October 28, 2021 Glynis Kennedy
Do you drink coffee?
Love it or hate it, the effects of caffeine are undeniable. It can make your morning a little easier and give you a jolt of energy when you need it most. But there is a lot to know about this popular stimulant before making that first cup. In short, caffeine is good for some things but bad for others. Don’t forget caffeine isn’t just in coffee, pop, chocolate and energy drinks all contain caffeine. Read on to find out more.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant that increases alertness, concentration, and energy levels. It also gives an increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and feelings of nervousness. In small doses, it will give you a short burst of energy while larger doses can have the opposite effect resulting in jitteriness or agitation.
Caffeine Consumption can have negative effects…
On a variety of body systems and functions. One of the side effects is that caffeine can cause insomnia in some individuals when consumed late in the day or in excess, and it may also cause stomach irritation. Dehydration is possible due to urination when caffeinated beverages are consumed in excess. There may be other possible side effects that caffeine has on the body such as irregular heartbeat and muscle tremors, but these are not known to happen often.
For some caffeine consumers, caffeine leads to feelings of anxiety. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and nervousness. For an individual who has trouble sleeping or has anxiety already, caffeine can be counterproductive.
It causes stomach upset and difficult bowel function because caffeine has a constipating effect on the gastrointestinal tract, which causes stomach pain and indigestion. Caffeine also decreases the absorption of nutrients through the intestines such as calcium and iron. Caffeine also reduces magnesium absorption in the body.
Caffeine is addictive as your tolerance builds up you will need more caffeine in order for caffeine’s effects to stay the same. In general caffeine withdrawal, symptoms are mild with symptoms such as headaches, tiredness, and drowsiness. However, caffeine addiction can lead to more severe withdrawal symptoms such as excessive sleepiness and depression if caffeine intake is stopped.
How Much is Too Much?
A study completed in 2015 found that unwanted side effects like anxiety, agitation and difficulties sleeping occur when people consumed more than 400mg of caffeine per day. This is roughly 4 cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola, (we don’t recommend you drink this much), or 2 energy drinks. These side effects are also common when people abruptly decrease or stop their caffeine consumption.
Why caffeine is good for you?
Although caffeine can have negative effects on your body it also has some real benefits. Caffeine can cause a slight increase in blood pressure and overall cardiovascular activity, which could lead to increased performance during exercise and it can also help prevent Parkinson’s disease.
One of caffeine’s main effects is on the human brain. It strengthens your memory by improving the brain’s ability to multi-task. In addition, caffeine can help you focus more intensely on the task at hand. It increases the adrenaline levels and also the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine creating a state of arousal, alertness and focus. Because it affects your brain caffeine is often called a “psychoactive drug”.
A literary review done in 2019 found that consuming a moderate amount of caffeine has a protective effect against liver cancer. In that same year, 40 other studies found or 2 to 4 cups of coffee per day reduced death from all causes.
One final bonus, caffeine can be beneficial when it comes to weight loss, caffeine boosts metabolism and may be helpful for increasing endurance during exercise. To sum up, caffeine is bad is some ways but good in others. It would probably be best not to have caffeine every day and in large amounts. If you have caffeine infrequently and in small amounts, caffeine is likely to be beneficial rather than harmful.
Where is all that caffeine coming from?
Seeds nuts and leaves from various plants contain caffeine, these plants are used to make a wide variety of caffeinated goods, including both foods and drinks.
Coffee, energy tablets, caffeine gum, and products such as energy drinks and soft drinks are all caffeine-containing foods and beverages. Caffeine can also be found in cocoa or chocolate, as well as in black tea.
It is one of the most commonly ingested drugs in the world, and a stimulant and because caffeine increases alertness, concentration, and energy levels.
Caffeine is an ingredient in the over-the-counter medication, prescriptions and weight loss pills.
Curbing the Habit
One of the best ways to cut back on caffeine consumption can be really difficult. Stopping “cold turkey” or all at once can even trigger withdrawal symptoms. To help ease the transition try out some of these great tips…
Top 5 Tips to Stop Drinking Caffeine:
1) caffeine free beverages (see more on this below)
2) avoid caffeine containing foods and caffeine containing drugs such as cold and flu medicines.
3) drink caffeine free beverages only occasionally.
4) gradually decrease caffeine consumption by using caffeine-containing drinks only occasionally.
5) avoid caffeine late in the day and in excess.
Some Caffeine-Free Options
There are many different caffeine substitutes for coffee. Some of these include chicory coffee, matcha tea, golden milk, chai tea, and lemon water.
Chicory Coffee– If you’re looking for a drink that tastes like coffee but doesn’t contain caffeine, try chicory coffee. Chicory is grown in Europe and North Africa so it’s not too common in the United States. The flavor of chicory is similar to the flavor of roasted barley – which is used in dark beer. Chicory can be brewed with other types of beans or roots instead of barley if you choose to roast it before brewing.
Matcha Tea– Matcha tea is caffeine free because the caffeine is removed during the processing of green tea leaves. Matcha tea is commonly used in many other caffeine-free teas as well. It can be brewed with any type of herbal mixture that you choose to create.
Golden Milk– Golden milk is a caffeine-free drink, it’s basically a latte made from caffeine-free ingredients. Sometimes it is served iced or hot, depending on your preference.
Lemon Water– If you’re looking for caffeine substitute that will give you a caffeine boost, try caffeine-free lemon water. Lemon water is caffeine-free and provides a caffeine boost without the caffeine jitters. It has many other health benefits such as detoxification and increased immunity.
Kombucha– Kombucha is a caffeine-free and caffeine-free version of green, black or white tea. it’s made with traditional Japanese kombu (kelp) and brewed through a process that takes around three weeks.
Some Final Thoughts– Caffeine is a common ingredient in coffee, tea, and other beverages. While there are many benefits to moderate caffeine consumption overall, reactions depend on highly individual factors such as genetics or accompanying lifestyle choices like smoking cigarettes which can lead some people to have negative experiences with the stimulant while others may not have any adverse effects at all when they drink their morning cup o’ joe!