Caffeine can be found in coffee, cocoa beans, and tea leaves. Caffeine can also be found in some over the counter and prescription medications. Foods that contain caffeine are chocolate, coffee ice cream, kola nuts, tiramisu, and some types of gum. Caffeine can also be in sports drinks and soda. It is considered a drug but is freely available and not regulated.
Having your morning cup of coffee can be soothing and relaxing to some people. It can help boost your energy levels and fine tune your focus. Sixty-eight percent of Americans claim they are hooked on caffeine. Some people think caffeine is bad for you, but caffeine does have some surprising health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Caffeine
Caffeine’s main benefit that people like it for is that it boosts energy. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant known for fighting off fatigue and increasing energy levels. This happens because caffeine blocks adenosine, which in return increases levels of neurotransmitters in your brain that regulate energy levels.
Helps Memory and Cognition
Along with the boost in alertness and wakefulness caffeine has been shown to help enhance thinking skills. It may even help people boost their long term memory. In one study it showed that the more coffee someone consumed the lower the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s decreased. Coffee has also been shown to help with cognitive decline.
It has also been studied that caffeine can help with simple reaction time, choice reaction time, and incidental verbal memory.
People who consume caffeine regularly have shown to have a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. Studies have also shown caffeine slows the progress of the disease as well.
Lowers Diabetes Risk
Drinking a cup of coffee a day may also lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This may be due to the fact that coffee seems to preserve the beta cells in the pancreas which are responsible for producing insulin to regulate blood sugar. Coffee is also rich in antioxidants which can help with insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and metabolism all of which are factors in the development of type 2 diabetes.
Improves Metabolism Helps Weight Loss
Caffeine affects the process by which fats are generated and broken down. This process can help improve fat metabolism, which can help with fat loss and weight loss. It can also help suppress appetite. There are some weight loss products that contain caffeine.
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Improve Physical Performance
Caffeine can also help increase physical performance. Caffeine can also help improve endurance during exercise. Caffeine has been shown to increase endurance performance, endurance capacity, and reduction in perceived exertion. The effects may be short term and have been shown to be best for aerobic exercise. Caffeine should be taken about one hour before exercise to get the best benefits from.
Improves Liver & Colon Health
Caffeine may also help with liver and colon health. Caffeine has been shown to help decrease the risk of cirrhosis as well as liver scarring, liver cancer, and chronic liver disease. Caffeine is also a diuretic which can help your body get rid of excess salt and water.
Lowers Risk for Cataracts, Melanoma, Kidney Stones
Caffeine can also help decrease risk of cataracts, skin cancer, and kidney stones.
Caffeine can also help push off depression. It has also shown to even decrease the risk of suicide. Though in some people too much caffeine can cause anxiety.
Caffeine’s Negative Side Effects
Caffeine intake can be overdone, so it is best to keep consumption in moderation. Caffeine withdrawal is a real thing and can cause headaches, drowsiness, irritability, nausea, and trouble concentrating.
People who should avoid or limit their caffeine are pregnant women, breastfeeding women, people who suffer from migraines, GERD, high blood pressure, or sleep disorders.
Too much caffeine can cause shakiness, restlessness, headaches, insomnia, dehydration, and anxiety.
Caffeine in moderation has shown to help in many health conditions. It can help with athletic performance, weight loss, depression, type 2 diabetes, and heart conditions. It can help boost energy and enhance thinking skills. Caffeine can help alertness and wakefulness. Many people look forward to their caffeine in the morning and in moderation caffeine can be very beneficial.
68% of us have a caffeine addiction. Surprisingly, caffeine has health benefits! #HealthSurgeon