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Caffeine Explained

Caffeine Explained

How do caffeine affect your body, health and fitness?

How do caffeine affect your body, health and fitness? Most people like to start their day with a hot cup of coffee. The coffee gives an energy boost that keeps you active through the day. Students who have to study through the night have coffee to keep them going without falling asleep. It is the caffeine in coffee that provides this energy boost and makes coffee such a stimulating drink. According to the FDA, 80% of people in the USA take caffeine in some form or the other.

In This Article

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, and in the cacao plant. Caffeine stimulated the central nervous system and helps you stay awake and feeling energetic. When you take caffeine as coffee or in any other form, it works on the brain. It blocks the working of adenosine. It is adenosine that makes you tired and sleepy. By blocking adenosine, caffeine keeps you awake and prevents tiredness.

Caffeine also increases the levels of adrenaline, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The combinations of all these leads to create a state of alertness and improves your ability to focus. It works very fast and can show its results within 20 minutes to an hour.

Amount of Caffeine in Products

The products you consume like chocolate and different types of coffee contains different levels of caffeine. The higher the caffeine content, the more is the stimulation effect.

A cup of coffee can contain anywhere from 100 to 200 mg of caffeine, while espresso can contain 240 to 720 mg of caffeine. Most energy drinks have 50 to 160 mg of caffeine. Tea has anywhere from 40 to 120 mg of caffeine. Soft drinks also have caffeine and the amount can be 20 to 40 mg. Chocolate beverages have the least amount of caffeine, around 2 to 7 mg.

Pros and Cons of Caffeine

The many benefits of caffeine have led to its popularity and its use in many products like energy drinks.

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  • Caffeine helps improve your mood. It can even be helpful in reducing depression.
  • It is believed to help improve metabolism and enhance the rate at which fat burns.
  • Caffeine helps the body to use stored fat as fuel thus helping in weight loss.
  • Studies have shown that caffeine can lower the risk of heart disease and prevent diabetes.
  • It reduces the risk of early death
  • The risk of cancer can be reduced by drinking 2 to 4 cups of coffee daily.

Excess caffeine can cause tremors and even drowsiness. It can increase headache in some people. It has a strong effect on sleep and can cause sleeplessness.

This is why caffeine must be taken in moderation and restricted to a maximum of 4 cups coffee per day (400 mg per day).

What Is Caffeine & How Does It Works?

Courtesy of Dr. Eric Berg

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