What is caffeine? Is It Good or Bad for Your Health?

Caffeine is used by billions of individuals to wake up, get through a night shift, or get through an afternoon slump. It is one of the world’s most widely used ingredients.[1] Caffeine is frequently discussed for its harmful effects on sleep and anxiety. However, research show that it provides a variety of health benefits.

What is caffeine?

So, what is caffeine? Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in plants such as tea, coffee, and cocoa. It helps you stay awake and prevents weariness by activating the brain and central nervous system. Caffeinated products are consumed by 80 percent of the world’s population every day, and this percentage rises to 90 percent for adults in North America.What is caffeine

How caffeine Works?

Caffeine is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream after consumption. It then goes to the liver, where it is broken down into chemicals that might affect some  organ function. Caffeine’s major effect, however, is on the brain.

It acts by preventing the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain and causes fatigue.[2] Caffeine keeps you awake by binding to adenosine receptors in the brain. This reduces fatigue by blocking the effects of adenosine.[3]

What foods and beverages contain caffeine?

Caffeine may be found in the seeds, nuts, and leaves of a variety of plants. Caffeinated foods and drinks are made from natural sources that have been gathered and processed.

Caffeine content per 8-ounce (240-mL)  of various popular beverages is listed below.[4]

  • Espresso: 240–720 mg
  • Coffee: 102–200 mg
  • Energy drinks: 50–160 mg
  • Brewed tea: 40–120 mg
  • Soft drinks: 20–40 mg
  • Chocolate milk: 2–7 mg

Some benefits of caffeine

  • Caffeine is said to increase mood and cognitive function.
  • Caffeine has been shown to boost metabolism and fat burning.
  • Caffeine may improve exercise performance.
  • Caffeine may help prevent heart disease and diabetes.
  • Coffee has been shown to lessen the risk of liver damage (cirrhosis) by up to 84 percent.[5]
  • Coffee consumption may reduce the risk of early mortality by up to 30%, particularly for women and those with diabetes.[6]
  • Drinking 2–4 cups of coffee each day may lower the incidence of liver cancer by up to 64% and colorectal cancer by up to 38%.[7]
  • Regularly consuming four cups of coffee every day may lower the chance of getting gout by 40% in men and 57% in women.[8]

Some side effects of Caffeine

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Caffeine may also cause headaches, migraines, and high blood pressure.[9]
  • Caffeine has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and poor birth weight. Pregnant women should restrict their use.[10]

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