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The Truth About Caffeine 1

By gugu18 Dec 10, 2010 751 Words
The truth about caffeine

How many of you here consider yourself caffeine addicts? How much coffee do you drink a day? One cup? Two cups? More?

If you crave caffeine to get you through the day, you're not alone. About 68% of Americans say they're hooked on coffee this year, compared with 64% last year, according to the National Coffee Association.

But of course, Caffeine and related compounds are found not only in coffee, but also in tea, soft drinks, and chocolate.

Most of us know about the benefits of caffeine. In small doses -- two to four cups per day -- it can increase alertness and energy, as well as temporarily boost the metabolism. But what are the negative effects of caffeine? And for that matter, what exactly is caffeine anyway?

Caffeine is a drug that occurs naturally in plants, such as coffee beans, cacao pods, tea leaves and kola nuts. It is processed into drinks, including coffee, soda and tea, into foods like chocolate, and into some medicines.

First up, what's the truth about caffeine? Is it good for you or bad for you? The answer is: the negative effects of caffeine are largely dependent on how much you consume. Increased consumption of caffeine can lead to health problems.

Today I'd like to give you some of the facts about caffeine and its effects on your body. It may not cause you to change your coffee consumption but at least you'll be better informed about what you are putting into your body.

I'm going to talk about the beneficial effects of caffeine, the negative effects and discuss what are considered safe levels of caffeine consumption.

Let's start with the good news. Caffeine, which comes from the leaves, seeds and fruits of about 63 different plants, is well known as a stimulant. That's why people drink it, right?

We all know that caffeine can increase alertness. A scientist from the UK reviewed 41 caffeine studies from the last 15 years. Most of the studies found that low to moderate caffeine intake - less than 500 mg per day (the equivalent of no more than eight cups of tea or four cups of ordinary coffee) - improved alertness and mental performance.

Research is also showing that moderate caffeine intake can help with memory and depression. Obviously, for college students, it helps you during the week of mid-term exams. Caffeine does help you wake up and it has been shown to increase attention spans.

As mentioned earlier, the negative effects of caffeine depends on your level of intake. I’m going to list out 3 negative effects of caffeine.

It's important to know that caffeine is an addictive drug. Among its many actions, it operates using the same mechanisms that amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin use to stimulate the brain.

and, that brings us to the first negative effect of caffeine, which is – addiction.

Caffeine is a drug, and people can become dependent on it. Most adults around the world consume caffeine every day, in coffee, tea, cola, or chocolate. If you feel like you cannot function without it and must consume it every day, then you may be addicted to caffeine. long-term use of caffeine results in an increased tolerance, meaning that more caffeine is eventually needed to produce the desired effects. Taking caffeine away from an addict can produce withdrawal symptoms including headache, fatigue, irritability and poor concentration.

Dehydration
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it causes increased urination and can lead to dehydration. For that reason, it's a good idea to drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids, especially in warm weather or when exercising.

Anxiety
Caffeine acts as a stimulant and, in high doses, can result in jitters and feelings of anxiety. At doses of about 600 milligrams or more (about six cups of coffee), people show signs of anxiety, including nervousness, sweating, upset stomach and tension.

Tea is a great choice if you are looking for a low-caffeine drink. In fact, a cup of black tea has less than half the caffeine as a cup coffee.

So, the next time you are wondering whether you should have that second cup of coffee to perk you up, relax. You can see that caffeine can have both positive and negative effects on our health and well-being but the bottom line is that if you drink your coffee or sodas in moderation, you don't have to worry too much.

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