Since many of us rely on that morning cup of coffee to get going, caffeine is often labelled an addiction. But it also boosts energy, alertness, concentration & fitness. Here, we look at whether caffeine is your friend – or foe.
Podcast show notes
- What is caffeine?
- Foods and drinks that contain caffeine
- How caffeine works as a stimulant
- How much to consume in a day and when
- When to avoid caffeine
- Caffeine sensitivity
- Pros and cons of caffeine
Hello everyone. This is Lovneet Batra, your health expert and clinical nutritionist and you’re listening to my podcast Nutrition by Lovneet.
In today’s podcast, we are going to discuss one of the most popular topics, caffeine, is it good or bad for your health?. Well, if you rely on a hot cup of coffee to kickstart your day, every morning, you are not alone. For many of us happiness comes hot coffee mug. And according to International Coffee organization about 1.4 billion cups of coffee are poured around the world in one single day. That pretty much explains why caffeine is labeled as an addiction. Right? However, it is also loved for his ability to boost energy mood, concentration, alertness and athletic performance. Caffeine is present in your coffee, of course, in your tea, soda colas and energy drinks.
It definitely gives you an instant kick. That’s how it got billions of people hooked onto it for years. But have you ever wondered how does all that caffeine, affect your health? Is it good or is it bad? How much is too much? Is there a limit? While caffeine can give you a temporary mental boost. For some, it’s physical too, of course, hello gym lowers its impact on your health depends on source, what you consume, and at what time. Caffeine works as a stimulant, it enters the bloodstream and binds to adenosine receptors in the brain, which is a nervous system depressant that promotes sleep.
So when caffeine binds to its receptors. Adenosine is not able to work to it’s fullest basically when it binds it blocks that emotion from transmitting its signal. Starting off sleeplessness and fatigue, and set the body feels a certain boost of energy, and feels all awake and alert the caffeine effect lasts for several hours, depending on how quickly or slowly your body’s able to metabolize it.
This is why some people can get an instant kick from a small cup of coffee, while others double down several cups and feel nothing. According to experts, the more you consume the better adjusted your body becomes to caffeine and loses the sensitivity to caffeine. Now first let’s discuss some benefits here, the reasons behind the caffeine cult are many.
It helps improve mood, stimulate brain function and may protect against Alzheimer’s, caffeine has the ability to block the brain signaling molecule, adenosine this pushes another signaling molecule such as dopamine, or L. This change is brought to benefit your mood and brain function. The most famous effect of caffeine is its ability to give an instant shot of energy.
So how does caffeine manage to do that, the stimulant in caffeine helps boost mode, create high levels of alertness and reduces fatigue, many fitness enthusiasts, just use caffeine to pump up more weights at the gym improve there athelectic endurance, and reduce fatigue.
Subject regulars that consuming some amount of caffeine, preferably a cup of black coffee before hitting the gym works as an energy booster studies, suggests that caffeine can help the glucose stored in muscle last longer, which potentially delays, The time it takes for your muscle to reach exhaustion. The other advantage of caffeine including improving sports performance brain function, and alertness.
There is also research that supports caffeine consumption to improve erectile dysfunction. Now, one of the major disadvantages of caffeine is that it causes a spike in cortisol, the stress hormone, which then interferes with the body’s production of melatonin, the rest hormone.
Thanks to deadlines, late nights and nightshift our dependence on caffeine has not only increase with time, but work deadlines, or night shift is a good excuse to drink a few more cups of coffee to beat stress as well as to stay awake too late. As a result, people get quickly addicted to it which is one of the many disadvantages of caffeine or regular trigger of cortisol release caffeine keeps us at alert when the body needs to rest by bloking and adenosine, one of the body’s key sleep and using molecules.
Caffeine tricks the body into thinking it is not tired. Clearly it disconnects you from your body and its needs. Poor sleep is also considered one of the major disadvantage of caffeine, a single cup of coffee at the wrong time. Evening, or late night is enough to mess up your sleep, and to keep your body in the fight or flight mode 24×7 , which is also known to be a sign of low level chronic stress. Another disadvantages of caffeine include anxiety, restlessness, headaches, migraine and high blood pressure. Pregnant women should be highly cautious of their caffeine intake as caffeine can easily cross the placenta, which can increase the risk of miscarriage.
If the caffeine intake is too high, beyond three to four cups a day. Now for many people, one cup is never enough. If you have been thinking about whether caffeine is good for health or not. Consider this, caffeine, also spikes dopamine levels in the body. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that activates the pleasure center of the brain. When you sip on caffeine, you get a boost for a short term, but when the adrenaline and dopamine wears off, your body starts craving more caffeine to feel good, which results in you’re pouring, another cup for yourself and locking your body into the fight or flight mode for the entire day and night.
So too much is not good. According to the American Heart Association Journal high doses of caffeine can temporarily, raise your heart rate and blood pressure, which may pose danger for people with heart disease. If you are one of those people who gull down cans of caffeinated drinks in order to feel all charged up, you have been doing more harm to your body than you can imagine, when it comes to caffeine based energy drinks. The benefits are not energy drinks come loaded with caffeine and sugar in small servings are particularly bad.
Regular use of caffeine for prolonged amount of time can also cause the chemistry of your brain to change. It is believed that to compensate for the blob data seen the brain may make more receptors, does the greater amount of receptors, you have to drink even more caffeine, to get the same stimulating effects as before.
And this is why when you try to quit coffee or energy drinks the sudden excess of unblogged receptors for adenosine to bind, leads to tiredness, anxiety, irritability, obviously, it makes you crave it. Even all the more. So if you’re wondering if caffeine is good for your health or not, your intake, decides the impact of caffeine on your overall physical and mental health. It has been seen that consuming caffeine poses no serious health risk if taken within safe limits.
According to Harvard Health Journal, your daily intake of caffeine should not cross the limit of 400 milligrams per day, which is about four cups of coffee, or up to eight cups of black tea, the journal further adds that this amount is not linked to any long term effect on blood pressure, heart attack or stroke risk. However, if you are a heart patient and already have had a heart attack, strictly limit your dosage to about half. So, maximum 200 milligrams per day, which is two cups of coffee, or four cups of black tea, the source of your caffeine is also very important.
While coffee and tea are good as they also contain antioxidants, soft drinks and energy drinks, should be strictly avoided these often contain high amounts of caffeine in a single serving and are full of sugar, and other unhealthy additives, children and teens should not be encouraged to consume sodas and energy drinks. How to know that your caffeine love is turning into an addiction.
If you find it hard to function without your cup of tea or coffee, or if you develop headaches when you don’t have your cup of tea or coffee, it may be time to cut the amount of caffeine from your daily diet. Nowadays, decaf coffee or tea are available and are good options, especially the ones with adaptogens, are gaining popularity as healthy and sustainable alternatives to caffeine. So the bottom line here is that caffeine can help you if you have the right source, and the right amount at the right time. Enjoy it, But don’t let your happiness depend on it.
Thank you for listening. If you found this information helpful, you can subscribe to my podcast Nutrition By Lovneet You can also visit our web page www.nutritionbylovneet.com for health updates, healthy recipes and exciting ways to stay fit