Caffeine Benefits – Latest Research Included

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Caffeine can be regarded as a stimulant and the most widely consumed drug around the world. Its benefits can include increased alertness, energy levels, and focus. However, it could also cause headaches and insomnia.

Every day, millions of people consume caffeine to improve their wakefulness, reduce fatigue, and boost focus and concentration. Although there is much controversy and misinformation over whether caffeine is good or harmful, the evidence suggests that moderate consumption could bring benefits as well as risks.

However, a large amount of caffeine is not beneficial for health. Furthermore, the recent trend of incorporating caffeine into beverages and foods that do not necessarily contain caffeine has raised new questions.

This article will examine the health benefits and the risks of caffeine, as well as the controversies about energy drinks and the risk of an overdose taking place.

Quick facts about caffeine

  • Caffeine can be a stimulant and naturally occurs in certain food items.
  • It is recommended that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests a daily dose of 400 mg per day which is equivalent to 2 to 3 cup of tea.
  • A moderate amount of coffee can help reduce weight, cognitive performance, and alertness.
  • Caffeine can be harmful to fertility, pregnancy in addition to glucose control, as well as various other health aspects.
  • Energy drinks may contain excessive amounts of caffeine, however they aren't likely to pose a risk when consumed in conjunction alongside alcohol.
  • Caffeine powder could cause an fatal overdose, and must be kept away from.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers caffeine a drug and a food additive. It recommends a maximum daily consumption of 400 mg.

Caffeine is used in prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications to reduce fatigue and drowsiness. It also helps to enhance the effects of pain relievers.

It's part of a family of drugs known as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants.

The caffeine-rich foods you eat can help to boost mental alertness.

Caffeine should be used as an alertness aid only occasionally. It's not designed to replace sleep and shouldn't be utilized regularly to aid in sleep.

Within the United States (U.S.) over 90% of people use coffee regularly and consume an average of over 200 milligrams per day. It's more than two cups of coffee that weigh 6 ounces or five 12-ounce bottles of soft drinks.

Sources

Caffeine can be found naturally in leaves or seeds in more than 60 species of plants which include:

  • coffee beans
  • tea buds and leaves
  • Dola nuts
  • cacao beans
  • guarana seeds
  • Leaf of yerba Mate

Caffeine found in plants works as an organic pesticide. It is able to paralyze and kill insects who attempt to eat them.

Food sources

Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, and chocolate. It is frequently added to waffles, jelly beans, syrup, water sunflower seeds, marshmallows, and many other snacks.

The FDA suggests that healthy individuals restrict their caffeine intake to 400 milligrams (mg) each day, or about 4 to five cup of tea. The amount of caffeine is not linked to negative health consequences.

There is no limit set for children, however The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly discourages consumption of stimulants such as caffeine and other substances for adolescents and children.

Amounts of caffeine present in a variety of popular beverages and foods are:

  • One 8-ounce cup of espresso 100-200 mg
  • 12 ounces of coke with 35-45 mg of caffeine.
  • One 8-ounce energy drink provides 70-150 mg
  • A cup of tea of 8 ounces A cup of tea contains 14 to 60 mg

Decaffeinated soft drinks and decaffeinated cola do not contain caffeine, however decaffeinated tea isn't caffeine-free.

“Energy drinks” contain different levels of caffeine.

Other products are available including “psyched to go” oatmealto “wired” waffles.

There are concerns about these practices in particular about the potential effect on children and adolescents. The FDA has raised questions about the security of this procedure.

Benefits

Caffeine might have a few health benefits, however not all of them have been verified through research.

Weight loss

Caffeine can help you lose weight or stop weight gain perhaps through:

  • in reducing appetite and cutting down on the desire to eat.
  • The body is stimulated to produce thermogenesis. As a result, the body produces more energy and heat from eating food

Products to lose weight that is advertised as thermogenic can contain caffeine and ephedra or ephedrine.

Research hasn't established long-term results.

Alertness

dose of 75 mg of caffeine increases alertness and focus A 160– to 600 mg dose can enhance mental alertness, speed thinking and memory.

However, it's not an alternative to sleep.

Performance in sports

Caffeine can improve physical performance during endurance exercise.

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) recognizes that caffeine can enhance fitness performance and endurance and decrease perceived exertion.

However, the consequences on the short-term effects of high-intensity, low-intensity aren't clear.

Function of the brain

Caffeine alters the adenosine receptors of the brain. Coffee also contains antioxidants called polyphenols and they, too can be found in different pathways.

