Caffeine is the most popular legal drug on the planet. Nearly everyone consumes it every single day for several reasons. People often consume it when they want to feel alert and energized or because they just love the taste of the particular drink. Coffee is the first thing that comes in your mind when you hear the word “caffeine”. But there is more that you need to know. Before we dive deep into it, what actually is caffeine? Here are the things you don’t know about caffeine…
What is caffeine? What are it’s effects in the human body?
Caffeine is a kind of drug that is found in more than 50 species of plants all over the world. Caffeine is found mainly in cacao beans. It stimulates the central nervous system which includes the brain and the spinal cord and it is used as an enhancer that increases cognitive performance and alertness. It is found commonly in coffee, soda, and certain teas.
There are GOOD and BAD effects of caffeine. Actually, It is not essential for the body, our body do not even need it. But, there are benefits, and there are also bad effects if consumed excessively. So, let us first talk about the good benefits.
The Good Benefits of Caffeine
1. Used As An Energy Booster
Caffeine has the ability to fight fatigue and increase alertness. That is why most individuals consume coffee early in the morning before going to work, school, or gym. As written above, it stimulates the central nervous system. That’s why when you drink coffee or soda, you feel fully awake, energized, and alert.
2. Good For The Liver
The right amount of caffeine has benefits to the liver. After ingestion, it will metabolize into a chemical called paraxanthine that is responsible for lowering the risk of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis (thickening, scarring, or damage of the tissue). Studies have shown that consuming the right amount of caffeine (drinking coffee) protects and prevents the liver from developing a disease.
3. Reduce the Risk of Having Certain Cancers
Studies show that the right amount of caffeine can help in controlling cell growth and reduce the risk of developing cancer cells. It is a form of antioxidant that can increase the body’s defenses against the damage that may cause cancer. However, too much of it is not good. Too much is always bad. Just consume the right amount.
4. Lowers the Risk of Heart Failure
Heart failure occurs when the heart muscles are weak and does not pump blood normally. Consuming the right amount of caffeine may also help in the prevention of developing heart failure. Drinking at least one cup of coffee everyday may help your body from developing this illness. Research shows that it may make your heart muscles stronger so that it can pump blood normally.
5. Decrease the Risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease
So how does consuming the right amount of caffeine decrease the risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease?
Several studies have shown that it has a contribution in keeping the brain and the rest of the body be balanced (brain homeostasis). This will result to a lower chance of developing these brain conditions.
The Bad Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine does not only have good benefits, it also have bad effects in the human body. Possibly, it is unsafe when consumed in doses over 400 mg daily, which is equivalent to about 4 cups of coffee. Just remember, it is a type of drug which can be addictive..
1. Heart Palpitations, Anxiety, and High Blood Pressure
Research shows that caffeine is linked to heart palpitations. It will promote the release of the hormone norepinephrine ( or also called noradrenaline). This hormone is responsible for ‘fight or flight response’, which means that this hormone is released when your body reacts to a stressful or frightening event, the same feeling when you get chased by a dog. Norepinephrine will increase blood pressure and heart rate. This will trigger anxiety attacks. Caffeine responsible for the stimulation of heart muscle contractions. That is why the right amount of it lowers the risk of heart failure but it may also be a cause of heart palpitations.
As mentioned above, caffeine is an energy booster and it stimulates the central nervous system. It is difficult to sleep when you have high energy. When it is consumed, adenosine is blocked which is a chemical responsible for promoting sleep. Frequent consumption of drinks that contain caffeine will have higher insomnia risk. If you want to sleep faster and longer, it is advisable to consume it early in the morning.
People who frequently consume drinks that contain caffeine will have tolerance, meaning, your body will get used to it. Therefore, you will need to drink more of it to feel the effects of it. After your body metabolizes caffeine, you will feel tired.
Only consume the right amount of caffeine. Do not consume over 4 cups.
4. Frequent Urination and Dehydration
Have you noticed that when you drink coffee, you urinate more often? That is because caffeine is diuretic, which means it will make you urinate frequently. If consumed in large amounts, you will have the need to urinate more often. It may negatively affect your bladder and kidneys that may result to illnesses. You may also be dehydrated because you lose more fluid than you consume.
Caffeine is a type of psychoactive and addictive legal drug. When consumed in large quantity, you will possibly be addicted to it. Nearly everyone loves drinks that contain caffeine, coffee tastes great, and sodas too. But, these tasty beverages may cause addiction that may lead to problems in our body that may be serious. So, it is advisable to only drink the right amount of it.
Author: Shy A.