Study Reveals Downside to Worker Caffeine Use

November 1, 2006 ( - The stimulating effects of caffeine can have a downside for workers trying to stay alert, including hospitalization in some extreme cases, according to a new study by Northwestern University.

The study suggests that workers might turn to caffeine for stimulation to avoid crossing the line to illegal drugs, reports. Employees most at risk are younger workers, as the average age of those hospitalized was 21, according to the study. The study also identified workers taking on longer shifts who turn to caffeine to keep them awake as at high risk, according to

class=”Mso According to the study, which only looked at caffeine pills and supplements, symptoms associated with too much caffeine intake include tremors, sweating, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and neurological problems. However, linking the causes of these maladies to caffeine has proven to be somewhat difficult.

Young people taking caffeine either to stay awake or for a feeling of euphoria may actually end up in the emergency department more than we think, because young adults taken to the hospital for chest pains and heart palpitations are rarely asked if they’ve taken caffeine,” said Danielle McCarthy, director of the Northwestern study, according to