Billions of people are using caffeine to maintain alertness every day.
In fact, this natural stimulant is one of the most commonly used ingredients in the world .
Caffeine is often referred to with negative effects on sleep and anxiety.
However, studies have shown that this substance also offers other health benefits.
This article will examine the latest research on caffeine and health.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant often found in tea, coffee and cocoa trees.
It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping us stay awake and prevent fatigue.
Historians have discovered that tea was first created in 2737 BC .
Many years later an Ethiopian shepherd discovered coffee, who found that coffee brought abundant energy to his goats.
Caffeine-containing soft drinks have appeared on the market in the late 1800s and then energy drinks.
Today, 80% of the world's population consumes a caffeine-containing product every day, and this figure in North America is up to 90% for adults .
Conclude: Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is widely consumed worldwide. It is found in beverages such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks or chocolate.
How does this substance work?
When taken into the body, caffeine from the intestine will soak into the blood very quickly.
From there, it moves to the liver and is converted into compounds that can affect the function of different organs.
However, caffeine primarily affects the brain.
This substance works by blocking the effects of neurotransmitters make the brain dilate and make us feel tired .
Normally, adenosine levels will increase gradually during the day, making you more tired and want to sleep.
Caffeine helps you to be alert by connecting to the adenosine receptor in the brain that makes these receptors inactive, thereby blocking the effects of adenosine, leading to reduced fatigue .
Caffeine may also increase blood levels of adrenaline and increase the activity of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain .
This combination continues to stimulate the brain and enhance the state of excitement, alertness and concentration. Because it affects the brain, caffeine is often considered a psychoactive drug.
In addition, caffeine is usually effective immediately.
For example, the content caffeine is in a coffee cup It only takes 20 minutes to penetrate into the blood and about an hour to maximize its effect .
Conclude: Caffeine primarily affects the brain. It stimulates the brain by blocking the effects of adenosine neurotransmitters.
Which foods and drinks contain caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural ingredient found in nuts, nuts and leaves of some plants.
These seeds and leaves are then harvested and processed to produce caffeine-containing foods and beverages.
Below is the amount of caffeine available in every 8 oz (240 ml) of some common drinks :
- Espresso: 240-720 mg.
- The coffee: 102-200 mg.
- Yerba mate tea: 65-130 mg.
- Energy drink: 50-160 mg.
- Tea brewed: 40-120 mg.
- Beverage: 20-40 mg.
- Caffeine reduction coffee: 3-12 mg.
- Cocoa: 2-7 mg.
- Chocolate milk: 2-7 mg.
Some foods also contain caffeine. For example, 28 grams of milk chocolate contains 1-15 mg, while 28 grams black chocolate contains 5-35 mg .
Caffeine is also part of some prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines like colds, allergies and painkillers. It is also an ingredient in functional foods that reduce fat.
Conclude: Caffeine is often found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate and energy drinks.
Caffeine can improve mood and brain function
Caffeine has the ability to block adenosine signaling molecules in the brain.
This makes other signaling molecules increase, such as dopamine and norepinephrine .
This change in brain signals is considered beneficial for mood and brain function.
A summary report showed that after participants took 37.5-450 mg of caffeine, their alertness, short-term memory and reaction time were improved .
In addition, a recent study found that people who drank 2-3 cups of caffeine-containing coffee each day had a 45% less risk of suicide .
Another study has shown that caffeine absorption reduces the risk of depression by 13% .
However, the more caffeine you drink, the better your mood will be. Indeed, one study found that coffee only worked when the interval between doses was at least 8 hours .
Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day can also reduce the risk of brain diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's by 28-60% .
Conclude: Caffeine can improve mood, reduce the risk of depression, stimulate brain function and fight Alzheimer's, Parkinson's.
Caffeine helps promote metabolism and supports weight loss
Because of its ability to stimulate the central nervous system, caffeine can increase metabolism up to 11% and burn fat up to 13%
In fact, consuming 300 mg of caffeine every day can help you burn 79 more calories everyday .
This amount of calories seems small, but it is nearly equal to the excess calories, making Americans increase by an average of 2.1 lb (1 kg) per year .
However, a 12-year study of caffeine and weight gain shows that average coffee drinkers only decreased 0.4-0.5 kg at the end of the study period .
Conclude: Caffeine can promote metabolism and support fat loss, but these effects are not significant in the long term.
