Just a few years ago, a prominent newspaper published shocking news about a person who was charged for reckless driving under the influence of caffeine.
Wait! Is what we just read really true? Well, as per the current scenario, the world is getting too much caffeine these days. In India, caffeine is consumed on a large scale as a psychoactive stimulant. As per a survey of the Indian Journal of Community Medicine, it is adolescents who are consuming the maximum amount of caffeine. If taken in a moderate amount, caffeine has several benefits but an overdose of it can be deleterious. These days people are so addicted to caffeine that they find it difficult to kick-start their day without a sip of any caffeinated drink. It has more likely become a part of the routine. But, are you aware of the effects of caffeine or what it does to your body?
Caffeine boosts the brain temporarily
As per research, it is found that caffeine contributes to boosting brainpower for a short span of 45 minutes. After consuming any caffeinated drink, the stimulant caffeine gets absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the brain instantly. It blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called Adenosine because of which other neurotransmitters including norepinephrine and dopamine increases which leads to enhanced release of neurons. Because of this reason the brain gets temporarily boosted. The general cognitive functions of the brain get affected due to it.
Caffeine acts as fuel before a workout
Drinking caffeine an hour before the workout session can be extremely beneficial. A person can burn 15 percent more calories after having caffeine within three hours. Two or three cups of caffeinated drinks consumed just an hour before a workout can reduce the perceived pain in the muscles.
It reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease
A person who consumes a sufficient amount of caffeine on a regular basis is less likely to be affected by Parkinson’s Disease, which is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder. There are pieces of evidence that demonstrate that the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease reduces by nearly 60%.
Lowers the risk of mouth and throat cancer
Consuming four cups of caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea every day can lower the risk of developing cancer in the mouth and throat up to 49 %. According to The American Cancer Society, the men and women who consumed four cups of coffee in a day had a lower count of symptoms leading to mouth and throat cancer.
Caffeine for skincare – Caffeine neutralises the free radicals and leads to the improvised texture of the skin. It also protects the skin and prevents it from ageing. It is responsible for extracting extra fluids from the cells and giving the skin a tightening and toning effect.
Caffeine lowers the risk of diabetes – The risk of Type 2 diabetes which is a gigantic problem these days, can be reduced by the consumption of caffeine as it decreases insulin sensitivity. It also impairs glucose tolerance. Studies state that those who consume caffeine have a 25-50% less risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Helps in improving physical performance – Caffeine increases the epinephrine levels in the blood, which is the “fight and flight” hormone. It prepares our body for physical exertion. Caffeine also breaks down the fat cells which are used as fuel while training because of which performance of an individual usually improves.
Protects the liver
Caffeine prevents the liver from being vulnerable to a condition called cirrhosis in which liver cells get largely replaced by scar tissue. People who drink three or four cups of coffee have around 80% lower risk than those who do not.
The biggest source of antioxidant in the diet
Caffeine has massive antioxidant properties. It prevents cell damage which is caused by free radicals generally known as oxidative stress. One can receive more antioxidants from caffeine than from combined fruits and vegetables.
Besides all the positive effects it has negative effects too. They are
Can cause anxiety – Extremely high consumption of caffeine (around 1000mg) per day induces anxiety disorder in one’s body. Caffeine causes jitter which makes it difficult to focus on anything. Modest doses lead to rapid breathing and also shoots up the stress levels. Frequently consuming an overdose of caffeine can double the level of stress and make you extremely anxious.
Insomnia – Higher intake of caffeine can cause interference in your sleep patterns. The more the amount of caffeine, the more time it takes to fall asleep. When you consume caffeine in excess, it takes hours to wear off its effects. One should consume caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime.
High blood pressure – Though caffeine is not responsible for causing heart-related problems, studies have shown it temporarily affects the blood pressure. People experience a mild elevation in blood pressure when the intake of caffeine is higher than the normal. The dosage and timing of caffeine consumption should be checked and overconsumption should be avoided.
Caffeine can become Addiction – Caffeine, if consumed in excess, triggers the brain the same way cocaine and amphetamines do. It leads to psychological dependency on high doses of caffeine. Strong caffeine cravings can be witnessed in various people when one becomes dependent on caffeinated beverages.
Extreme tiredness – Caffeine may keep you energised whole day but it also has rebounding effects. As per the reports of a survey, those who intake higher amount of caffeine have less ability to sleep at the end of the day. They are more fatigued and agitated.
Frequent Urination – High consumption of caffeine can cause stimulating effects on the bladder. Increased urination is the most common side effect of taking large doses of caffeine. Urination becomes more frequent and urgent when caffeine is consumed in enormous amounts.
It will be good if you intake caffeine in moderate amount as it is beneficial to consume it in right amount but deleterious if consumed in excess.