Caffeine is a naturally-occurring chemical with effects that would stimulate or energize one’s brain and nervous system. Caffeine can be found in natural sources like coffee, tea, cocoa, guarana, and the list goes on. It controls blood pressure and refreshes the functioning of the brain, heart and muscles at times of stress or other factors.
Yet, there are many recent studies that convey caffeine is not a healthy option for humans. We have narrowed down some of the important pros and cons of this lifesaving stimulant, so that you needn’t feel dreadful while having a cup of espresso or hot chocolate.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends people take 400mg of caffeine per day. Caffeine intake helps improve the nervous system’s performance, helping us in unleashing our full potential. Don’t dread it, though, as it’s fine to have a cup of coffee at Starbucks!
Side-Effect: Though experts say that coffee can be consumed on a regular basis, the form in which one consumes it is very important. Caffeine comes in many forms—pills, powder and supplements. It is found in some studies that caffeine powder can lead to a fatal overdose. It must be noted that the amount of caffeine differs from product to product. Make sure to keep tabs on your caffeine consumption and most importantly the form in which you consume it.
Benefit: Some studies predict that caffeine consumption results in low risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Yes, you read that right! It is assumed that caffeine enhances the production of insulin in the pancreas, which in turn maintains the blood sugar level. To what extent caffeine can help in maintaining blood-sugar levels is still a question among researchers, but it is safe to take caffeine in a limited quantity as suggested by FDA.
Side-Effect: Caffeine has various benefits, but over-consumption can lead to addiction. Although the chemical itself does not have an addictive effect, people who consume caffeine regularly tend to become dependent on its effects. Caffeine enhances the body’s functionality, so when regular consumers halt the consumption, it may lead to the psychological dependency of the substance.
Benefit: Although there is no solid evidence, studies say that caffeine can boost weight loss in humans. Being a stimulant, caffeine speeds up our metabolism which in turn ends up burning the body’s fat cells.
Let’s give our fat cells some work, shall we?
Side-Effect: People who happen to consume too much caffeine (more than 400mg per day) are likely to experience anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, rapid heart rate, and conditions related to the gastrointestinal tract like ulcers and GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). Fear not folks, like the saying goes: “Too much of anything is good for nothing.”
Caffeine is indeed an effective stimulant for people, especially for the working population. It contributes to the enhanced functioning of the body and also acts as a stress buster for many. In parting, we would like to add, always be cautious on the amount of caffeine you take so that you can lead a healthy, stress-free life!