When we say caffeine, then coffee comes to our minds straightaway. Consumption of caffeine is beneficial for health in multiple ways. Caffeine primarily helps with weight loss and helps us in concentrating when we feel lazy. Coffee is also like an addiction for many. Despite, many benefits excessive use of caffeine can be harmful to health. Today we are telling you in detail the advantages and disadvantages of caffeine consumption.
Caffeine is a bitter and stimulating substance found naturally in the leaves and seeds of plants. Caffeine is defined as a drug because it acts to stimulate the brain and central nervous system. Caffeine is the world’s most commonly consumed psychoactive drug that people often drink in the form of coffee. Besides coffee, caffeine is also present in tea, cocoa, soft drinks and energy drinks.
Caffeine increases alertness and helps relieve fatigue. It gives a temporary boost to your energy and elevates your mood. But remember, overdose of it can have negative effects on pregnancy, fertility, glucose control and other aspects of health. Therefore, it is important for us to know the appropriate amount before its consumption.
Caffeine is available both naturally as well as prepared synthetically. It is also added to some medicines, foods and beverages. For example, some pain relievers, cold medicines, and stimulating medications contain synthetic caffeine.
How does caffeine work in the body?
Caffeine works to stimulate the central nervous system. When reaches your brain, it increases your responsiveness. Further, it is used as a drug to reduce sleepiness, to treat headaches and migraines, which makes you feel more awake and less tired.
According to scientists, caffeine works in our body in three ways –
1. Caffeine blocks the effect of adenosine
Adenosine molecules are naturally produced in the body and when these adenosine molecules bind with the receptors of the brain, you feel tired and in pain. Because caffeine and adenosine have a similar structure, caffeine binds to adenosine receptors in the brain, reducing both feelings of fatigue and pain, and making you feel energised.
2. Caffeine releases calcium from muscles-
Caffeine, by releasing calcium from muscle cells, compresses muscles, providing energy to the muscles and reducing fatigue, sleepiness and pain.
3. Caffeine increases catecholamine levels-
Caffeine increases the level of catecholamines hormones. Catecholamines help in the break down of fats present in the body. This breakdown of lipids gives energy. This energy reduces fatigue, sleepiness and pain in the body.
Sources of Caffeine
- Soft Drinks
- Energy drink
- chewing gum
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Chocolate Cake with Frosting
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a maximum intake of 300–400 milligrams per day, or two to three cups of coffee. Caffeine is used in higher amounts in energy drinks than in other drinks. Thus, keep in mind the amount of caffeine you are consuming. The “pod” or “bean” of coffee is the major source of caffeine. The coffee pod is the seed of the coffee plant, from which coffee is made.
Tea is another common source of caffeine. Although tea contains more caffeine than coffee, the caffeine content in tea is greatly reduced due to its brewing method.
Merits of Caffeine intake
If we consume the proper amount of caffeine, then it can bring us the following benefits-
- Improves energy level.
- Helps in reducing weight.
- Prevents Alzheimer’s disease.
- Lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
- Controls diabetes.
- Removes depression.
- Helps protect the liver.
- Reduces headache.
1. Boosts Energy levels
Coffee helps in reducing fatigue and increasing energy levels. After drinking coffee, the caffeine in coffee is absorbed into the blood and reaches the brain. Caffeine blocks adenosine in the brain. Due to which the sensations of both fatigue and pain are reduced and you feel refreshed and energetic.
Several studies show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function including memory, mood, responsiveness, and energy level.
2. Assists in Weight Loss
Caffeine helps in weight loss in many ways, especially by improving metabolism. Several studies show that caffeine can increase your metabolic rate by 3-11%. It is believed that regular consumption of caffeine in people who are obese reduces their obesity.
In another research, caffeine has been shown to be useful in reducing fat and weight. However, it is possible that these effects may subside in long-term coffee drinkers.
3. Protection against Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes progressive mental deterioration. This disease is seen more in people of middle or old age. The brain of the person suffering from this disease is not able to function properly and their memory becomes very weak.
Due to weak memory, they start forgetting those things, due to which their daily routine gradually starts spoiling. Several studies suggest that coffee drinkers may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 65%.
4. Reducing risk of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is related to disturbances in the central nervous system. This disease can have a severe effect on the nerve cells that are responsible for secreting dopamine in the body. Dopamine is a type of chemical that helps the neurotransmitters to function properly. Due to the lack of dopamine, there is a tremor in the body.
Studies show that caffeine drinkers have a very low risk of Parkinson’s disease, with regular intake of coffee reducing the risk of this disease by about 32-60% may come.
5. Diabetes Control
Type 2 diabetes is a common health problem affecting millions of people worldwide. According to researchers, caffeine reduces the level of sugar in the blood. Researchers found that people who consumed caffeine for 4 weeks resulted in the increase of insulin proportion in their blood.
6. Reduces depression
Studies have also found that people who drink coffee or consume caffeine on regular basis are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as reduce the risk of suicide by about 45 percent.
7. Protects the liver
There are several diseases that primarily affect the liver, including hepatitis and fatty liver. Such diseases can lead to liver cirrhosis. The interesting fact is that an appropriate amount of caffeine can be a prevention against liver cirrhosis. People who drink 2-4 cups of coffee per day have an up to 80% lower risk.
8. Cure for headache
Research has found that consuming 130 mg of caffeine can help relieve headaches caused by stress. At the same time, if it is consumed in the problem of migraine, it can work to enhance the effect of painkiller. The use of caffeine also helps to relieve stress and anxiety.
Demerits of Caffeine
Some research suggests that caffeine may reduce the activity of the muscles in the fallopian tubes (female reproductive system). These muscles work to carry eggs from the ovary to the womb. Which means that caffeine can be believed to reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant or could be a potential harm to her foetus if she becomes pregnant.
If you are already suffering from problems like stress, high blood pressure, insomnia, gas and stomach ulcers, then do not consume caffeine at all. It can worsen your problems.
If you already have a digestive disorder, caffeine can increase the acidity in the stomach. Which will ultimately upset your stomach.
High amounts of caffeine can exacerbate symptoms such as anxiety and nervousness.
Drinking coffee can also cause frequent urination which could lead to the shortage of water in your body. Lack of water can damage the kidneys.
Who must avoid caffeine?
The following individuals should limit or rather avoid the use of caffeine–
- lactating women,
- people with sleep disorders,
- a person suffering from migraine or other chronic headaches,
- people with high blood pressure,
- persons taking antibiotics or asthma medicines,
- Persons taking heart medicines