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Is Caffeine Bad For You?

Top Form Tea

NO… But all that other stuff might be.

Caffeine is not bad for the average healthy adult who consumes moderately. That being said, not all foods containing caffeine are created equal. That giant sugar bomb coffee drink, that tastes delicious, is probably not very healthy and should be treated more like dessert than a regular pick me up.  

Caffeine is the must prevalent drug added to or naturally existing in our foods today. 90% of American adults consume more than 300mg of caffeine a year and 50% of those adults consume more than 300 mg of caffeine a day. According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s safe for healthy adults to consume up to 400mg a day or 4-5 cups of drip brewed coffee.

Different types of tea

8 oz. Dripped brewed coffee

95mg of caffeine

8 oz. Average energy drink

75mg of caffeine

8 oz. Matcha Green Tea

70mg of caffeine

1 oz. Espresso

64mg of caffeine

8 oz. of Black Tea

60mg of caffeine

8 oz. of Average Can Soda

45mg of caffeine

8 oz. of Brewed Green Tea

35 mg of caffeine

8 oz. of Brewed White Tea

30 mg of caffeine

 

How Caffeine works

Caffeine is absorbed directly into the blood stream through the gutCaffeine and Adenosine Molecule. It then binds itself to neurotransmitters that normally bind with Adenosine. Adenosine is a purine nucleoside composed of a molecule of adenine attached to a ribose sugar molecule (ribofuranose) moiety via a β-N9-glycosidic bond. Normally, Adenosine builds up throughout the day, inducing drowsiness, which is important for a normal sleep cycle. It not only temporarily blocks Adenosine but also induces the pituitary gland to release adrenalin, creating a jolt of energy.

 

The Good

 One study by the European College of Neurophyschopharmacol “conclude that the modifying effects of caffeine on complex cognitive tasks may be the result from a more reflective decision making processes. When not under time pressure, such effects may result in enhanced performance. Yet, under time constraints more reflective decision making may not improve or even have detrimental effects on complex task performance.” 

 What this means is that caffeine can help our cognitive functions when we don’t feel the pressure of time. When pressured with time constraints it may actually decrease our cognitive function.

 

The Bad

I have to give you some prerequisites here. Most of the negative effect of caffeine is a result of consuming too much caffeine or having pre-existing health conditions.

 

  1. Caffeine can temporarily raise the blood pressure in those that already have hypertension. Increased heart rate and blood flow mainly cause this. 
  2. In large amounts Caffeine can interfere with the absorption and metabolism of calcium, weakening bones.
  3. Caffeine can increase the risk of heart attacks among young adults diagnosed with mild hypertension up to 4x. Dr. Lucio Mos found that young adults who were diagnosed with mild hypertension have 4 times the risk of having a heart attack if they the caffeine equivalent of 4 cups of coffee.
  4. Caffeine can cause an increase in the odds of developing fibrocystic breast disease by 1.5x in women who regularly consume 250 mg of caffeine a day.
  5. Caffeine can inhibit collagen production in the skin at high doses and also have an inhibitory effect on DNA biosynthesis according to a study by the Medical University of Bialystok, Poland. 
  6. Consuming large amounts of caffeine can induce insomnia.
  7. Caffeine can increase the effects of depression and anxiety.
  8. Caffeine, like most everything, is NOT bad for you in moderation. Often times, the overuse of caffeine is not the cause, but a compensation for other underlying health issues. Caffeine is mildly addictive and can cause withdrawal symptoms. If you are trying to cut back on your intake of caffeine and begin to experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, try switching to a beverage that contains less caffeine such as green or white tea.

Remember the information presented in this article was about caffeine, not about any particle beverage containing caffeine.

 

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