Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed stimulant drugs in the world. Millions of people take it to stay awake, keep mental alertness, reduce fatigue, and improve endurance.
Although caffeine can have some mental and physical benefits, even moderate consumption can bring about both benefits and risks. Too much of it can leave you feeling nervous, irritable, and anxious. There are other reasons why caffeine may not be healthy for your health. We shall come back to them shortly.
In the meantime, most people think caffeine is healthy. It’s been linked to lower chances of developing severe complications.
Caffeine in two cups of coffee may provide significant protection against developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers prove women aged 65 and older who drank two to three cups of coffee a day were, by and large, less likely to develop dementia.
Be that as it may, you must control your coffee intake. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that healthy adults consume less than 400mg. That’s the equivalent of about 4 or 5 cups of coffee.
If you’d like to know if caffeine is good for your health or not, read on.
Caffeine: Is It Good or Bad For Your Health?
Good: Increases fat burning
Coffee lovers, who plan to reduce weight by exercising, will love this one. Taking your dose of freshly-brewed coffee before exercising helps the body burn fat.
There’s limited research on this topic at this time. However, the outcome of this graded exercise test backs the claim. The result shows that “acute caffeine ingestion 30 minutes before performing an aerobic exercise test increased maximum fat oxidation.”
The researchers suggest taking caffeine shortly before a moderately intense aerobic workout in the afternoon for the best outcome.
Bad: Heightens levels of anxiety
Caffeine pumps the body full of stress hormones (serotonin). It leads to anxiety, stress, and even depression for some people.
Thus, it’s quite essential to protect yourself from stress. How? Eat energy-rich food, don’t overwork, be physically active, and drink coffee with caution. Avoid taking energy drinks, tea, chocolate, soda, and coffee high in caffeine.
Good: Reduces risk of colon cancer
Researchers have found that coffee drinkers, whether decaf or regular, were 26 per cent less likely to develop colorectal cancer. Also, colon cancer patients, who regularly take caffeinated coffee, may lower the risk of tumor recurrence and death from the disease.
Today, one in 23 women develop colon cancer. This research publication proved coffee usage seems to “independently improve the outcome for colon cancer patients.”
Bad: Causes a rise in serum cortisol
Have you ever experienced the inability to manage your emotional responses to sleep or keep them within an acceptable limit? It could be as bad as feeling sleepy when you needed to work after sleeping for 12 hours.
It’s called dysregulation. Caffeine stimulates the production of more cortisol that can lead to dysregulation. Dysregulation leads to confusion, anxiety and stress and affects productivity.
Good: Reduces cellular damage
Dark roast coffee decreases breakage in DNA strands. Such damage occurs naturally and can lead to cancer or tumors if not repaired by the body cells.
Scientists now know coffee can reduce cellular damage, including DNA mutations that could lead to cancer. The effects may vary from person to person according to their specific DNA.
Bad: Caffeine increases gastric acid secretion
Coffee excites gastrin release and gastric acid secretion. It’s believed to slow gastric emptying by slowing the adaptive relaxation of the proximal stomach.
It can worsen the symptoms of heartburn, and you may begin to notice signs of indigestion. It can sometimes result in abdominal pain.
Good: Decrease risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases
There have been long-held beliefs caffeine reduces the development of Alzheimer’s diseases and other dementias. Notably amongst them is this study by the University of Florida. The research found higher caffeine in people who didn’t develop dementia than those who did.
A recent study, however, disputes such a claim. It suggests caffeine isn’t the magic substance protective against both diseases but phenylindane compounds. Formed while roasting the coffee bean, these phenylindane compounds occur in nature. They’re, consequently, considered better protection against dementias compared to caffeine created synthetically.
Bad: Negatively impact your vein health
Caffeine can constrict blood vessels and heighten blood pressure. Persistent heightened blood pressure could place enormous strain on your veins. It can, in turn, damage the vein valves, which pumps blood back to the heart.
Vein disease symptoms include swollen legs, ankles, and feet due to blood pooling. Others are itchy and dry skin, difficulty standing for long periods, burning calf or thigh, and numbness or tingling sensation.
The Right Amount of Caffeine Is Good for You
Moderation is the buzz word when it comes to caffeine consumption.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two “energy shot” drinks.”
Everybody processes caffeine differently. Your bodyweight, certain medications, underlying health conditions, and sensitivity to the stimulant may determine the safe amount of caffeine you should take.
Most importantly, ask your doctor about reducing or eliminating caffeine. You may, for one thing, be avoiding developing complications.
Hey Joyfreshers, what are the healthiest ways to get caffeine? How often do you drink coffee? Have you cut off coffee from your diet? What are the effects? Tell us about your experience below!