Health, Nutrition & food, Physical

Effects of caffeine on the human body!

Want to know what gives your morning coffee that kick? Caffeine! That’s right! Most of us have either experienced it or have seen the urge and uneasiness when we miss our cup in the morning. Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug. Regular use of caffeine does cause mild physical dependence but it does not prove to be a threat to one’s health, unlike addictive drugs. Caffeine occurs naturally in the seeds of more than 60 plants including coffee beans, tea leaves, and kola nuts.

 source of caffeine is the coffee bean

The most well-known source of caffeine is the coffee bean, the seed of coffee plant. Beverages containing caffeine are consumed to relieve or prevent drowsiness and to improve performance. A process called infusion allows the extraction of caffeine. Caffeinated drinks are very, very popular with the general public.  Nearly 70% of the world adult population consumes caffeine daily in some form or other.
Caffeine makes life easy as it rids you of your tiredness on a hectic day and makes you more alert. It has also proved to be a mild painkiller and increases the effectiveness of other pain relievers. The Duke University says caffeine may reduce fatty liver in those with non-alcohol related fatty liver disease and act as a liver detox.

Benefits of caffeine

In Japan, researchers have shown that caffeine increases memory. Researchers also believe that it increases stamina during exercise, reduces chances of cancer, helps ward off Alzheimer’s, prevents skin cancer, helps fight diabetes, reduces chances of erectile dysfunction in men and helps those with asthma.

Withdrawl symptoms

Some people can become physically dependent on caffeine. If you stop taking your daily dose of tea/coffee abruptly, you may suffer from withdrawal symptoms. , especially if you consume two or more cups a day resulting in caffeine withdrawal.

 HeadacheWithdrawal symptoms

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depressed mood
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Constipation

Caffeine does not cause the severity of withdrawal or harmful drug-seeking behaviors as street drugs or alcohol. That is why it’s considered more of a habit than addiction.

Caffeine dependence

Dependence can become so strong for some that they’re unable to reduce consumption despite being aware of it. Caffeine overdose can result in a state of central nervous system over-stimulation called caffeine intoxication. This syndrome typically occurs only after consuming large amounts of caffeine e.g., more than 400–500 mg at a time. Caffeine intoxication may cause restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, increased urination, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, irritability, irregular or rapid heartbeat, and trembling hands.
It is shocking that products like caffeine tablets and powders are easily available off the shelf. Dieticians and gym instructors are naïve to prescribe such products for fitness and weight loss. Big online shopping portals are selling it as a Pharmaceutical Grade Dietary Supplement that helps temporarily restore mental alertness when experiencing fatigue or drowsiness.

Safe in small doses

Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two “energy shot” drinks. Although caffeine use may be safe for adults, it’s not a good idea for children. As chocolates and its products like chocolate cookies, chocolate ice-creams and cakes may also contain up to 60-80 mg of caffeine.

Tasty caffeine!

So now you know it’s not only the sugar but also the caffeine in that chocolate ice cream that makes your kid jump up and act so energetic. He has almost had two shots of coffee that is making him feel awake and alive. That explains why kids love chocolate. In fact, the FDA is concerned that many foods and drink products, such as jelly beans, waffles, syrup and chewing gum, now have caffeine added to them to enhance their stimulating effect. In a way, we are addicting our children to a mild drug.
But don’t dwell on it. We have seen our parents and friends crave for it and celebrate each day over the family coffee time. Order your sin n slurp it up in good company!

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