Many of us rely on caffeine to get our days started, to energize us until the end of the day, or to get us through the night shift. Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant in the world because it occurs naturally in some foods, and several drinks and beverages contain caffeine. Even though caffeine has long been used as a stimulant since the early civilizations, it is still shrouded in mystery and controversy on whether it is good or bad for us.
Here, we will discuss the good side of caffeine and the health benefits that come with its consumption.
Caffeine comes from plant sources such as tea leaves and buds, coffee beans, cacao beans, yerba mate leaf, and kola nuts. As mentioned earlier, the historic use of caffeine dates back thousands of years ago, as early as 3000 BC, in which tea was first brewed. The use of coffee as a caffeine source led to people cultivating different types and varieties of coffee, If you’re a fan, then a coffee subscription box is one of the easiest ways to get to know different types of coffee and uncover new taste. Caffeine works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system to keep you alert and fight off fatigue. Because it is a natural stimulant, it has little to no adverse reaction when consumed at the right amount.
Caffeine is a popular ingredient in weight loss supplements and energy drinks used for fitness programs and workouts. Another effect of caffeine stimulation of the central nervous system is the increase in metabolism rate, which lowers fat accumulation in the body. It also stimulates thermogenesis, where the body generates heat and energy from digesting food and burns fat in the process. Daily consumption of at least 300 mg of caffeine can lead to 70-80% calorie burn. Caffeine also suppresses appetite and desire to eat, which helps in weight regulation and reduction.
The kick you get from caffeine also affects the production of dopamine and norepinephrine. These are chemicals that can improve your mood and concentration. You may notice that you are more alert, focused, and outgoing after drinking coffee, tea, or any caffeinated drink. Other people also notice an improvement in their short-term memory, reaction time, and cognitive performance after taking caffeine.
This benefit of coffee on the mood and brain function is still subject to various studies and research, as scientists are trying to determine the exact amount that brings out these positive effects. It should be noted that there are also studies reporting an adverse or opposite effect on mood and mental when too much caffeine is consumed.
Caffeine can also interact with several brain-signaling molecules, which are essential in various cognitive and physical functions. As people grow older, the production of these brain-signaling molecules slows down or gets impaired, and causes neurological conditions and diseases. Some studies point out the possible benefit of caffeine in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. The results of these studies are prompting researchers to conduct larger studies to provide stronger proof of caffeine’s therapeutic potential in treating neurological conditions in the future.
There are many health benefits that caffeine can bring. Surprisingly, these benefits have only been recently studied despite the long history of caffeine consumption around the world. It should be noted that no matter how beneficial a substance is, too much of it can be harmful to the body. Thus, refrain from consuming too many caffeinated drinks and beverages and drink your usual cup of joe or tea.