Have you ever wondered if all the coffee you drink daily is good for you?
We asked our Registered Dietitian, Brianna Harris, for the actual facts about caffeine, so you don’t have to keep wondering about your multiple cups of joe.
What Are the Pros & Cons of Caffeine?
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can have several benefits when consumed in moderate amounts. Some of the most well-known benefits of caffeine include:
Increased Alertness and Wakefulness:
Caffeine can help you feel more awake and alert, making it easier to focus on tasks and stay productive.
Improved Physical Performance:
Caffeine can also help improve physical performance, particularly during endurance exercises. It's a common ingredient in many pre-workout supplements and energy drinks.
Reduced Risk of Certain Diseases:
Studies have shown that moderate caffeine consumption is associated with a reduced risk of certain diseases, including type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and liver disease.
Caffeine can also help improve mood, particularly in people who are feeling tired or fatigued.
Caffeine can also increase your metabolism, which means it can help you burn more calories and potentially aid in weight loss.
While caffeine can have many benefits when consumed in moderate amounts, there are also some potential downsides to consider. Some of the main cons of caffeine include:
Caffeine can disrupt your sleep if you consume it too close to bedtime. This can lead to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, which can lead to daytime fatigue and decreased productivity.
Anxiety and Jitteriness:
Caffeine can also cause feelings of anxiety and jitteriness, particularly if you consume large amounts or are sensitive to its effects.
Negative Effects on Certain Health Conditions:
Caffeine can worsen symptoms for people with certain health conditions such as anxiety disorder, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It can also cause heartburn and stomach discomfort for some people.
What are Common Myths About Caffeine?
Here are the top 3 myths I hear about caffeine!
Myth #1: Caffeine is only found in coffee.
Fact #1: You can find caffeine naturally in coffee, tea, and chocolate. There are other infused products as well, like energy drinks, granola bars, gummies, and chocolate bars.
Myth #2: Caffeine makes you dehydrated.
Fact #2: Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it increases urine production. However, when caffeinated beverages (like coffee) are consumed in moderate amounts, they can actually hydrate you, similar to how water does.
Myth #3: Caffeine sobers you up.
Fact #3: Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can improve alertness and focus; however, it does not sober you up.
How Much Caffeine Would You Recommend Daily?
It is generally recommended to stay under 400mg of caffeine per day for healthy adults. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is found in a variety of foods and beverages, so it is important to take all sources into account.