As Americans, we live busy lives noting long work hours and social obligations. Some days seem to last forever, which makes us drag and yawn a little extra on occasion. Sixty-four percent of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee per day. Sixteen percent of the caffeine consumed daily is from soda. There is no clear positive health benefit from drinking soda beverages of any kind.
Caffeine keeps many of us going throughout the day by giving us that little boost. However, the effects of caffeine on the body is a bit of a mixed bag. The saying “all things in moderation” goes a long way with caffeine. Moderate caffeine consumption is between 300 to 400 milligrams per day. Caffeine does affect every person differently, but for this article I wanted to share the possible positive and negative side effects caffeine can have on the human body.
Pros of Caffeine Consumption
- Caffeine can improve memory, lower fatigue and increase a person’s ability to mentally focus and function.
- Caffeine can improve a person’s reaction time.
- Moderate coffee drinking can help prevent and reduce risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, liver disease, average blood pressure and Parkinson’s disease.
- Caffeine can help stimulate bowel movements.
- Caffeine can help protect the body from gout.
Cons of Caffeine Consumption
- Caffeine can temporarily raise blood pressure response to exercise-best to not consume within an hour of planned exercise.
- Caffeine consumption can often lead to crashes in energy.
- Caffeine intake can disrupt a person’s sleep and circadian rhythm.
- Caffeine withdrawal can lead to headaches, irritability and fatigue/sleepiness.
- Caffeine can cause heart palpitations in some people.
- Excess caffeine can increase nervousness, promote nausea/anorexia and perspiration.
- Coffee/tea can worsen heartburn/esophageal reflux.
At the end of the day, pay attention to how your body responds to caffeine. Remember, caffeine isn’t just in coffee, soda, and tea; caffeine is also found in chocolate, ice cream, decaf coffee, protein bars, and workout supplements. If caffeine makes you feel sick, causes you to lose sleep, or you feel addicted or dependent on it, it may be time to cut back or eliminate it from your diet.
If you have dietary concerns about your caffeine consumption or with your overall diet, contact Dr. Kordonowy of Internal Medicine, Lipid & Wellness of Fort Myers. He can provide you with a dietary consult to get you on the right track of living the healthiest lifestyle for you and your body. To book a consult, click here or call 239-362-3005, ext. 200.