Research suggests that drinking coffee can improve thinking abilities and slow the decline in brain function that occurs with aging.

However, further research is needed to prove this.

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases

Researchers have discovered that a lifetime of consumption of coffee may decrease the chance of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Research has also revealed that people who consume a greater amount of coffee intake have a lower likelihood of developing Parkinson's disease.

Memory

The research conducted by Johns Hopkins University suggests that the consumption of caffeine following an activity can increase long-term memory.

Colon and liver

It has been thought that caffeine enemas could assist in the preparation of the colon for an endoscopy, or colonoscopy by assisting in the elimination of bile from the colon wall.

Some advocates claim that a caffeine enema boosts the levels of glutathione an antioxidant. Therefore, it aids in the natural process of detoxification within the liver.

However, there isn't much data to back this hypothesis.

Coffee consumption can help reduce the risk of cirrhosis, and reduce the rate of disease progress in Hepatitis C infection. Studies conducted on observation have revealed that coffee has beneficial effects for those suffering from Hepatocellular cancer.

Eyelid spasms

There is evidence to suggest that caffeine could help people avoid an eye disorder referred to as blepharospasm.

The condition, which is due to a malfunction in brain function causes people to blink continuously and could cause them to go blind.

Cataracts

Researchers have discovered that caffeine can aid in protecting the cornea from damage that can lead to cataract formation.

Skin cancer

A few scientists have suggested caffeine could protect against certain skin cancers.

One research team discovered that applying caffeine directly to mice's skin helped prevent damaging UV (UV) radiation from creating skin cancer.

Some have also connected drinking the equivalent of three cups of caffeine-rich tea each day to a 21 percent lower chance to develop basal cell cancer for women as well as a 10% decrease in risk for men, as in comparison to drinking less than one cup a month.

Kidney stones

A study of 217,883 people examined the relationship between caffeine consumption and the likelihood of developing kidney stones.

People who consumed more caffeine had a lower chance of getting kidney stones.

The throat, mouth, and other types of cancer

In a study of 968.432 males and females, participants who consumed less than four cups of coffee per day had a 49 percent lower risk of dying from oral cancer compared to those who consumed no coffee whatsoever or just one or two cups.

Other potential benefits of cancer could are:

  • an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer
  • A lower chance of developing prostate cancer
  • Protection against neck and head cancer
  • safeguard against the recurrence of breast cancer

Stroke

The data for 34,670 women from Sweden who had no history of heart disease showed that women who consumed more than a cup of coffee a day experienced a 22- to 25-percent lower chance of having a stroke as compared to women who had drank less.

No or little coffee consumption was associated with an increased risk of suffering from stroke.

Type 2 diabetes

A longitudinal study showed that people who increased their consumption of coffee to more than 1 cup per day for a period of four years had a one percent lower risk of contracting a disease.

of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, of developing type 2 diabetes versus those who had not changed their diet.

People who cut down their consumption of more than a cup coffee were found to have an increase of 17 percent for developing type 2 diabetes.

An article released in Diabetes Care in 2004 linked an excessive coffee consumption during four weeks with an increase in fasting insulin levels.

However, the reason for the connection were not clear. The cause could be lower insulin sensitivity, which means the body doesn't utilize the insulin that is produced effectively.

The group called for further study before concluding that drinking a lot of coffee lowers the risk of developing the type 2 form of diabetes.

Risks

The majority of research on caffeine suggests it is beneficial when used when used in moderate amounts.

Certain studies have highlighted the potential negative consequences of caffeine.

Depression

Consuming a lot of caffeine can cause anxiety or depression.

In 2016, research published in the journal found that among 234 middle school students in Korea more intake of caffeine was associated with

greater weight, lower academic performance and a higher chance of suffering from severe depression.

But whether the caffeine causes depression or if depression triggers people to drink more caffeine remains a mystery.

Blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes sufferers are aware that their blood sugar levels rise when they consume caffeine.

Some evidence suggests that caffeine could hinder insulin's function, causing a slight but discernable increase in blood sugar, especially in the hours following meals.

Pregnancy

Researchers have found the consumption of more than 300 milligrams per each day, which is equivalent to 3 cups coffee could cause:

  • Loss of pregnancy
  • delay in the growth of the fetus
  • An abnormal heartbeat in the fetus

As per research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the weeks leading up to the conception also count. Studies show the fact that when both parents drink more than two drinks of caffeine each day during the week prior to conception and lose their pregnancy, then a loss is more likely.

Women should limit their caffeine consumption to 200 mg or less in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

Fertility

Certain studies suggest that caffeine could lower the activity of muscles in the fallopian tube, that carry eggs from Ovaries to the womb.

