Caffeine and its possible benefits
General Nutrition • • 1 minute to read • By Zainab Cutlerywala, INFS Faculty
Author: Zainab Cutlerywala
A night shift, an afternoon slump, or that difficulty in getting up due to laziness, all of these can be overcome by a natural stimulant “Caffeine”. A large number of people depend on it for getting them through any of those above-mentioned situations and a lot more.
Caffeine is also associated with showing some negative impacts on sleeping and anxiety. However, it does appear to provide a number of health advantages, according to research.
It is a naturally occurring stimulant that is present in tea, coffee, and cocoa plants.
It works by activating the brain and central nervous system, which keeps you awake and prevents fatigue.
History of Caffeine
Historians trace the origins of brewed tea to 2737 B.C. Many years later, an Ethiopian shepherd is said to have found coffee after seeing how much more vitality it provided his goats.
In the late 1800s, cold drinks with caffeine were introduced which were then soon followed by various energy drinks now available in the market.
Caffeinated products are consumed by 80 per cent of the world's population every day, and this ratio rises to 90 per cent for adults in North America.
Mechanism of Caffeine
Caffeine is readily absorbed into circulation after consumption. It then goes to the liver, where it is broken down into chemicals that brings about changes in the functioning of organs in the body.
Caffeine's major effect, however, is on the brain. It works by intruding the effects of the neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine levels normally rise during the day, making you feel fatigued and driving you to want to sleep.
Caffeine keeps you awake by connecting with the adenosine receptors without actually activating it. This reduces sleepiness by blocking the effects of adenosine. It may also raise blood adrenaline levels and boost dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitter activity in the brain.
This combination increases brain stimulation and enhances arousal, alertness, and attention. Caffeine is commonly referred to be a psychoactive substance because of its effects on the brain.
Furthermore, caffeine has a rapid onset of action. For example, the amount in one cup of coffee can enter the bloodstream in as little as 20 minutes, and about an hour to get into full swing.
Functions of Caffeine
Possibility of making your exercise performance better:
Caffeine may boost the usage of fat as a source of energy during exercise. This is advantageous because it extends the life of glucose stored in muscles, potentially delaying the time it takes your muscles to exhaustion.
Caffeine may also help with muscular contractions and fatigue tolerance. When taken 1 hour before exercise, doses of 2.3 mg per pound (5 mg per kg) of body weight increased endurance performance by up to 5%, according to the researchers.
It's possible that doses as low as 1.4 mg per pound (3 mg per kg) of body weight are enough to gain the advantages.
Furthermore, studies show that team sports, high-intensity workouts, and resistance exercises all have similar benefits. Finally, it has been shown to lessen perceived exertion during exercise by up to 5.6 per cent, which can make exercising more enjoyable.
Possibility of helping manage fat loss and metabolism
Caffeine may improve metabolism by up to 11% and fat burning by up to 13% due to its capacity to activate the central nervous system. In practice, ingesting 300 mg of caffeine per day can help you burn an additional 79 calories each day.
This quantity may appear insignificant, yet it is comparable to the calorie surplus that accounts for the average annual weight increase of 2.2 pounds (1 kg) in Americans.
A 12-year study on caffeine and weight gain, on the other hand, found that those who drank the most coffee were just 0.8–1.1 pounds (0.4–0.5 kg) lighter at the end.
Possibility of helping with mood and brain functioning
Caffeine has the ability to block the chemical adenosine, which is involved in brain signalling. As a result of this other signalling molecules like dopamine and norepinephrine are increased.
This shift in brain messaging is thought to improve your mood and cognitive abilities.
A study was conducted in which participants showed better alertness, short-term recollection, and response time after ingesting 37.5–450 mg of caffeine, according to one study.
In addition, a study found that drinking 2–3 cups of caffeinated coffee per day (equivalent to 200–300 mg of caffeine) reduced the risk of suicide by 45 percent.
Another study found that caffeine drinkers have a 13% decreased risk of depression.
Though more caffeine isn't always better when it comes to mood. Research indicated that until the second cup of coffee was drank at least 8 hours following the first cup, there were no further advantages.
Drinking 3–5 cups of coffee or more than 3 cups of tea every day will lower your risk of brain illnesses like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's by 28–60 percent.
It's worth noting that, in addition to caffeine, coffee and tea include additional bioactive substances that may be useful.
Usually, caffeine consumption is deemed safe. Unless and excess intake of it may result in some side effects like aberrant heartbeats, tremors, anxiety, even restlessness and trouble sleeping.
For a few individuals, it may even result in high blood pressure and migraines.
Furthermore, caffeine has the tendency to easily pass through the placenta which may cause miscarriage or low birth weight. Thus it is advisable to limit the intake of caffeine when pregnant.
Caffeine also has the ability to interact with other drugs thus if an individual is taking medications should read the instructions carefully and consume caffeine. Generally, muscle relaxants and antidepressants do interact with caffeine.
Caffeine was once believed to be the devil, but after a varied amount of research, it was found to be the exact opposite of it. In fact, it has some tremendous health benefits to consider, therefore enjoy that daily cup of coffee or tea.
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