Health Approach
The Truth About Caffeine

The Truth About Caffeine

But first, let us understand what is ‘Caffeine

Caffeine is the most commonly used pharmacologically active (medicinal) substance in the world. Found naturally in over 60 plant species and the best known are coffee, tea and cocoa beans.  It is also normally added to some soft drinks and a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Your body is able to absorb caffeine very quickly, and it will normally take effect about 15 to 120 minutes after ingestion. This effect will lasts up to six hours, lesser for the smokers but will double up for women who are taking birth control pills, and an increase up to 15 hours for those who are in the last trimester of pregnancy.

What It Does To Your Body

Caffeine makes your body think you are in an emergency and then releases an extra dose of hormones, including adrenaline (for fight or flight response), cortisol (for stress), and dopamine (for a short-term motivational emotional factor). The effect of this hormonal cocktail on your blood flow is to increase your blood sugar, heart rate, and blood flow to your muscles and brain while blood flow to skin decreases. In other words, the blood is concentrated in the main organs, making you feel refreshed, energized, and ‘ready to go’.

Although drinking coffee or tea gives you a temporary boost, it will also makes you tired and depressed when the effect wears off. If you take more caffeine to counteract this slowdown, you will likely spend the day in an agitated state and feel nervous at night. Rising cortisol levels can also lead to long-term health problems like weight gain because it makes you think about fatty and sugary foods and thus encourages your body to store fat around your waist.

Part of the reason why many people drink coffee or tea is because it makes them alert and even though you are now already on your tiptoe, that does not stop the caffeine from working. This extra dosage of alertness however has the potential to create unpleasant and lasting anxiety. For a more positive effect, you can always get rid of caffeine through physical activity as it will prolongs your stamina until exhaustion, speed up your metabolism and helps the body break down fat more efficiently.

The fact that caffeine can raise your blood sugar means you feel less hungry for a while, but when that sugar levels drop, your craving for sweet, fatty foods or more caffeine will begins. It is actually impossible to determine a realistic healthy amount of caffeine to take per see as each individual is different. But those who rarely have caffeine are likely to experience a stronger reactions than those regular users. They will find that their sleep will be affected and the probability of going to the bathroom more often due to its diuretic effect is higher.

Furthermore, in order to digest the coffee, our stomach needs to produce an extra dose of acid which may leads to an unpleasant heartburn. This acid is then absorbed into the bloodstream and in order to neutralize it, calcium may leaked out to the bones.

Green tea, on the other hand, does not produce this reaction as it contains a substance called l-theanine, an amino acid that helps reduce anxiety, improves your mood and calms you and this tends to counteract the caffeine content. Black tea however is somewhere in between green tea and coffee. It also does contains l-theanine, but has more caffeine, and this does not balance out as well as green tea. It is best to consume it with soy milk for the added benefit of the unsaturated fatty acids rather than the saturated fat and hormones found in dairy milk.

Conclusion

The good news though is that coffee and tea are both rich in Antioxidant, a crucial substance to defend your body against dangerous metabolic waste molecules called free radicals. Antioxidant too can help prevent cancer, heart disease, and other neuro-degenerative diseases. But it is imperative to know that soft drinks containing caffeine are generally devoid of antioxidants and are of no health benefits. Caffeine on its own, is an addictive stimulant that can leads to withdrawal such as headaches, fatigue, and irritability. It will eventually leaves you more tired once the adrenalin rush depletes.  In conclusion ,it’s best to reduce your caffeine intake. And for those who still needs their caffeine dosage daily, it is best to switch to herbal or green teas for the antioxidants and lesser affects on your health.

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