Amazing Health Benefits of Caffeine – Uses, Side Effects
Every day, billions of people rely on caffeine to get rid of the evening laziness and tiredness from a night shift. In fact, caffeine is one of the most commonly used natural stimulants across the world. Tea, and coffee that we drink carries Caffeine in it. Caffeine is popularly consumed because of its negative effects on drowsiness and anxiety.
Of course, various studies have also shown that caffeine has various health benefits. This article examines the latest research on caffeine and caffeine in your health.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. It stimulates the brain and central nervous system and helps to stay alert and prevents fatigue. The first tea was made by archaeologists in 2737 B.C. and has been searched.
Caffeinated soft drinks came into the market in the late 1800’s and soon became popular as energy drinks. Today, 80% of the world’s population consumes one caffeinated product every day.
How does Caffeine work?
Once ingested, caffeine is quickly absorbed from the intestine into the bloodstream. From there, it travels to the liver and divides into compounds that can affect the function of various organs.
Caffeine mainly affects the brain. It works by blocking the effects of adenosine; neurotransmitters that relax the brain and make you feel dizzy. Normally, adenosine levels rise during the day, causing you to gradually become more fragmented and you may feel sleepy. Caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors in your brain to help keep you hydrated without activating them. It blocks the effects of adenosine, which in turn causes a decrease in fats. It can increase the blood’s adrenaline levels and increase the brain activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.
This combination stimulates the brain and increases arousal, alertness and concentration as it affects the brain. In fact, caffeine is often introduced as a psychoactive medicine.
Caffeine rapidly expands its effects. For example, a cup of coffee may take 20 minutes to reach the bloodstream and about 1 hour to become fully functional.
What type of food and drink contains caffeine?
1) Caffeine is a naturally found content in seeds, nuts and leaves of some plants. These natural products are collected and processed into caffeinated foods and beverages.
Here is the amount of caffeine in 8-ounce (240-ml) per popular drink:
- Espresso : 240–720 mg
- Coffee : 102–200 mg
- Energy drinks : 50–160 mg
- Brewed tea : 40–120 mg
- Soft drinks : 20–40 mg
- Cocoa beverage : 2–7 mg
- Chocolate milk : 2–7 mg
2) Some foods also contain caffeine. For example- 28gm of milky chocolate contains 1 to 15 mg of caffeine and on another hand, 1 ounce of dark chocolate contains 5 to 35mg of caffeine.
3) You may also find caffeine in some prescription medications; such as anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and detoxifying medicines. In fact weight loss supplements also contain caffeine.
Benefits of Caffeine in Health
Capable to improve mood and brain function
Caffeine has the ability to block adenosine molecules signaling to the brain. This results in a relative increase in other signal molecules, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. This change in brain message is thought to benefit your mood and brain function.
- A study found that after taking 37.5-450 mg of caffeine, some of them improved their alertness, short-term memory, and reaction time.
- One study says that drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee reduces the risk of depressional suicide by 45%.
- In another study, caffeine users reported a 13% lower risk of depression.
- When it comes to mood, too much caffeine is not good. One study found that a second cup of coffee should be consumed at least 6 hours after the first cup.
- Drinking 3 to 5 cups or less than 3 cups of tea per day can reduce the risk of brain related diseases like- alzheimer’s, parkinson’s etc. by 28% to 60%.
It is important to note that coffee and tea contain other bioactive compounds for which caffeine has benefits for the body.
May enhance exercise performance
- When it comes to exercise or physical activity, caffeine can increase the use of fat as a fuel. The benefits of Caffeine have been shown in this regard as it can help the glucose stored in the muscles to be maintained for a longer period of time, which may delay the time it takes for your muscles to become depressed. Caffeine can improve muscle contraction and increase tolerance to fractures. Researchers have said that a dose of 5mg per kilogram of the body weight consumed a hour before exercise improves endurance by up to 5%.
- Less than 1.4 mg (3 mg per kg) per pound of body weight may be sufficient to achieve the benefits of caffeine. In general, it can reduce the amount of exercise you feel during exercise by 5.6%, making it easier to exercise.
Capable of protecting from heart disease and diabetes
- Caffeine does not increase the risk of heart disease. In fact, it has been proven that those who drink 1-4 cups of coffee daily (provide about 100-400 mg of caffeine) have a 16-18% lower risk of heart disease in both men and women. Other studies have shown that drinking 2-4 cups of coffee or green tea per day reduces the risk of stroke by 14-20%.
- Keep in mind that caffeine can slightly increase blood pressure in some people. However, this effect is usually minimal (3–4 mmHg).
- Caffeine is also found to be beneficial in diabetes. People who drink the most coffee have a 29% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Similarly, those who consume more caffeine have a 30% lower risk of developing diabetes.
Other health benefits of Caffeine
- Liver protection:
Coffee can reduce the risk of liver psoriasis by up to 84%. It can slow the progression of the disease, improve medical outcomes, and reduce the risk of premature death.
Drinking coffee can reduce the risk of premature death by 30%, especially in women and people with diabetes.
- Reduces the risk of cancer:
Drinking 2-4 cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of liver cancer by 64% and the risk of colorectal cancer by 38%.
- Skin protection:
Drinking 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day can reduce the risk of skin cancer by 20%.
- Gout prevention:
Consume 4 cups of coffee per day regularly; it can reduce the risk of Gout (by 40% in men and 57% in women).
- Intestinal Health:
Drink 3 cups of coffee daily for less than 3 weeks, it may increase the amount and activity of good bacteria in the gut.
Side effects and Precautions
Caffeine intake is generally considered safe. However the overdose may cause some side effects –
- Some of the harmful effects linked with the excessive consumption of caffeine include- restlessness, anxiety, tremors, irregular heartbeat and sleep problems.
- Excessive caffeine can increase headaches, migraines and high blood pressure in some people.
- Caffeine can easily cross the placenta, which can lead to miscarriage or birth of underweight baby. Thus, pregnant women should avoid or limit caffeine intake.
- Drinking tea and coffee before going to bed at night can cause drowsiness. In addition, caffeine should not be taken before meals.
Caffeine is not an unhealthy drink. In fact, the evidence suggests that there are many benefits of caffeine in the human body. Therefore, it is safe to consider your daily cup of coffee or tea as an enjoyable way to maintain good health. However, excessive intake should be avoided. We hope that the information contained in this article will help you in a different way. Thank You!