Most of us probably have the regular cup or two of coffee or tea in the morning to wake up and get raring to go for the day. I know each morning I look forward to my cup of hot green tea and sometimes even have a cup in the afternoon as a pick-me-up. On the weekends, I get a nonfat soy latte as a treat.
There’s a lot of research out there on caffeine- some of it good and some of it not so good. For example, caffeine has been shown to have a positive effect on sports performance. Caffeine increases the power output of muscles by releasing calcium, which basically helps you go longer and faster. Caffeine also helps you feel less tired, so, in a race, you just keep going and going. That cup of joe has also been shown to improve mental alertness and may help ward off a number of diseases including Alzheimer’s, cirrhosis and colon cancer.
There is also a lot of negative findings on caffeine. For example, caffeine can cause you to overeat and slow your metabolism, by making your body increase its production of cortisol. Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone, and when elevated, it can increase your hunger, break your muscles down and relocate fat stores to your body’s center. In fact, regular caffeine users usually have cortisol levels that are chronically elevated and are therefore more prone to physical and psychological stress.
So just how much caffeine is too much? The answer is always moderation (a cup or two of coffee or tea per day). For you caffeine-aholics out there, you can have too much. Caffeine intoxication, which usually occurs after ingesting more than 800 milligrams of caffeine (one cup has, on average, about 100 milligrams), can cause restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, frequent urination, stomach troubles, muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, and even hallucinations. As you may have experienced, even lower levels of caffeine can have some of these effects like being all jittery.
Do you drink caffeine in the form of coffee, tea or energy drinks? Why not try this natural Energy Smoothie instead?
October 25th, 2010