To drink coffee or not to drink coffee, that is the question!
Although I do believe that caffeine should be consumed in moderation and not on a daily basis, here are some of the “perks” of caffeine:
The majority of people who drink coffee do so for the extra mental boost it can give us. The key, however, is to not drink it so frequently that we become tolerant of the caffeine and no longer respond to it.
Research shows if 3-9 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight is consumed one hour prior to exercise it increases endurance. This is why many runners enjoy their cup of coffee before a run or use the Gu supplements that have caffeine added to them.
Reduced Muscle Pain
Stanley Segall, Ph.D., has found that caffeine might stimulate the release of B-endorphins and hormones that depress the sensation of pain or discomfort. Some pain medications have added caffeine to help with the pain symptoms.
Antioxidants in caffeine help to stabilize free radicals and stop them from doing damage. If a free radical is formed in a cell and nothing is done, it can damage the DNA of the cell.
Caffeine keeps the dopamine molecules active, preventing diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Harvard researchers have found that men who drink four cups of caffeinated coffee a day are half as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease as those who refrain from consuming caffeinated beverages.
Drinking a moderate amount of caffeine can be therapeutic for people with asthma. Caffeine in the form of coffee may be used to prevent an asthma attack in emergency cases, but is not intended to replace medication.
Caffeine speeds up metabolism and is actually the most important ingredient in diet pills. What happens is that the caffeine breaks down fat, it releases the fatty acids, which in turned are burned causing you to lose weight.
The research over the use of caffeine in our diets seems to be ever-changing, and there will always be pro’s and con’s of how caffeine affects our health.
As a general rule, if you enjoy your coffee, try to limit your intake to 1-2 cups a day or swap out one of your cups for green tea which has about 1/4 of the caffeine of coffee.
Another piece of advice is that if your Starbucks barista knows your name or your order, that is probably a sign that you are having too much coffee!