Caffeine Benefits and Risks
About 90% of adults consume caffeine in one or another daily. Most common caffeinated drinks include tea and coffee. Most of us need these caffeinated beverages to kick-start our day, for we believe caffeine improves our mood. Since it injects adrenaline into our system, caffeine is a metabolism and energy booster for the body.
Certain elements in caffeine offer beneficial effects.
- Memory boost: Small amounts of caffeine may help lower the risk of some brain-related diseases, including Parkinson’s, and offer protection for brain cells. Japanese researchers claim that caffeine boosts memory. At least six studies have shown that those who consumer coffee daily are at 80% less risk to develop Parkinson’s disease.
- Liver detox: Caffeine helps in the detoxification of liver and removal of toxins from the colon. It is claimed that alkaloids in caffeine increase the production of “glutathione-S-transferase” enzyme, which helps in liver detoxification. Caffeine can benefit people believed to be at a risk for liver disease. Research claims that coffee can lower your risk of cancer of the colon and liver by 25% and that of liver cirrhosis by 22%.
- Hair growth stimulator: According to a report published in the International Journal of Dermatology, caffeine stimulates hair growth in humans and is touted to be a more effective cure for baldness.
- Energy boost: Caffeine increases stamina after exercise. According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, caffeine boosts glycogen in the muscles of athletes who consume caffeinated drinks and carbs after a strenuous exercise. Glycogen fuels muscles and helps athletes recover faster after a workout. Caffeine boosts body’s metabolism by breaking down fat and fatty acids.
- Skin cancer shield: One of the less common caffeine benefits is its role in preventing skin cancer. A research report conducted on hairless mice by Rutgers University claims that caffeine prevented skin cancer in the subjects. A different study asserts that caffeinated drinkers are at a less risk of melanoma.
True, caffeine has a plenty of benefits, but it does not mean that all is good about it. Caffeine doesn’t become a problem unless excessive amounts are consumed. Researchers suggest moderate doses of caffeine for adults. However, consuming more than 500 to 600 mg a day can be too much for the body, which could cause:
- Increased anxiety and disturbed sleeping cycle or insomnia
- Muscle tremors
- Irregular heartbeat
Not only this, caffeine is addictive and quitting can cause all sorts of withdrawal symptoms. It also interacts with a few psychiatric, depression, and thyroid drugs. Caffeine is also linked to high sugar levels and blood pressure problems. It is important for post-menopausal women to keep a check on their caffeine intake, as excess consumption could cause spinal bone loss.
For people with frequent stomach problems, caffeine risks making matters worse, as it is highly acidic and can cause irritation in the gastrointestinal tract. It relaxes the sphincter muscles in the stomach, which are otherwise responsible for keeping stomach acid from entering the esophagus.
All in all, moderate consumption of caffeine is considered safe for adults, but raising the intake could prove detrimental to health in the long run and cause all sorts of problems.