Whether caffeine is good or bad for you is something that has been debated for a long time. There is one thing we all know for certain and it is that most of us rely on it at some point during the day. You might need it to get you going in the morning or to help you get through a night shift. Whatever the reason, caffeine is used to give a well-needed energy boost.
The issue, however, is whether we should rely on it as much as we do. We will be looking at if caffeine is actually good for you or not or if it really makes any difference.
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The Effects of Caffeine
When we think of caffeine, we think of how it is used to boost energy and get you through the day. It affects the brain by blocking the effects of adenosine (a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain). By blocking these effects, caffeine reduces tiredness and increases brain activity, helping you to focus more.
This doesn’t mean you need to drink cup after cup of coffee. Some studies have shown that doing that doesn’t actually have any further benefits. Keeping an 8-hour gap between one cup and the next is where you will see the real benefits. Generally, 2-3 cups of coffee a day will work well enough to keep you focused and alert.
Sources of Caffeine
Caffeine doesn’t just come in coffee or tea; it can be found in many other places. Most commonly, it is used in energy drinks and soft drinks but can also be found in chocolate drinks such as chocolate milk.
Caffeine can also be found in foods such as chocolate in most forms. This doesn’t mean it has the same caffeine levels as a cup of coffee, but it is a good alternative source if you aren’t a fan of coffee or tea.
The Side Effects
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much caffeine. We all have a limit on how much we can drink before it starts to have a negative effect. Some people don’t feel any effect or have built up a tolerance, and for others, one cup can be enough to feel the side effects. Side effects can even manifest when if you try to stop consuming caffeine.
The main side effects are anxiety, irregular heartbeat and insomnia. These are caused by its ability to increase alertness. As a result, it causes people to feel nervous or causes sleep issues. Too much of it can also cause headaches and high blood pressure. However, this side effect is less common and is usually caused by incredibly high caffeine consumption.
One of the main areas caffeine can have a serious negative effect is pregnancy and some medications. If it is consumed during pregnancy, it can increase the risk of miscarriage or low birth weight. It is recommended to consume very little or cut it out completely during this time. Some medications can also be affected if taken alongside caffeine and can decrease their effectiveness or stop them from working completely.
Overall, caffeine isn’t the bad thing it is generally made out to be. Everyone is affected differently, whether you suffer side effects or not, so it all comes down to personal preference. One thing is for certain, and it is that a good cup of coffee or tea is certain to help get you through the day.
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