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Settling it Once and For All: Is Caffeine Bad For You?

Whether it’s that morning mug of coffee that helps you to kick-start your morning, or that pot of tea that calls out to you at the end of a long, hard day, sometimes, you just need a bit of caffeine. With that wellbeing-boosting feeling, it’s hard to think that caffeine is anything but good for you, but with numerous studies citing the dangers of caffeine you have to ask; is it safe?

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that disrupts homeostasis within your body. It will increase your heart rate and blood flow while raising your body temperature, but most wellness experts agree that a daily cup or two of coffee or tea is considered safe. However, if you’re susceptible to certain conditions, caffeine may not be the best choice for you. If you have a heart condition, high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes, you are risking added stress on your heart and circulatory system, as well as a possible increase in blood sugar levels, when you drink caffeine.

You should also be wary of drinking caffeine if have trouble sleeping, or if you’re dehydrated, restless, anxious or irritable, as too much caffeine could make these conditions worse in susceptible individuals. However, the positive side of caffeine is that it helps to improve your athletic performance, so you could get more out of your workout if you have a cup of coffee or green tea beforehand. Research shows that assists in your body’s release of calcium, as well as helping you burn fat as a fuel source, which increases your muscular power. Caffeine also makes your brain feel as if you aren’t working as hard as you really are, and this helps you to do more.

The problem with your morning cup of coffee is that many people use it as a replacement for a complete breakfast, which means you have no nutritional sustenance to get you through the day. As long as you have a balance of macronutrients from actual food for breakfast, there’s nothing wrong with having a cup of coffee or brewed tea. If you drink a caffeinated drink, have the same amount of water afterwards to help offset the diuretic effect of the caffeine.

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This entry was posted on June 29, 2013 by and tagged , , .
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