The Truth About Caffeine!

lose-belly-fat-1-200x300Caffeine is usually associated with negative side effects and long-term health risks, however many are not knowledgeable about the causes of those health risks and preventions. In addition, people are not familiar with the benefits of caffeine and the dosage that is appropriate for the stability of your physical and mental health.

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a substance that is bitter, and is mostly found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, and some nuts and in certain medicines. The reason why many drink coffee to raise their energy levels and make them more alert, is that caffeine affects the body’s metabolism, including the central nervous system.

Although safe, many do not consider the fact that it is a temporary stimulant, meaning that it will reduce drowsiness and restore alertness only for a short period. In North America, 90% of adults consume caffeine daily; and coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks are extremely popular among teenagers and young adults.

The reason for this popularity is that caffeine in the form of coffee and other beverages is absorbed by the stomach and small intestine within 45 minutes of ingestion, which afterwards is distributed throughout all tissues in the body. This high rate of ingestion means that many depend on caffeine simply for the reason that it boosts energy and alertness levels quickly. A mild dose of caffeine usually wears off within 3 to 4 hours.

It is very important to realize that the amount of caffeine consumption varies between individuals depending on their degree of tolerance and body size. Another important fact to keep in mind is that caffeine does not eliminate the need for sleep and rest; it only temporarily reduces the sensation of being tired throughout the day.

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The overuse of caffeine can lead to a condition called caffeinism, which is the combination of physical and mental side effects and caffeine dependency. The appropriate dosage of caffeine is usually two to four cups of coffee a day.

Here is a list of some of the health risks associated with caffeine taken in large amounts over extended periods of time:

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Muscle twitching
  • Anxiety and sleep disorders
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Insomnia

The question of can caffeine help with weight loss is very common among people who are looking for ways to lose weight or maintain their desired weight. When learning about how to lose weight, it is important to become familiar with the appropriate dosage of caffeine, and its risks. Some studies have shown that drinking coffee and tea may help weight loss and even prevent weight gain. However, it is not for certain if larger dosages of caffeine have led to significant weight loss.

Caffeine suppresses appetite for a brief time and since it increases the amount of urine you excrete, the water loss may lead to temporary weight loss. However, the above does not guarantee that caffeine will lead to permanent and successful weight loss, and therefore it should not be used for the sole purpose of losing weight, since it can lead to health problems. If you are looking for a way to lose weight, do it the right way; follow a fat loss diet that involves nutritious and healthy foods, and do not depend on coffee or caffeine for successful weight loss.

Keep in mind that energy drinks, soft drinks, and using cream and sugar in your coffee/tea will actually make you gain weight. On a final note, moderation is key!

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By Hanieh F. Khosroshahi

Nov 30, 2010

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