The Good and Bad of Caffeine

The Good and Bad of Caffeine

I don’t know about you, but when the sun starts to rise later so do I! It can be tough to heed the call of the alarm when there isn’t a blanket of lovely morning light greeting you. Naturally, we all start to turn towards different things to help us take the morning head on. Whether it’s coming from an energy drink, a powder, or the classic cup of coffee, in North America alone 90% of adults utilize some form of caffeine on a daily basis. This month let’s break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of caffeine.

A Great Cup of Coffee in the MorningAs every coffee lover will tell you, consuming caffeine can help you feel less tired, more alert, and can improve your mood. More than just these obvious effects, according to the American Heart Association studies have shown that people who regularly drink coffee (we’ll talk more about coffee versus other forms of caffeine later) may be less likely to develop chronic illnesses. When consumed in the right amounts, caffeine can help you in myriad ways, both in the long and short term!

The key term in the previous paragraph is “right amounts.” When consumed irresponsibly or in more harmful forms, caffeine can have far reaching negative effects on your health. If you’re consuming caffeine too close to bedtime your quality of sleep, whether you realize it or not, is bound to suffer. Six hours after you consume caffeine there is still half of the consumed amount in your body, and it doesn’t clear out of your bloodstream for 10 hours. If your body is sensitive to caffeine you can experience anxiety, headaches, and high blood pressure. Furthermore, if you’re consuming your caffeine from sugary energy drinks or powder mixes, for example, you may experience a host of issues that can come from excessive sugar consumption.

Does all this mean that you should turn over a new leaf and ditch caffeine for good? Of course not! Did you hear that? It was the sound of Starbucks shareholders across the world breathing a sigh of relief. What this does mean, however, is that you should be mindful of how much caffeine you are consuming on a day-to-day basis, so you are getting the positive effects without any negative impacts on crucial aspects of your health, such as sleep. The recommended daily amount of caffeine, no more than 400 milligrams, or 4 cups of coffee, is a safe amount for healthy adults.

All in all, be smart about your caffeine consumption, don’t come to rely on it to function, and consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your caffeine intake, as each person has different risks as well as varied needs.

As we say at Liberty HealthShare, it’s your healthcare and it’s your choice!