When the word ‘caffeine’ comes to the mind, we tend to think about coffee, which is quite natural. Caffeine itself is a stimulant chemical that is found in various food and drinks.
Americano, cappuccino or whatever form of coffee you like, all contain caffeine in it. Moreover, it is also in other items like chocolate, guarana, etc. You might have seen people take caffeine forms to increase their blood pressure or urine flow.
Today we will talk about caffeine – health benefits, dosage, safety, side effects to give you a better understanding of the hype behind it.
What Is Caffeine? What Is The Source Of It?
It is simply a chemical that belongs to the Methylxanthines group. It is a stimulant that is a potent cognitive enhancer. What does that mean? It means caffeine intake can make you more alert in various circumstances.
FDA identifies caffeine as a food and drug additive. Caffeine is extracted naturally from more than 60 variants of plants and the extracted materials are known as natural caffeine. On the other hand, there is synthetic caffeine that is made using a combination of urea, raw materials and chemicals.
How Does Caffeine Help Human Health?
As it belongs to the CNS (central nervous system) stimulant category, you can already tell it works on your brain. Caffeine is known for its ability to block the adenosine receptors in the brain that usually promotes sleep. It gets absorbed in the human body very quickly and will also stimulate the heart and muscles.
Caffeine also works to bump up blood pressure. Misuse can be fatal if people decide to OD, therefore many countries have restricted selling caffeine in bulk.
It has other benefits such as:
- May promote weight loss as it can work as a temporary appetite suppressant and catalyzes thermogenesis. Check here the Best Appetite Suppressant With Caffeine (PhenQ Weight Loss Supplements)
- Can elevate endurance for a short time
- Makes your brain more active and can lower chances of Alzheimer’s
- Caffeine can lower the chances of type 2 diabetes
How Much Caffeine Is Suitable For Consumption?
For adults, 400 mg of caffeine is considered safe for daily consumption as per FDA. That is roughly four to five cups of coffee per day. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised to talk to a doctor about what should be the safe limit. Generally, it is better if the level stays under 200mg.
What Are The Side Effects Of Caffeine?
You can have jitters from having caffeine in the first place, no matter the dose. Sometimes caffeine can interact with medications and supplements like Theophylline, Ephedrine and Echinacea. People can be sensitive so we advise you to be watchful and seek advice from physicians.
What will happen if you consume more than what we mentioned? Here is what you can expect
- Muscle tremors
- Frequent heartbeat
- Frequent urges for urination
Is Caffeine Safe?
Being a stimulant it has shown a positive impact on mental alertness. Caffeine can improve heart health, contain diabetes and is often used as a weight loss ingredient. So considering all, it is pretty safe for use, but there is a catch. Overdosing or surpassing your tolerance limit can bring forth side effects even severe problems.
Are Supplements With Caffeine Beneficial?
Nowadays we see numerous supplements such as weight loss pills and endurance pills that contain caffeine because of its functionality. Caffeine is known to better muscle contractions that can eventually lower fatigue. This is one reason why you will see caffeine in endurance supplements.
For weight loss, caffeine is known to aid metabolism and also help with cutting fat. The effect might not be much, but it is there. According to extensive studies, it was proven that caffeine intake helped weight loss minimally.
Never start any supplement without professional guidance. Not just supplements, don’t try to overwhelm yourself with caffeine-rich food just to destress yourself. It can have negative impacts as we mentioned above. Talk to a physician and let them monitor your health first and determine the best solution.
If you are experiencing that caffeine is doing you more harm than good, then you are not the only one. This is why we decided to help you understand caffeine – Health benefits, dosage, safety, side effects.
When you become habitual to caffeine-based food and drink, you can end up having insomnia, frequent heartbeats, muscle tremors and others. On the positive side, if caffeine is consumed under the proper dose and medical supervision, it can be advantageous to relieve tiredness, promote endurance, cut weight to some extent and many other things.
Esther Lopez-Garcia, Rob M van Dam, Swapnil Rajpathak, Walter C Willett, Joann E Manson, Frank B Hu. Changes in caffeine intake and long-term weight change in men and women.2006 Mar;83(3):674-80. doi: 10.1093/ajcn.83.3.674. PMID: 16522916. DOI: 10.1093/ajcn.83.3.674
Queensland Health. Does coffee really give you more energy?. Last updated: 2 July 2019. Available at: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/coffee-caffeine-energy
Gabriel Loureiro Martins, João Paulo Limongi França Guilherme, Luis Henrique Boiko Ferreira, Tácito Pessoa de Souza-Junior and Antonio Herbert Lancha, Jr.. Caffeine and Exercise Performance: Possible Directions for Definitive Findings. Front Sports Act Living. 2020; 2: 574854.PMCID: PMC7739593; PMID: 33345139; Published online 2020 Dec 11. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2020.574854