It could be, according to the study's authors that caffeine decreases women's chance of getting pregnant by 27 percent.

Breast-feeding

The milk of the breast contains caffeine in small amounts. the nursing baby can absorb it.

Children whose mothers consume large quantities of caffeinated drinks may be anxious and have difficulty sleeping.

Gout

The addition of caffeine could cause a gout attack for those with the disease.

Consuming six or more caffeinated drinks in a 24-hour period has been linked to nearly four times the increase in the chance of having recurring Gout attacks.

Incontinence

A study that examined 1,356 women revealed that women who consumed an average of 329 mg caffeine daily, which is equal to 3 cups or so of caffeine had a 70 percent higher risk of developing bladder issues.

Insomnia

Consuming coffee 3 to 6 hours prior to bedtime could seriously disrupt sleep. Caffeine could decrease sleep as long as you consume it at least 6 hours before bedtime.

The total amount of sleep that can be measured objectively by more than one hour.

Headaches

A study conducted on a population-based basis discovered that medicinal and dietary caffeine consumption is an insignificant risk for developing an infection.

that can trigger chronic daily headaches regardless of type of headache.

Menopause

A study that was published in Menopause discovered that women who drank coffee during menopausal times were more likely to have a heart attack.

to experience hot flashes and sweaty nights.

Other adverse reactions

Caffeine's main effect on the human body can be a momentary sense of awakeness and alertness. However, it can also trigger discomfort.

Consuming more than 400 mg caffeine daily can cause:

  • Shakes and jitters
  • disturbed sleep
  • Heartbeats that are irregular or rapid
  • high blood pressure
  • headaches
  • anxiousness or nervousness
  • dizziness
  • dependency
  • dehydration
  • irritability
  • heartburn
  • stomach upset, diarrhea and nausea
  • Muscle tremors

Caffeine can increase the amount of acid released from the stomach, causing stomach discomfort or heartburn.

Caffeine can disrupt your sleep cycles. Sleep loss can be cumulative, and even a small decrease in nighttime sleep can become a pattern and affect daytime performance and alertness.

Drug interactions

Certain medicines can interfere with caffeine.

They include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Bronchodilators
  • Antipsychotics, such as clozapine
  • Certain antidepressants
  • Carbamazepine is a caffeine-based drug that could cause an increase in the likelihood of seizure

Caffeine is also known to be a trigger for estrogens, diuretics or valproate. It can also interact with other drugs.

Several herbs and supplements be in contact with caffeine to various degree:

  • calcium
  • echinacea
  • Ephedra
  • kudzu
  • Melatonin
  • magnesium
  • Red clover

Myths

There are a lot of myths about the consumption of coffee. Take a look at a few of them.

1. Is caffeine addictive?

In 2013 in 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) included caffeine withdrawal on the list of disorders that are recognized within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). However, not all drinkers experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking caffeine.

If you suddenly stop drinking coffee can be afflicted with symptoms.

approximately 12 to 24 hours after stopping. The symptoms peak between 20 and 48 hours prior to disappearing. The gradual reduction in caffeine intake over the course of a few days will not cause these symptoms.

In contrast to other substances that are a part of the human body, caffeine hasn't been proven to stimulate the brain's pathways which are connected to addiction.

So, caffeine isn't thought to be an addictive substance.

2. Is caffeine a diuretic?

Caffeine has been linked to the frequency and volume of urinary discharge and causes that the body's water levels to drop as well as electrolytes like sodium and potassium.

Researchers have not discovered a significant difference in fluid loss between coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers.

One group concluded that “Coffee taken in moderation, by coffee-addicted males, provides the same hydrating benefits as water.”

The loss of water could be further when a person drinks over 250 mg of sodium per day, however the fluid consumed in the drink will cover any loss.

3. Do coffee drinks cause osteoporosis?

Caffeine can alter the way that the body absorbs calcium and there are the possibility that coffee consumption could result in osteoporosis.

However, this hasn't been verified through research.

The results of a Swedish study of the data of over 60,000 women showed it to be true that “High caffeine intake was linked to a slight decrease in bone density, but this did not correlate with an increased chance of breaking.”

Women who get a sufficient amount of calcium from their diet are not likely to suffer from osteoporosis due to drinking coffee.

4. Does caffeine sober you up?

If you've had excessive amounts of alcohol usually use the energy drink or coffee to get them back on track.

However, caffeine doesn't make someone more sane or allow them to drive. It can make people more aware, but it does not alter the bad judgment and other negative effects that come with alcohol.