Caffeine can improve exercise efficiency
In exercise, caffeine can cause the body to use fat to create energy.
This is very beneficial because then glucose is stored in the muscles longer, causing fatigue of the muscles to arrive later .
Caffeine can also improve muscle tension and increase endurance .
Researchers found that consuming 5 mg of caffeine / kg of body weight an hour before exercising would improve endurance by up to 5% .
Interestingly, recent studies have shown that a dose as low as 3 mg / kg of body weight can still provide benefits .
In addition, studies have yielded similar conclusions about the benefits of caffeine in team sports, high-intensity exercise and physical fitness exercises .
In the end, it can also cause feelings of fatigue while exercising to 5.6%, which makes exercise easier .
Conclude: Consuming a small amount of caffeine about an hour before exercising can improve exercise performance.
Protection against heart disease and type 2 diabetes
Although caffeine has harmful effects on the body, it does not increase the risk of heart disease .
In fact, recent evidence suggests drinking 1 to 4 cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 16-18% in women and men .
Other studies show that drinking 2-4 cups of green coffee or tea each day can reduce the risk of stroke by 14-20% .
One thing to keep in mind is that caffeine can cause mild hypertension in some people.
However, this effect is generally insignificant (3-4 mmHg) and this situation tends to decrease when drinking coffee regularly .
Caffeine can also fight diabetes. A recent summary noted that those who drank a lot of coffee had a 29% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Similarly, people who consume the most caffeine have a 30% lower risk of diabetes .
Researchers observed that for every 200 mg of caffeine consumed, the risk of diabetes decreased from 12-14% .
An interesting thing is drinking caffeine reducing coffee may also reduce the risk of diabetes by 21%.
This suggests that other beneficial compounds in coffee may also fight type 2 diabetes .
Conclude: Caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea can reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, although this depends on the health status of each person.
Other health benefits
Caffeine may provide some other health benefits:
- Protect the liver: Coffee can reduce the risk of liver damage (cirrhosis) by 84%. This drink can slow the progression of the disease, improve the treatment situation and reduce the risk of premature death .
- Increased longevity: Drinking coffee can reduce the risk of premature death, especially for women and diabetics, by 30%. ).
- Reduce cancer risk: 2-4 cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of liver cancer by 64% and the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 38% .
- Protect the skin: Drinking 4 cups of caffeinated coffee each day can reduce the risk of skin cancer by 20% .
- Reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis: Coffee drinkers may reduce their risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) by up to 30%. However, not all studies agree with this conclusion .
- Prevent gout: Drinking four cups of coffee a day can reduce your risk of gout in men by 40% and women's risk of 57% .
- Support gut health: Drinking 3 cups of coffee a day for 3 weeks can increase the number and activity of intestinal bacteria .
Remember that coffee also contains other substances improve health . Some of the benefits mentioned above may be due to other non-caffeine substances.
Conclude: Drinking coffee can enhance liver, skin and gastrointestinal health. Coffee can also help increase longevity and prevent some diseases.
Safety and side effects
The consumption of caffeine is generally safe.
However, you should remember that caffeine is addictive and the genetic structure of some people makes them sensitive to this substance .
Some side effects associated with excessive consumption include anxiety, restlessness, tremor, unstable heart rate and difficulty sleeping .
Absorption of too much caffeine can also cause you headaches, migraines and triggers High Blood Pressure in some people .
In addition, caffeine can easily penetrate the placenta, increase the risk of miscarriage or cause a baby to be born underweight. Pregnant women should limit their use .
Lastly, caffeine may interact with some drugs.
People who take Zanaflex (muscle relaxants) or Luvox antidepressants should avoid caffeine because these can increase the effects of caffeine .
Conclude: Caffeine may have negative side effects in some people, including anxiety, restlessness and trouble sleeping.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) all claim that 400 mg of caffeine per day is safe. This amount of caffeine can contain 2-4 cups of coffee .
However, there have been cases of overdose detected with only 500mg of caffeine.
Therefore, you should only absorb 200 mg of caffeine per use .
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pregnant women should only take 200 mg of caffeine daily .
Conclude: The dose of 200 mg caffeine each and at most 400 mg daily, is usually considered safe. However, pregnant women should only take at most 200 mg daily.
Things to remember
Caffeine is not as unhealthy as people think.
In fact, the evidence shows the opposite.
Therefore, it is reasonable to adjust the daily dose of coffee and tea so that they can bring benefits to your health.