When we hear the word “caffeine”, one image, one part of the day, and one smell instantly come to mind, a hypnotic, energizing, heartwarming cup of coffee. This – as the medical world calls it – the psychoactive drug is the most widely consumed of its kind in the world today. And before we steer clear of our path just because you heard the word “drug,” this is perfectly legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions where an estimated 90% of adults consume caffeine daily, and it comes not only from coffee.
There are a lot of reasons why we do it to reap the benefits. Some of us consume it for cultural purposes, some make it a purpose of social gathering, others drink it to get a boost of energy we need to function efficiently at our work, and some acquire their fresh stock from their coffee beans supplier in manila and take it up a notch to get their caffeine boost at the comfort of their homes. Whatever the reason may be, we have listed several Facts, Benefits, and Risks to get to know caffeine better.
- Caffeine occurs naturally in parts of some plants and other species. Common sources of caffeine are coffee beans, tea leaves and buds, chocolates, guarana seeds. Some processed beverages that contain caffeine are soda, energy drinks, and other supplements.
- On its own, it looks like a white powder that is bitter and has a chemical name 1,3,7 trimethyl xanthine.
- Caffeine is quickly absorbed by the body and can be felt within 15 minutes to two hours after consumption which peaks at the 45th minute.
- Caffeine is broken down in the liver and stays in the bloodstream anywhere from 1.5 to 9.5 hours. There may still be effects of caffeine even when you hit the bed.
- Our body develops “Caffeine Tolerance” when caffeine is taken regularly. In effect, the normal consumption reduces caffeine’s stimulant results making us want to consume more of it. There is no wonder why some call themselves “Coffeeholic.”
- Caffeine can aid in weight loss. If you are on a diet and trying to lose some pounds from the holiday season, consuming caffeine can help by suppressing your appetite temporarily and reducing your desire to eat.
- Caffeine can aid in bowel movement. This is primarily because it stimulates thermogenesis, making your body generate more heat and energy from digesting foods.
- Evidently, it increases mental alertness, speed, accuracy, and reasoning. It puts your brain and central nervous system in a state of arousal and prevents the onset of feeling tired. You can commonly see coffee in meetings and in instances where a big decision must be made.
- Caffeine increases endurance and physical performance during sports activities. Some fitness instructors also recommend taking a shot of espresso before hitting the gym for optimal results.
- Caffeine can help boost long-term memory and reduces the risk of developing brain-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.
- Reduces the risk of other illnesses such as skin cancer, kidney stones, stroke, Type II Diabetes, Liver, and Colon related illnesses.
- Consuming too much caffeine can induce anxiety. One of caffeine consumption’s benefit is mental alertness, but too much of it can cause anxiety, jitteriness, rapid breathing, and the like.
- Consuming too much caffeine can cause insomnia. We consume coffee in the morning to stay alert and awake, but excessive caffeine in our bloodstream can keep us awake throughout the night which puts us in a bad position for the coming day. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, this might be because of too much caffeine in your bloodstream. Avoid consuming not just coffee, but other beverage that contains caffeine hours before bedtime because it circulates in the body for up to nine hours.
- Consuming too much caffeine can pose digestive issues. For some, it has a laxative effect that speeds up bowel movement but too much of it can cause diarrhea or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Some can experience other digestive issues because caffeine has acid contents, it can lead to heartburn as well.
- Consuming too much caffeine can cause palpitation and rapid heart rate. More extreme instances can lead to atrial fibrillation or altered heartbeat rhythm. If you are not yet used to caffeine in your diet, go for the amount you can tolerate.
- Consuming too much caffeine can give you Rebound Fatigue. Coffee and other caffeine sources increase energy in a short period. This is good news, but there is a downside to it because once the effects wear out, people can experience rebound fatigue which is a sudden loss of alertness and energy because of caffeine leaving the body.
Now that you know the benefits and risks of caffeine, we hope that you can apply it to your daily life and consume it in moderation. Consuming coffee and other caffeinated drinks is difficult to cut-off because it has become part of our lives. We need it, it’s true. That’s the reason why we always say that the risk starts with “consuming too much.” Like other food and drinks, caffeine must always be consumed moderately for us to reap optimum benefits. Stay caffeinated! Moderately.