“Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.”
It’s a sentence that we are more than familiar with, and may even know some people who say it. These people are what we call “caffeine addicts.” Caffeine has many effects on the body; some are great and beneficial, but others are detrimental to your health. Either way, caffeine is quite ubiquitous in our world today and it is something we should know more about.
1.) The Good: Low doses of caffeine show increased alertness and decreased fatigue.
2.) The Bad: Caffeine can increase blood pressure in non-habitual consumers. High blood pressure is associated with an increase in strokes and cerebral vascular disease, which in turn increases the risk of multi-infarct dementia.
3.) The Good: Caffeine is shown to increase the metabolic rate.
4.) The Bad: Caffeine may reduce control of fine motor movements (e.g. producing shaky hands).
5.) The Good: Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, and use of caffeine is studied as a treatment for the Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms.
6.) The Good: Caffeine may be a source of healthful antioxidant activity against free radicals inside the body.
7.) The Bad: Caffeine can increase cortisol secretion, which suppresses the immune system and can lead to cardiovascular diseases.
8.) The Good: Caffeine may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
9.) The Bad: Caffeine can contribute to increased insomnia and sleep latency.
10.) The Good: Caffeine increases levels of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, and glutamate.
11.) The Bad: Caffeine is addictive. Caffeine withdrawal can produce headaches, fatigue, and decreased alertness.
12.) The Good: Caffeine may increase the effectiveness of gastrointestinal uptake of some painkillers, especially in patients on migraine and headache medications.
13.) The Bad: High doses of caffeine (300 mg or higher) can cause anxiety.
I hope we all learned something. Almost everything is okay in moderation, so enjoy your caffeine moderately. You don’t want to be up all night from drinking too much coffee.