Caffeine is a natural stimulant and has no taste of its own. It is found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. When consumed, it stimulates the central nervous system and brain, which may boost your mood, metabolism, and mental and physical performance. However, high doses of caffeine may have ill effects on your health. Research indicates that your genes have a major influence on your tolerance to it. Some people can consume more caffeine than others without experiencing negative effects. Caffeine drinking is good or bad depending upon your tolerance to it. However, too much caffeine consumption should be avoided, as it may have harmful effects. Studies have shown it is safe for most people when consumed in low to moderate amounts.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant that naturally occurs in certain plants. It possesses no taste. Consuming caffeine activates the body and alleviates the feeling of tiredness and induces a feeling of well-being in your body. It has no nutritional value. Approximately 80% of the world’s population consumes caffeinated drinks every day. Billions of people use caffeinated drinks to stay awake during the night shifts or to jump-start their day.
How does caffeine work in your body?
On consumption, caffeine is absorbed from the intestine into the blood. It reaches the liver and is broken down into compounds that affect the various parts of the body. Its main action is on the brain. It acts on adenosine, a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain. Adenosine is responsible for tiredness and makes you want to go to sleep. Normally, adenosine levels build up during the day and contribute to tiredness. Caffeine acts on adenosine and blocks its function. Thus, you feel less tired and stay awake. It also increases adrenaline levels in the blood and increases the brain activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. which further stimulates the brain and makes you active, alert, and more focused. Since caffeine acts on the brain, it is called a psychoactive drug. After consumption, caffeine reaches your bloodstream in 20 minutes, and in one hour it reaches its peak performance level.
Which foods or drinks contain caffeine?
Caffeine naturally occurs in certain fruits, leaves, and plants. These are harvested and processed to produce caffeinated drinks and beverages. It is naturally present in tea, coffee, and cocoa. Food that contains chocolate has caffeine. Caffeine is added to soft drinks, energy drinks, and some gum and candies as an energy booster or stimulant. Caffeine is also added to certain medicines for colds, pain, and allergies as a stimulant and to cause a sense of well-being. It is also present in certain supplements used for weight loss as an appetite suppressant. The following are a few foods or drinks that contain caffeine.
One cup (8 ounces) of brewed coffee contains around 95 mg of caffeine. The same quantity of instant coffee contains about 60 mg of caffeine. And decaffeinated coffee contains around 4 mg of caffeine.
Around 65mg of caffeine is present in 1.5 ounces of espresso.
One cup of black tea contains about 47 mg of caffeine. Green tea contains about 28 mg of caffeine, whereas decaffeinated tea contains around 2 mg of caffeine. Herbal tea is devoid of caffeine.
A quantity of 12 ounces of regular or diet dark cola contains around 40 mg of caffeine. Whereas a similar quantity of Mountain dew contains about 55 mg of caffeine.
A standard energy drink of quantity 16 ounces contains around 170 mg of caffeine. Energy shots of 2 ounces contain about 200 mg of caffeine.
One ounce of dark chocolate contains about 24 mg of caffeine. Milk chocolate of the same quantity contains around 6mg of caffeine.
Guarana is a seed from a South American plant that is processed as an extract and added to foods, energy drinks, and energy supplements. It contains twice the concentration of caffeine found in coffee beans.
How is caffeine drinking good or bad for your health?
Safe limits of caffeine drinking- Good for health.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture and the European Food Safety Authority, two to four cups of coffee are safe. In general, the recommended daily consumption of 400 mg of caffeine per day is considered safe. Pregnant women should consume less than 200 mg of caffeine per day. Higher doses may cause severe health complications during pregnancy. Caffeine consumption within safe limits has beneficial aspects for health. But higher doses may cause physical and psychological harm. Consuming a moderate amount is not considered unhealthy. It has addictive effects, and withdrawal symptoms may include headache, fatigue, low energy, irritability, aggression, anxiety, poor concentration, and depression.
How is caffeine drinking terrible for health?
- Consuming higher doses of caffeine may induce severe anxiety and nervousness.
