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Let’s Talk Caffeine

Posted by Daniella Cippitelli on
Let’s Talk Caffeine

Caffeine, in its natural form, can be found in coffee beans, tea leaves, kola nuts, cacao pods and many other plants. It can also be made synthetically and added to drinks, medicines, and foods. Manufacturers add this synthetic caffeine for alertness. We see this as “energy-boosting” drinks, gums, and snack products.


How Caffeine Effects Metabolism

  • Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. This is why you have that “awake” feeling and boost of energy.
  • Caffeine is considered a diuretic. This means it causes the body to urinate more, getting rid of extra salt.
  • Increases stomach acids. This can lead to heartburn.
  • Caffeine can increase your blood pressure. People who consume caffeine often might not experience this same effect.
  • May interfere with calcium absorption in the body due to the increased amount flushed out by urine.


Consuming Caffeine

Most caffeine is consumed in drinks, and you guessed it, a cup of coffee generally sits highest on the list, with tea being the lowest. Cola soft drinks also contain caffeine.

While caffeine can provide us with energy bursts, increase alertness and can help ease headaches, as with anything else, too much caffeine can have adverse side effects.

In high doses, caffeine can cause nervousness, insomnia, increased heart rate and insomnia. Higher doses can also cause anxiety and chest pain. When pregnant or breast-feeding you should check with your doctor to be sure caffeine containing products are safe for you. As well, check before taking caffeinated products if you are on prescription drugs or under the care of a medical professional.


Caffeine Withdrawal

Anyone who consumes caffeine on a regular basis and suddenly stops has likely felt the effects of caffeine withdrawal. Yes, it’s real. Symptoms can include: 

  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Trouble Concentrating 

Since caffeine is a stimulant, many health and fitness professionals say it’s best to keep consumption of caffeinated products to a minimum after 3:00 PM to prevent its effects from interfering with sleep.

Enjoy your coffee and caffeinated beverages, just remember, too much of a good thing can have adverse effects.

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