This question has a very complex answer. Caffeine is most commonly associated with coffee, tea and soda, but did you know it’s also a common ingredient in chocolate products? Caffeine is so popular that sometimes people tend to normalize it, but is it actually good for your health or bad for your health? Continue reading to learn more about what caffeine is and what it does to our bodies and together we’ll determine if caffeine is good or bad.
What is Caffeine?
In actuality, caffeine is a psychoactive drug. It is classified as such because it directly affects the functionality of the brain. When you consume caffeine, it is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream and typically you would experience its full effects in about an hour. Since caffeine is a stimulant, it is most commonly consumed to fight tiredness. Caffeine blocks certain neurotransmitters from your brain to the rest of your body, including the ones that make you feel relaxed and tired. While this may be good for some as a temporary fix for being sleepy, for others, this could make them feel worse.
Caffeine’s Effects on our Bodies
As mentioned in the previous section of this article, sometimes caffeine can have a negative affect on people. Some of these effects include anxiety, insomnia and headaches. It’s generally when too much caffeine is consumed that these effects are present. It is best to not consume more than 400mg of caffeine per day.
Positive Effects of Caffeine
While we’ve talked through a lot of the possible side effects of caffeine, there are some positive effects when consumed in moderation. Some of these effects may include increased metabolism and fat burning as well as improved exercise performance. It’s important to note that caffeine affects each individual differently.
Is Caffeine Good or Bad?
So now that we’ve explored what caffeine is and how it affects the body and mind both negatively and positively, the question remains, is caffeine good for your health or bad for your health? The answer is both. Caffeine affects everyone differently so it’s important for you to consider your unique situation and always consult with your doctor about your caffeine habits.
Caffeine, when combined with certain medications, can be unsafe. Be sure to discuss your current medications with your doctor to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk. Caffeine exemplifies some addictive properties and you could experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop consuming it. A lot of times people will choose drinks that are decaf (decaffeinated), however, don’t be fooled by the name. While most believe that it contains no caffeine, that is simply not the case. Decaf drinks do have caffeine, it’s just at a much lower dosage since the caffeine is watered down.
The key is moderation. Consume caffeine in moderation and under the guidelines set by your primary care physician in order to best experience the positive side effects of caffeine and carefully avoid experiencing the negative side effects.
If you are ever unsure about your caffeine intake, let the healthcare professionals at Wendover Primary Care help you. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our highly trained primary care physicians.