Caffeine Benefits You Probably Might Have Never Heard About Until Now
Can’t function without caffeine in your system? Caffeine isn’t just your morning energizer. It’s a precious addition to our kitchen shelves due to a number of reasons. Let’s delve deep into a tall frothy mug of cappuccino and understand how caffeine can be good for our health. Excited? Read on further to know about benefits of caffeine.
What is Caffeine?
- It is proven that a cup of hot coffee can help uplift your senses and refresh you. This quality of coffee can be attributed to the presence of caffeine, which is a central nervous stimulant.
- Caffeine is basically a bitter white crystalline alkaloid. It is a stimulant drug that is found in varying amounts in the seeds, leaves and fruits of some plants.
- Caffeine is most commonly consumed in the form of tea, coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks.
- Widely consumed in the form of infusions. Extracted from seeds of the coffee plant and leaves of the tea bush.
- Other sources include edibles containing products derived from the kola nut.
- Caffeine is considered a harmful drug. Taking it in the right dose can have positive effects on your health.
- Using caffeine causes an improvement in sports performance, increases alertness and reduces fatigue.
- It can temporarily ward off drowsiness and lift up your mood.
Caffeine Benefits For Health
A question that everybody has in mind is whether caffeine is good for health. The amount of caffeine contained in two to four cups of coffee a day is not harmful. However, excess caffeine intake can make you feel restless, irritable and anxious. Some people are sensitive to caffeine, and they need to restrict their intake. Taking caffeine in the right doses can provide the following health benefits.
1. Good For Liver – Caffeine Benefits
Caffeine, when taken in the form of caffeine enema, detoxifies your liver and cleanses the colon. A study has proved that caffeine may reduce fatty liver in those suffering from non-alcohol related fatty liver disease.
2. Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes – Caffeine Benefits
Research says that drinking 5 cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. This is primarily because of the presence of high level of disease-fighting antioxidants. Furthermore, drinking sugar-free coffee daily can make you less likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes.
3. Sharpens Your Brain – Caffeine Benefits
Caffeine is good for your brain. It causes the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical that stimulates the area of gray matter. This again is responsible for alertness, problem-solving and pressure. Hence making your brain active and sharper. In fact, people who drink four cups of caffeinated drink are half as likely to suffer from Parkinson’s disease in comparison to others. This is primarily because caffeine keeps dopamine molecules active. It also blocks adenosine that may slow down the buildup of amyloid-beta. Amyloid-beta is a toxic brain plaque that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Cardiovascular Health – Caffeine Benefits
Caffeine constricts your arteries by infiltrating the receptors that line the blood vessel walls. This causes your blood pressure to rise. However, this is a problem with non-habitual drinkers. The effect on blood pressure tends to be much smaller on habitual coffee drinkers as their bodies are somewhat tolerant to its effects. Furthermore, men who took 4 cups of caffeinated beverage daily are less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who never took a sip. Drinking coffee has been found to reduce the risk of stroke by 22%.
5. Aids In Weight Loss
Drinking caffeinated drinks can help in weight loss. Regular drinkers often report a decrease in appetite, resulting in weight loss. Just make sure you don’t go overboard with it! 300-400 milligrams of caffeine in any form (cola, tea, or coffee) is enough.
6. Eye Health
Caffeine has been associated with eye health benefits recently. Being a powerful neuroprotectant, caffeine is known to reduce the chances of hypoxia (deprivation of oxygen) in the retina. As a result, thus preventing retinal degeneration.
7. Anti-Cancer Properties
Caffeine can reduce the risk of developing cancer. It also delays the onset of common cancer. Several studies have focussed on caffeine’s effect on cancerous cells. And here we aren’t talking about one or two cups daily; all these studies focus on four cups of caffeine on a daily basis to cut cancer risk. Studies reveal that having at least 5 cups of caffeinated drinks can reduce the risk of oral cancer by 39%, brain cancer by 40%, colon cancer by 42%, breast cancer by 49%, and endometrial cancer by 19%.
8. Improves Muscle Performance And Stamina
Consuming 140 to 400 mg of caffeine 30 to 60 minutes before exercising can improve both speed and endurance. They slightly increases your heart and breathing rate by stimulating your nervous system. This prepares your body for peak performance. It also facilitates the muscle contraction. Thus blocking the adenosine receptors attached to muscle fibers. As a result, this triggers electrical activity that prompts bigger bursts of calcium. Additionally, caffeine, when mixed with carbs, can replenish muscle glycogen concentrations faster after exercise. Hence, caffeine is often used in energy drinks to increase stamina.
9. Treatment Of Migraine And Headaches
A night of binge drinking (alcohol) can lead to an uncontrollable headache the day after. A cup of strong black coffee might help beat that cruel pain! The strong neuroprotective effects of caffeine are helpful to hike the effectiveness of gastrointestinal uptake of painkillers. As a result it is beneficial for patients with migraine and headache medications.
10. Improves Memory
Caffeine increases the level of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This is associated with attention, concentration, learning and memory. Hence, it has a positive effect on memory and cognitive function. All in all, caffeine is excellent for our brain health!
Caution – Caffeine Benefits
Caffeine can provide various benefits for your health. However, this is only possible with the right dosage of caffeine. Excessive intake of caffeine has been reported to cause adverse effects on your health. Moreover, some individuals are sensitive to caffeine, and they are required to restrict its consumption or completely avoid it. In fact increased consumption can also cause dependence due to increased tolerance. And therefore you require greater amounts of caffeine to obtain the same stimulatory benefits. Given below are the negative effects associated with excess consumption of caffeine.
- Consumption of more than 500 to 600 milligrams of caffeine per day can make you prone to health problems. Such as insomnia, nervousness, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, elevated heartbeat, headaches & migraines.
- It increases blood pressure in those who are not habituated to it. Thereby increasing the risk of strokes & CAD.
- Regular consumption make you addicted. And withdrawal can cause headache, fatigue, and decreased alertness.
- Excessive consumption is associated with the decrease in bone mineral density, which can cause osteoporosis.
- Daily consumption causes an increase in blood sugar levels, thus causing problems for diabetic patients.
- They can worsen the condition of insomnia. It often interferes with deep sleep, which can cause fatigue.
- It contributes to bone loss at the spine in elderly postmenopausal women.
- High doses of caffeine can cause anxiety.
- It adversely affects the control of fine muscular movements such as causing the hands to shake.
- Excess consumption of caffeine increases the likelihood of experiencing auditory hallucinations.
Recommended Intake Of Caffeine – Caffeine Benefits
In order to reap the benefits of caffeine and minimize its negative effects, it is important to ingest the right dosage. The recommended safe level of consumption of caffeine per day is 500 mg. It’s lesser for those with heart conditions, high blood pressure and pregnant women. On an average, a cup of instant coffee contains between 80 to 100 mg of caffeine. The stronger the coffee, the higher is the caffeine content. Furthermore, tea has comparatively lesser amounts of caffeine unless it is very strongly brewed. So go ahead and grab that cup of joy and savor its health benefits.