What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is one of many organic heterocyclic bases that occur in nature and often have medicinal properties found in coffee and tea naturally. It is a stimulant by nature when consumed. It is most effective on the central nervous system as it mildly stimulates it. According to statistics of the International Coffee Organization, caffeine (which is the main ingredient of coffee) is the most widely consumed natural stimulant standing at a staggering 1.6 billion cups consumed worldwide daily. We are here to analyze some of the positive caffeine effects when consumed.
Benefits of caffeine
- Improvement of Alertness
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), about 75mg of caffeine (cup of coffee) can help improve alertness and concentration especially if engaged in nocturnal activities such as night jobs or long night driving, or sometimes feeling a bit out of sorts. The effect of caffeine on the brain is that it increases the functionality of the brain hence keeping you alert and concentrated when engaging in any activity.
- Improvement of Energy and Endurance
Caffeine intake has been showed to improve energy and endurance during various exercises. It increases oxygen uptake to sustain energy and it increases endurance as a result of its anti-fatigue effect especially in the upper region of the body.
- Disease Prevention
Some diseases can be prevented through the consumption of caffeine. A few of such diseases prevented by caffeine intake are:
- Parkinson’s disease: Caffeine acts as a nervous system protector, by so doing; it prevents nerve deterioration which is the main cause of the disease and any other neurodegenerative diseases.
- Cancer: Study has shown that regular consumers of caffeine (people who take up to 4 cups of coffee daily) reduce their chances of having liver and oral cancer (mouth and throat) by a massive 50%.
- Type 2 diabetes: Moderate consumption of coffee or any other caffeinated drink lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes according to study.
- Prevention of weight gain
Caffeine is a natural substance with a proven ability to burn fat and increase the rate of metabolism thereby preventing weight gain. It also temporarily subdues any desire for food when consumed.
- Protection of the Skin
Caffeine effect on the skin is unparalleled. Caffeine which has a high antioxidant property helps to prevent the skin from sunburn and aging as a result of exposure to the Sun radiation. It constitutes part of the ingredients used in various skin care products.
- Improvement of Frame of Mind
According to one study from the Harvard School of Public Health, consuming two to four cups of coffee daily may reduce suicide risk in adults. Caffeine helps to combat depression which is the primary cause of suicidal thoughts thereby leaving you in a happier state of mind.
- Protection of the Liver
The liver which performs a lot of functions may be plagued by diseases such as hepatitis, or even cirrhosis. Caffeinated coffee consumers have a drastically lower risk of developing these liver diseases.
- Relieve Pain
Caffeine is a common ingredient in some over-the-counter pain relievers as it increases the drug’s efficacy by 40%. Its anti-inflammatory property helps to relieve pain.
- Improvement of Memory
According to a study, consuming about 200mg of caffeine each day may boost memory performance (Long-term memory) in adults.
Safe Caffeine Use
Moderate caffeine consumption can be beneficial as listed above but if consumed in excess quantity, it could become detrimental. Some of such negative effects of caffeine intake include;
- High blood pressure
- Insomnia etc
These negative effects of caffeine may decrease with prolonged consumption though. There is no recommended dosage of caffeine consumption since it boils down to individual differences. A moderate quantity of about 300mg of caffeine (2-4 cups of coffee) daily should suffice to maximally enjoy the benefits of caffeine.