Caffeine is something many of us reach for first thing in the morning. Those hot brewed cups of heaven that’ll help us start our day on the right foot. AHHHH! Caffeine is found in numerous food products and medication. It’s also habit forming. 90% of Americans consume caffeine daily. That’s a lot of people!
Caffeine is found naturally in different plants, leaves, and seeds such as: coffee, tea, kola nut, cocoa pod, and guarana–an ingredient found in many energy drinks. Caffeine is a drug because it acts as a stimulant that stimulates the central nervous system. While you get a good feeling when you consume a cup of coffee or two, or eat other caffeine laden foods…
There is also a down side…
It really depends on how much you consume, but even a small amount will keep you alert for several hours, bring your heart rate up, make you urinate often, raise your blood pressure, and increase your production of stomach acid. As I’ve said above it’s habit forming; and if you miss your mid-afternoon cup o’ joe, you may feel jittery, irritable, fatigued, depressed, and headache-y. Once you get your shot of caffeine, you feel more relaxed and calm. In this case, you have become dependent on caffeine and it may be harder for you to withdraw or limit your intake. Withdrawal symptoms may last for several days.
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and carbonated drinks with caffeine will make you feel dehydrated because you’ll be losing more fluids through urination. For every cup you drink, replenish yourself with a glass of water. Consuming caffeine too close to your bedtime should be avoided if you don’t want to be wide awake, and you don’t want to be visiting the loo frequently throughout the night.
A person can overdose on caffeine.
Energy drinks such as Red Bull contain about 80mg of caffeine per 250mL. You’ll also have to take into account what other beverages or foods you’re eating that have caffeine as an ingredient. Decaf products still have caffeine, but not as much. Caffeine is absorbed within 30-45 minutes, and its effect will last for three hours.
On the other hand, caffeine has health benefits too.
It may protect against Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, and prostate cancer. It’s one of those things that is helpful when taken in moderation, and harmful when you abuse it.
Balance is Key!
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