It could be more risky because even without the drowsiness, a one is much more inclined to believe that they are drunk, which can cause dangerous actions like driving home, or drinking more alcohol.

Energy drinks

There's a bit of controversy surrounding energy drinks. They've been banned on many campuses for students due to reports of health issues, or even deaths.

Amount of caffeine contained in an energy drink is contingent on the type of drink and the brand.

Although a 16-ounce Americano coffee could have the equivalent of 225 mg caffeine, the caffeine content in the 16-ounce container of energy drinks varies between 160 mg and 357 mg.

The makers of the drink that included the caffeine equivalent of 357 milligrams have reduced the amount of caffeine in their drink down to 300 mg. It comes with a health warning not to be consumed by those who are children, suffering from heart issues or those who be prone to an intolerance to caffeine.

Energy drinks are not just caffeine, but also other stimulants derived from plants as well as simple sugars, artificial sweeteners, as well as other additives. A 16-ounce bottle of a popular energy drink will contain approximately 50 grams, or 1.75 grams, or five teaspoons sugar.

The high levels of sugar and caffeine could cause harm to the body.

Mixing energy drinks and alcohol

If alcohol-based drinks are blended with other energy drinks caffeine could cover the depressant effects of alcohol. Alcohol can also reduce the metabolism of caffeine, extending its effects.

Drinkers who drink alcohol mixed with energy drinks experience three times the danger.

more likely to drink binge drinks than those who don't have a history of mixing alcohol more likely to drink energy drinks.

Additionally, they are twice as likely be having experienced sexual assault or sexual assault of another while driving with a driver impaired by alcohol as well as being physically injured, and needing medical attention.

Overdose

It is highly unlikely that a person will be killed by excessive consumption of caffeine in their diet. It is believed that the average male would need 149 or more cans of caffeinated energy drinks. Vomiting is likely to happen before one was able to take an overdose of fatal caffeine from food sources.

But caffeine in its pure form can be a powerful stimulant. Even small amounts of it can result in an unintentional overdose. A tablespoon of caffeine pure is equal to about 28 cups of coffee.

In addition to the normal negative side effects that come with caffeine consumption, excessive doses may cause:

  • anxiety
  • heart palpitations, rapid heartbeat
  • sweating
  • nausea and vomiting
  • cardiac arrest

After the death of two young men who died from an excess dose of caffeine available on the internet, the FDA recommends “to beware of powdered, pure coffee.” They are also urging parents to know of the fact that these products can draw youngsters.

Effects

When consumed as food or medicine, the body's blood and tissues absorb caffeine within 45 minutes. The caffeine level reaches its peak in the blood within an hourand stays there for between 4 and 6 hours.

In the meantime, caffeine alters how the body and brain work.

Caffeine is similar in structure to adenosine. This is an ingredient found in every human cell.

Within the brain, adenosine works as a CNS depressant.

Adenosine helps you sleep and reduces your alertness by reducing nerve activity. Adenosine binding makes blood vessels in the brain expand to increase oxygen consumption when you sleep. In the wake, Adenosine levels present in the brain increase each hour, which makes the body and brain less alert.

In a nerve cell, caffeine appears like adenosine, and it binds with receptors for adenosine.

In contrast to adenosine it doesn't affect the activity of cells. Because caffeine binds to all receptors that adenosine bonds to, cells will not sense the presence of adenosine. Therefore, cell activity increases rather than slowing down due to the adenosine levels.

Caffeine inhibits the ability of adenosine to expand the brain's blood vessels, and causes them to narrow. This is the reason why caffeine is often used as a pain relief medication for headaches. When the cause of headaches is bloody, it can be relieved. will come due to the fact that caffeine narrows blood vessels.

The blockage of adenosine causes the excitatory neurotransmitters to grow within the brain. The pituitary gland detects increased activity and produces hormones that instruct the adrenal glands to create epinephrine.

Takeaway

Moderate quantities of caffeine appear not to cause harm A moderate amount of caffeine can provide health benefits.

The FDA recommends a dose of not over 400 mg in a day.

The effects will depend on the amount consumed, the individual's gender, size, and sensitivity to side effects, as well as any medications or supplements they might be taking.

Pure caffeine is hazardous and even life-threatening and should not be taken.

Furthermore, the trend of including caffeine in foods like chewing gum or ice cream that typically target children is a concern. Investigations are continuing.

If you're looking to stop drinking, the habit of drinking coffee should do so in a few days rather than all at once to avoid discomfort.

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