Do you start each day with a hot cup of coffee or reach for a caffeine filled energy drink when you start to feel lethargic midday? Caffeine seems to be the most popular way that people get energized and stay alert when the day starts to become hectic and crazy. Do you ever wonder what it is in caffeine that gives you the rush of energy? It is important to be familiar with what caffeine really is and how it works within your body. Everything that you put in your body has an effect on your overall health. It is time to learn about the good and bad surrounding caffeine. You might reach for that Starbucks coffee every morning after you become aware of all the caffeine pros and cons.
The Pros of Caffeine
1. Lessens Risk of Diabetes
It is possible for some caffeine filled beverages or foods to actually help individuals lower their risk of diabetes. This might seem a bit confounding since many foods and beverages that are high in caffeine are also high in sugar. Coffee is the one caffeine laden drink that actually has the ability to help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that individuals who drink 4 cups of coffee each day show a lower risk of diabetes than those that drink only 2 cups of coffee or less each day. This means that you can get your caffeine fix and also lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
2. Free Radical Protection
Since caffeine comes from a plant it is filled with many phytochemicals. These phytochemicals actually have the ability to fight off illness and disease. This means that eating and drinking foods with caffeine can help give you free radical protection. These antioxidants that make their way in your body as a result of the caffeine can even help against damaged cells.
3. Alertness and Improved Memory
If you are looking to get a jumpstart on each day and stay alert and ready for whatever comes your way, caffeine might be the best help. Caffeinated drinks have the ability to improve both memory and cognition. Not only will you have more energy, but you will also be more focused on what you are doing. Some caffeine filed food and drinks that are also high in sugar even add to your memory and energy benefits.
The Cons of Caffeine
1. Increased Risk of Osteoporosis
Foods and beverages that are high in caffeine can often lead to the onset of osteoporosis. This caffeine causes the body to actually excrete calcium in urine, which can make your bones brittle and frail as you age.
2. Weight Gain
Another downside to caffeine consumption is weight gain. Many people that consume high amounts of caffeine also notice sugar cravings and increased weight gain as a result. If you are looking to stay in shape and lose weight, caffeine might not be ideal for you.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is actually defined as a drug that is added to foods and beverages. It is naturally occurring in the leaves and seeds of a variety of plants. The reason that caffeine is classifies as a drug is because it is known as a stimulant that affects the nervous system. It is even found to make you more alert and often elevates both energy and mood. Due to the affect it has on the nervous system, caffeine is identified as a type of drug.
What Foods Have Caffeine in Them?
You can obtain high amounts of caffeine from a variety of foods and beverages. Tea, coffee, chocolate and sodas are just some of the ways that you can get access to high amounts of caffeine. If you have ever tasted caffeine in its natural form, you will know that it is incredibly bitter. Many beverages and foods that have been caffeinated go through a variety of processes to mask the bitter taste. Most drinks and foods that have high amounts of caffeine also have high amounts of sugar. It is important to note that caffeine is not stored in the body, but it is possible to still experience effects of the caffeine up to six hours after it is first consumed.
Is it Good or Bad?
Trying to determine if caffeine is good or bad for your health is not always easy. There are both pros and cons to this stimulant. In order to make the best decision about caffeine consumption for your health, you need to be aware of both the good and the bad. This allows you to make the most informed decision and might change some of your eating or drinking habits. Answering if caffeine is good for you is not as cut and dry as you might first assume.