Caffeine: Benefits Vs Side Effects And How Much Caffeine Is Healthy To Consume?

 Caffeine rich beverages like tea, coffee and cold drinks are consumed by many people. Check out its benefits and side effects. Read on.

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaUpdated at: Dec 17, 2020 16:58 IST
Caffeine: Benefits Vs Side Effects And How Much Caffeine Is Healthy To Consume?

Caffeine is the consumed by more than half of the population of the world. It is an addiction for a lot of millennials. A cup of tea/coffee has become a crucial part of the day for thousands of people. Moreover,  caffeine is present in many beverages such as tea, coffee, cold drinks, etc. Have you ever thought, 'What is Caffeine?' It is basically a stimulant of the central nervous system, that is present in many beverages. Caffeine is beneficial for human body but overconsumption can have side effects too. You can take a dietician's suggestion about your per day caffeine intake on an average. More than a particular amount is considered to be unsafe for the human body and can have adverse negative health effects. To dig more into it, Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Namita Nadar, Head Nutritionist, Fortis Hospital, Noida, about the advantages and disadvantages of having caffeine.

Caffeine benefits

Caffeine content is distinct as it depends upon brewing time, serving size, or preparation method. However, if compared, coffee can easily pack twice the caffeine as an equal serving of tea. Although, scientists have researched more on coffee when it comes to caffeine, but both of them contain different amounts of this element. As per Nutritionist Nadar, here are 6 health benefits of caffeine intake:

1. Keeps you alert and active

alert kids

Caffeine intake helps in keeping you alert and active. Students can take it at night so that they feel alert and it can even increase the concentration level. It is good for growing kids if taken in moderation. This benefit is the reason why school children take a cup of coffee to study a night before their exam. Therefore, you can rely on coffee/tea if you feel lazy and sleepy at any point of time.

2. Increases metabolic rate

Another benefit is that if somebody wants to increase their metabolic rate, like people suffering from thyroid have very slow metabolic rate of burning calories. They can include 300 mg of caffeine in their diet or in the form of capsules. Black coffee is advised instead of milk coffee. Around 3-4 cups of this coffee is the maximum limit. Due to an increase in that rate, caffeine becomes an aid for weight reduction.

3. Fast fat burning

Caffeine can even activate the element  TP8 present in mitochondria. It helps in fast fat burning and energy utilisation. Whether you are eating gets utilised quickly, and the fat also burns immediately.

4. Increases low blood pressure

Caffeine is also good for blood pressure. Coffee is adviced to increase boost BP in cases of low blood pressure levels. It can shoot up your blood pressure immediately. Therefore, if someone suffers from low BP suddenly, they are given a shot of black coffee. 

Also read: Is Caffeine Bad For Health? 5 Myths & Facts About Caffeine Busted

5. Good for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's patients

Caffeine is likely to not let the condition of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's patients deteriorate. Therefore, people suffering from this disorder of the central nervous system are adviced to consume caffeine one way or the other.

6. Liver and colon

Caffeine enemas may help prepare the colon for an endoscopy or colonoscopy by supporting the excretion of bile through the colon wall. Caffeine can increase the level of glutathione which is an antioxidant that acts as a detoxifier of the liver. So, along with the brain, caffeine is a beneficial component for many other organs too.

Side effects of caffeine

insomnia

Excess consumption of caffeine is not at all good for your body. It can lead to various health side effects, from bad heart health to sleep deprivation. High doses of caffeine can cause many other dangers for your body. According to Nutritionist Namita, here are 6 main side effects of caffeine:

1. Not for high blood pressure patients

Just like caffeine can be a benefit for low blood pressure patients, it can also become a side effect. Too much caffeine is not adviced for high blood pressure patients. Your blood pressure can get triggered by having coffee especially.

2. Insomnia

Excess caffeine intake can also lead to insomnia in people. For a result like insomnia, it takes a longer period of time as it just not happen in two or three days. Example, if someone is having 7-8 cups of coffee everyday for many years, then it can lead to insomnia or sleep deprivation. 

3. Nausea

There are several acids present in coffee that can have a an impact on your taste for a long time. Too much caffeine can lead to the feeling of nausea, especially when you are empty stomach. Caffeine overdose can even result in vomitting.

Also read: Reasons Why You Need to Curb Your Consumption of Caffeine

4. Nerve disturbances

If somebody is taking more than 3-4 cups  of coffee for many years, then it can have such adverse side effects like disturbance is coordination of brain and nerve. Therefore, nervous system disturbances can be cause by such amounts of caffeine consumption.

5. May result in cardiac problems

heart disease

A person's heart rate might also get affected by the consumption of caffeine. All the patients who are suffering from cardiac issues, not more than two cups is recommended to them. One needs to take less tea or coffee to protect themselves from cardiac problems.

6. Frequent urination

High caffeine intake can also lead to frequent urination in both men and women. It is a very common side effect as the stimulant has a huge effect on your bladder. Drinking too much tea or coffee makes you urinate frequently as it makes your bladder overactive.

Uses of caffeine

The chemical caffeine is used for many purposes. In fact, it is one of the most commonly used stimulants among athletes. Many caffeine concentrated products are available in stores and even online. However, there is a separate limit of caffeine that should be maintained for the above mentioned health concerns. Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system, heart, muscles, and the centers that control blood pressure. Here are the 2 main uses of caffeine:

1. Breathing pauses

A serious drop in heart rate can be handled by the intake of caffeine. Two cups of coffee can result in rapid heart rate, curing the problem of breathing pauses that might occur in some people. However, caffeine does not prevent this condition from developing in premature infants.

2. Headache

Caffeine is also used as a painkiller by many people. Whenever you are going through a headache, it is suggested to have a cup of coffee/tea as they can provide quick relief with tension headache, migraine and even headache that occurs after a surgery.

caffeine products

How much caffeine to consume and ways for intake?

Some people chose to take expresso coffee shots as soon as they wake up. Moreover, many caffeine addicts prefer having atleast one source of this indirect drug everyday. Caffeine is commonly  present in cocoa beans, kola nuts, tea leaves and coffee beans. It is included in most soft drinks, tea, coffee and even some medicines. Nutritionist Namita said, "A normal human body should consume 5-8 grams of caffeine per day. Except the most common tea, soft drinks and coffee, other sources of caffeine are energy drinks, bakery items like cake, that contains cocoa powder."

Also read: Tea Vs Coffee: Which One Is Healthier And Why?

Therefore, having light amount of caffeine through tea and coffee is not harmful, but has impressive benefits instead. However, the suitable intake also depends upon the any preexisting health problem or allergies. These were the main benefits and side effects of consuming caffeine by Nutritionist Namita. A cup of tea/coffee helps us in staying healthy and even maintaining an optimum weight!

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