Caffeine is one of the most commonly used by millions around the work to wake up, stay alert, and be productive all day long. It is also one of the most common components of coffee, chocolates, tea, and some energy drinks and sodas.
But What Exactly Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is present naturally in over 60 plants. Purified caffeine is a bitter-tasting powder, and the body absorbs it entirely after 30 to 45 minutes of consumption. The effects can last for around three hours. The body does not store the caffeine in the system and removes it through the excretory system.
How Much Coffee Is Too Much?
In general, an average healthy adult can consume around 250-300 mg of caffeine per day. For some people, 400 mg of caffeine is also a moderation.
Drinking or consuming more than 700 mg of caffeine can be too much for the body. It may cause slight jitters or anxiety or panic. However, drinking in such quantities every day can affect both physical and psychological health.
Caffeine Side Effects:
Drinking too much coffee can have a lot of adverse effects on the body. Below listed are a few:
- Although caffeine comes with numerous health benefits, it also has some side effects. Below listed are a few:
- A study reported that caffeine intake might increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis (7), where the skeletal muscle is damaged, and the pieces of which can enter the bloodstream. It then can cause renal failure and damage other organs in the body.
- Coffee can increase alertness and keep you active for long hours. However, drinking too much can cause anxiety.
- Many studies prove that coffee can prevent drowsiness and reduce sleep. Consuming too much coffee can cause insomnia and alter sleep patterns. It may also lead to other psychological and physical disorders.
- Excess coffee intake may cause loose stools.
- Caffeine can also trigger the symptoms of GERD.
Health Benefits of Caffeine
The caffeine enters the bloodstream from the gut. It then travels to the liver and where the liver breaks it down into compounds which various body organs can use. Cerebral vascular system, mood, stamina, and gastrointestinal tract are the common areas where caffeine shows its effect. Below listed are some of the health benefits of caffeine and caffeine-infused drinks.
Caffeine primarily works with the brain. It blocks specific receptors in the brain, which could otherwise make you feel drowsy or tired. Caffeine also increases the blood adrenaline levels and augments the activity of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Its ability to constrict the blood vessels also make it inhibiting or reducing vascular headaches.
These combined effects of caffeine on the brain enrich arousal, alertness, and focus.
2. Weight Loss
Caffeine is known to play an active role in weight loss or even in preventing weight gain. It does so by augmenting suppressing the appetite and also reducing the desire to eat. Caffeine can also boost the metabolic rate, which can, in turn, increase the rate of fat burning in the body. Besides, it may also stimulate thermogenesis, which may increase the body’s internal temperature and increase the metabolism, and thus aid weight loss.
Intense physical workouts or exercises burn a lot of glycogen in the body. Here, caffeine plays a critical role in the recovery process by promoting the resynthesis of glycogen.
Other Benefits of Caffeine:
- According to a study, coffee or caffeine may reduce the risk of dementia in late-life (1).
- A study showed that caffeine might lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease (2).
- Caffeine can improve endurance levels and fight fatigue during physical workout. It may also stimulate the body to make use of the stored fats as fuel.
- A study found that caffeine may reduce the risk of skin cancer (3).
- Caffeine can act as a diuretic and flush out the extra salt and water from the body.
- It can promote hair growth by targeting specific hormones that cause hair loss. Caffeine can also increase blood circulation to the scalp, which in turn nourishes the hair follicles.
- After digesting caffeine, the body produces a chemical that can slow down the growth of scar tissues responsible for fibrosis. It may also help in fatty liver, cirrhosis, and other related liver disorders.
- According to research (4), people who drink coffee may reduce the risk of catching Eyelid Spasm.
- People consuming reasonable amounts of caffeine have lower chances of suffering from cataracts than those who consume less caffeine (5).
- Drinking caffeine, followed by a healthy lifestyle, may protect against stroke (6).
Coffee is undoubtedly one of the healthiest drinks. It can increase our productivity, improve our neurological functions, reduce weight, and make us healthier. However, consumption should be in moderation (not more than 300 mg) or as directed by the nutrition or the doctor. If not, excess consumption of caffeine can reverse its effect and lead to chronic health conditions in the future. If you are having problems after consuming even smaller amounts of caffeine, then it is better to avoid and check with your physician.
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