need for contact, conversation and intimacy

Having a good conversation with someone, or cuddling, can be very pleasant and interesting.

Head ache

Head ache

Accelerated thoughts

Thinking seems to go faster. It’s also easier to think clearly. You can go through certain steps in your head faster and make choices faster.

Increased sweating

In response to the increased stimulation and changes in body temperature, the skin will start to secrete sweat to cool the body temperature back to normal levels.

Confusion and restlessness

Confusion and restlessness

Irritable

You are easily irritated or agitated.

Jaw clenching

Increased muscle tension can cause the jaws to clench together. As a result, the teeth are firmly pressed together and it is possible to bite your tongue and/or cheeks.

Dizziness

Dizziness

Trembling

Trembling of your limbs.

Stress

Increase in panicky thoughts and feelings of stress.

Paranoia and delusions

Anxiety, paranoia and delusions (e.g. the idea that people are talking about you).


Dose and route of administration

The amount of caffeine present in (soft) drinks and other supplements on the market varies quite a bit. Below is a table with some amounts of caffeine per type of drink. In the Netherlands, the amount of caffeine in lemonade may be a maximum of 350 mg per liter, provided the soft drink contains plant or fruit extracts.

Filter 80 mg
Espresso 60 mg
Zwarte thee 30 mg
Cola 20 mg
Energiedrank (250 ml) 80 mg

The nutrition center advises not to use more than 400 mg per day.

Caffeine is usually drunk, but you can also snort the powder.


Duration

The effects of caffeine can last 2-5 hours after ingestion (with food/drink). Caffeine is quickly absorbed into the blood and the first effects are often noticeable after 30 minutes.


Risks

Addiction

You can develop a tolerance to caffeine. This means that people who drink coffee often are less sensitive to caffeine and therefore need more to feel an effect. For people who drink a lot of coffee, one or two cups of coffee in the morning is no longer enough to wake up. They have a slight tolerance development.

People who never use caffeine will react more strongly to it than people who use caffeine every day. Basically, caffeine is addictive if you strictly follow the guidelines of what addiction is. Someone who drinks large amounts of coffee every day may experience withdrawal symptoms when quitting. The most common are fatigue, concentration problems and headaches. These effects can last for about one to two weeks.


Interactions

Combining different types of drugs can be risky and unpredictable. When you combine drugs you can have a higher risk of health problems. In the following paragraphs you can read about the effects and the risks of a number of combinations that occur frequently and also a about few that are extra hazardous. Also check our theme combining drugs.

Alcohol and caffeine

You feel the effects of alcohol less after using caffeine. For example, think about energy drinks. Because of the caffeine you can  drink more and longer. On the other hand, the alcohol can help to weaken the effect of the caffeine. You are more relaxed, but a bit more awake. This can also cause you to drink more caffeine than if you didn’t drink alcohol. You’re more likely to overestimate yourself.
Keep in mind that if you drink faster and more, the hangover is also considerably bigger. This is also because the combination also causes the body to lose more fluid than if you only drink alcohol or caffeine.

Speed and caffeine

Speed is often cut with caffeine. The caffeine often makes you feel a bit more jumpy or rushed, in a negative way. Both drugs increase the heart rate.

 


Unity tips

The use of drugs is never without risks. With good preparation you can ensure that these risks remain as small as possible. Here are our tips for using caffeine:

Unity tips for using drugs

  • When using a drug for the first time, take only a small dose to see how your body reacts to the substance
  • Only use drugs when you are feeling well
  • Use drugs recreationally, not to combat psychological issues like fatigue
  • Avoid using drugs if you have (had) psychological afflictions or if you have a family history of psychological diseases (such as depression) in your family
  • Test your drugs before use at a drugs-testing service
  • Make sure to prepare a good set and setting for drug use
  • Only use drugs sparingly. Keep track of your use over time.
  • Decide in advance how much you are planning to use over the evening, and stick to that. 
  • Do not combine drugs with other substances or medicines
  • Do not participate in traffic after drug use
  • Prevent infectious diseases; Use your own snorter/sniffer and do not share paraphernalia with others
  • After insufflating, rinse your nose well with lukewarm saline water (for example, by using a nasal spray or nasal douche)
  • Are you, or one of your friends not feeling well? Keep an eye out for one another, take care of each other and visit the first aid (if one is available)
  • Call 112 in a life-threatening situation
  • Eat healthy before and after drug use. In particular, foods with lots of antioxidants and vitamins (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, raisins, oranges, kiwi, broccoli). This is perhaps the most important tip! It can be difficult to eat during and after drug use, but make sure to try to eat something anyway. Eating well is a great way to reduce the hangover! If you can’t hold in solid foods, try juices, breakfast drinks, and smoothies.

Unity tips for using stimulants

  • Do not combine high stimulant doses with other stimulants
  • Do not use stimulants if you suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy or psychological afflictions. Also, do not use stimulants if you are pregnant, or in combination with medications (especially MAO inhibitors and asthma medication).
  • Make sure you don’t get too warm while using stimulants: rest every now and then, don’t wear (too) warm clothes or headgear and drink water/soft drinks occasionally.
  • Get enough rest before using stimulants. If you are very tired or suffer from insomnia, do not use stimulants!
  • Moderate use is key. Keep track of how much you take.
  • Drink enough to keep yourself hydrated, but no more than 2 glasses of water per hour. Exceeding this increases the risk of water intoxication.
  • Stimulants can give you a dry mouth, which, combined with teeth grinding, increases the risk of damage to your teeth. It is important to stimulate your saliva production. You can do this by chewing sugar-free gum. Saliva substitutes or artificial saliva (such as Saliva Orthana, Xialine and Oral Balance) can also be used and can be purchased without a prescription.

And:

  • Don’t take large amounts (+200 mg) in one go (for example in a capsule).
  • The advice for pregnant and breast feeding women is not to drink more than 300 mg of caffeine a day.

FAQ

Is caffeine addictive?

You can get used to caffeine. One cup of coffee is no longer enough to wake up. Heavy coffee drinkers can also experience mild withdrawal symptoms such as: headache, fatigue and irritability.

Healthy adults can consume about 400 milligrams of caffeine per day without expected negative effects. That is about 4 cups of coffee per day. Other advice applies to children, young people, pregnant women and women who are breast-feeding.

Voedingscentrum.nl: The advice to pregnant and breastfeeding women is not to take more than 2 cups of coffee or 1 cup of coffee in a day. For children under 13 it is recommended not to take coffee and for young people between 13 and 18 years a maximum of 1 cup. Instead of coffee with caffeine, you can also opt for decaffeinated coffee.

How do you dose powder or capsules?

To be able to weigh a certain dose properly, you need a good scale. Have a scale that can weigh milligrams, to 3 decimal places (0.001 mg). A scale that weighs 0.01 (2 decimal places) may be just accurate enough for MDMA, but not for many other substances.

Where can you find such a scale?

On the large international online webshops you can find scales for around 20 euros that can weigh 3 figures after the decimal point. You can buy empty capsules in different sizes at pharmacies, smart shops or drugstores. Some are also suitable for vegetarians. You can write the drug and dosage on the capsule with a waterproof marker or a CD marker.


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