- Excess amounts of caffeine intake can affect the quality and quantity of sleep which may cause insomnia and sleep deprivation. Insufficient sleep may have many ill effects on your health.
- Since caffeine has addictive effects, It causes withdrawal symptoms like- headache, fatigue, irritability, etc.
- Caffeine may cause Rhabdomyolysis- a chronic health condition, in which damaged muscle fibers enter in bloodstream and can cause severe problems.
- Consuming too much caffeine may increase heart rate, stomach upset, excessive urination, and anxiety.
- Too much caffeine may impact calcium absorption and may interfere with certain drugs.
- Pregnant women should limit their caffeine consumption as excessive consumption of caffeine during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage or preterm birth. Pregnant women should consume less than 200mg of caffeine per day.
How is caffeine drinking good for health?
- Caffeine uplifts mood and causes a sense of well-being. As it blocks the functioning of adenosine. There is an overall increase in dopamine and norepinephrine with which you feel less tired and active.
- Caffeine lowers the risk of diabetes (type-2), heart disease, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease.
- Caffeine activates metabolism, which helps muscle tolerance and contraction and enhances exercise performance.
- Some studies revealed that the consumption of caffeine helps in the prevention of gout.
- Coffee is a significant source of caffeine, which helps you in reducing liver damage and premature death. Further moderate drinking of coffee may help reduce your risk of developing dementia and Parkinson’s disease. It helps in enhancing physical and mental performance.
Health benefits of caffeine drinking.
Caffeine drinking- improves brain function and mood.
Caffeine drinking helps you improve brain functioning and acts as a mood elevator. It causes a sense of well-being. Caffeine is capable of blocking the brain signaling molecule adenosine. which enhances dopamine and norepinephrine levels. which improves your alertness and reduces the feeling of tiredness. As per a study, when participants consumed 37.5 to 450 mg of caffeine, they experienced improvements in their alertness, short-term memory, and reaction timing.
According to one study, participants who drank 2 to 3 cups of caffeinated coffee with 200 to 300 mg of caffeine per day had at least 45% lower suicidal tendencies.
One more study found that caffeine consumers have at least a 13% lower risk of developing depression.
Moreover, drinking more caffeine does not provide any additional benefits in terms of mood elevation. Thus, drinking in moderation is sufficient.
Caffeine drinking- helps in the burning of fats and may boost metabolism.
Caffeine consumption in moderation may aid in fat burning and metabolism. A 12-year study on caffeine and weight gain revealed that participants who drank coffee were found to lose 0.8 to 1.1 pounds (0.4 to 0.5 kg) at the end of the study. Consuming 300 mg of caffeine every day may help burn the extra 79 calories per day. The amount, although small, is responsible for the average yearly weight gain of 2.2 pounds (1 kg) in Americans. since caffeine is a CNS (central nervous system) stimulant. It may increase metabolism by around 11% and the burning of fats by around 13%.
Caffeine consumption – may help to increase exercise performance.
Caffeine drinking may increase the use of fat as fuel during exercise. It may help the stored glucose in muscles last longer, postponing force exhaustion. Caffeine may also improve muscle contractions and increase fatigue tolerance. A dose of 1.4 mg per pound (3 mg per kg) of body weight consumed one hour before exercise may be sufficient for getting better results.
Caffeine consumption – may lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Caffeine consumption may slightly increase your blood pressure. But this amount is small (3 to 4 mmHg) and tends to fade away with regular consumption. Caffeine may lower the risk of heart disease. As per a study, it was revealed that caffeine was found to lower the risk of heart disease by 16% to 18% in men and women participants who consumed 1 to 4 cups of coffee per day containing approximately 100 to 400 mg of caffeine.
One more study revealed that consuming 2 to 4 cups of coffee or green tea every day is linked to a 14–20% lower stroke risk.
According to a study, participants who drink coffee have a 29% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It was further observed that the risk drops by 12% to 14% for every 200 mg of caffeine consumed.
Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea may reduce the risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
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This Post Has 3 Comments
Very informative blog post .
Thanks Ankush Aggarwal ji.
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