Today caffeine is everywhere. The three most popular drinks in the whole world contain caffeine - coffee, tea, and cola. However it doesn’t stop there at all, it can be found in sticks of gum, granola bars, even bath soaps. As we all love the effects of caffeine, plenty of companies have found ways to infuse into all types of products. However too much can wreak havoc on your body and your mood - not to mention in some cases could result in death.
The recommended maximum amount of caffeine is 400 milligrams a day for a healthy adult. Pregnant women should only consume half of that and teens should be limited to 100 milligrams a day. Young children should avoid it altogether. However even a 400 milligram goal is easy to exceed. A cup of brewed coffee has over 100 and your favorite energy drink could have up to 300. It’s easy to keep refilling your mug without keeping track.
Many of us feel like we rely on caffeine and we push the limits of what our body can take of this mood altering drug.
Often people forget that caffeine is a drug - it’s natural form is a bitter white powder by the name of trimethylxanthine. It works by blocking adenosine, a neurotransmitter that tells your brain when you’re tired. When that happens, your body produces more dopamine.
So a cup of coffee in the morning could make you feel more alert, energized, and genuinely happier. However too much could have the reverse effect and could be hard on your health.
As adrenaline is released, caffeine can cause anxiety, frazzledness, and stress. It can also affect how much sleep you’re getting and the quality of it as well. That brings a whole set of problems as sleep is crucial to your health and it facilitates a vicious cycle as people take in more caffeine to combat tiredness. Too much can raise your heart rate, lead to high blood pressure, and even damage your kidneys. Also if you are making your coffee or tea at home make sure to use clean and filtered water. Even if you can’t taste it, water is still the main ingredient in these drinks.
There are lots of benefits to taking in caffeine too. Not only does it improve your mood and sharpen your mind, However it could even increase your lifespan. Long term consumption could reduce your risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s - even cancer.
If you decide to quit caffeine altogether, try slowing down first as cutting it out entirely is hard on your body.
However, don't feel like you have to throw all of your coffee out the window. Take the month of March to read more about the positive and negative effects of caffeine and moderate intake to determine which side you’re on.