Caffeine intake has always been under controversy. Some say that it has numerous health benefits, while others claim that it is detrimental to health. In this article, we will find out whether caffeine intake is beneficial for you or not.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. The most well-known source of caffeine is the coffee bean. Caffeine is also seen in cacao beans, tea, and colas and all these beverages are very popular. Beverages containing caffeine are ingested to relieve or prevent drowsiness and to improve performance.
How does caffeine work?
Once caffeine is consumed, it is absorbed into the bloodstream. After being metabolized by the liver, it is broken into various compounds that can affect different organs of the body. It mainly functions on the brain, by blocking the effects of adenosine, which relaxes the brain and makes you feel tired. This is how coffee perks you up.
How much caffeine is allowed in a day?
|Age range||Maximum recommended daily caffeine intake|
|4–6||45 mg (slightly more than in 12 oz of a typical soft drink)|
|10–12||85 mg (about ½ cup of coffee)|
|13-18||2.5 mg per kg of body weight|
Ref: USDA (US Department of Agriculture)
Health benefits of caffeine:
- Caffeine boosts your physical performance by increasing adrenaline levels in your blood, a hormone that helps you to prepare for physical exertion.
- It may help you lose weight as it contains minerals like magnesium and potassium, which helps the human body use insulin, regulate blood sugar levels, and reduce your craving for sugary treats and snacks.
- Caffeine helps fat cells break down body fat and use it as fuel for training.
- Moderate caffeine intake, helps you focus and improves your mental alertness.
- Caffeine reduces the risk of stroke. Reasonable consumption of coffee (2–4 cups a day) is associated with a lower risk of stroke.
- Caffeine reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Studies have shown that regular coffee drinking decreases the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 25 %. by causing activity in the part of the brain affected by Parkinson’s.
- High caffeine intake increases its levels in your blood and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It also lowers the risk of dementia.
- Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and boosts the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, which elevate your mood.
Negative effects of caffeine:
- Caffeine intake can cause insomnia, especially when consumed before bedtime.
- Its intake has been linked to urinary incontinence and bedwetting.
- Caffeine interferes with ossification and can cause a higher percentage of fractures.
Most negative effects of caffeine stem from increased intake of caffeinated beverages.
Very high caffeine intake can also lead to experiencing: Migraines, Insomnia, Nervousness, Irritability, Restlessness, Frequent urination or inability to control urination, Stomach upset, Fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors.
Take-Home Message: Always remember the Golden Rule: All things in Moderation!
Limit your caffeine intake on a daily basis and enjoy its benefits without being hampered by its negative aspects.
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