Tag Archives: alcohol

Weighing the Conflicting Reports on Coffees Health Benefits or Negatives

We live in a society where people are driven to succeed and to do so they must constantly be moving and working hard. Rushing around all day takes a great deal of energy and depending on your diet and how healthy it is, you may not have a whole lot of that energy to go around. Unfortunately the fact that we have a hard time finding time to stop and take care of ourselves means we are not getting the natural energy we would from a balanced diet. We eat a great deal of fast food as a nation and foods that work for us because of convenience and not because they do our bodies any good. Because of this fact, we as a society look for supplemental energy and get our fuel through highly caffeinated beverages.

Coffee - Is it really that bad for you?

Coffee - Is it really that bad for you?

Now, there are some that actually drink coffee for the taste, and not because they are dependent upon it, but for the most part, people drink coffee to get through their days and most are addicted to it. Caffeine is considered a psychoactive drug because of the changes it makes to the brain of the user and the effects it has on their behavior. When you consider the fact that it alters your state, granted, in different ways than alcohol or other drugs, you must also consider the adverse effects it has on other aspects of your health as well. Once you have all the facts, you can make the educated decision as to whether or not it is worth it to you to continue to include it in your daily regime.

The decision of whether or not to continue with your daily brew will not be an easy one, because at the same time that researchers are discovering adverse effects, they are discovering health benefits to its use as well. Weight the risks with the benefits and make the decision you are comfortable with for you after you have gathered all the information.

Adverse Effects

Insomnia and disruptions to your natural sleep patterns are a nasty side effect of ingesting too much caffeine because they can leave the user feeling like they need another dose to get a quick pick-me-up. This is a nasty and unhealthy cycle that can cause many other health problems as lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain among other health problems.

There also have been significant studies that attribute elevated fatty acid, cholesterol and blood pressure levels to drinking too much caffeine. All of these heightened levels put the user at a higher risk for having a heart attack or stroke.

Consumption of caffeine has also contributed to irregular heartbeats and palpitations in its users as well as feelings off jitteriness and shakiness, and overall feelings of unease. There is a direct connection to hyperactive behavior in people and the caffeine that they consume directly beforehand.

Those who consume caffeine regularly have a greater risk for anemia because the caffeine reduces the body’s ability to absorb the iron in their food.

Drinking coffee has also been attributed negative effects on the performance of the user’s short term memory.

One thing to consider greatly is the effect that consuming caffeine has on children, being consumed either in coffee or soda. One can of soda multiplies the effects greatly in someone the size of a child and has results equaling that of four cups of coffee for an adult. Needless to say, that if it is risky for a grown-up it is extremely unhealthy for a child.

Benefits

In research, caffeine has been seen to increase immediate focus on tasks requiring higher levels of concentration. That explains the bright eyed clear headed feeling you get from drinking a cup, and is the reason that most people drink it. Beware, this clear focus is often followed by a feeling of depression, or a come down of sorts.

Drinking caffeine has been attributed to, in some studies, to preventing the on-set of type 2 diabetes. This particular benefit may be worth the side effects, when considering overall health risks and whether or not it is worth it to have your cup of Joe a day.

Drinking coffee has been linked to the prevention of gall bladder disease in men and women; and studies have shown that coffee has some anti-cancer or cancer reducing qualities. The antioxidants in coffee prove to be great cancer fighting agents.

Those who drink two cups of coffee a day are at a lesser risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, or Parkinson’s. The more you drink, the less your chances are of developing these.

Coffee is a great diuretic, helping to push toxins and waste right on through your digestive system. Drinking a cup or two a day will help you to stay “regular.”

When considering the positives and negatives to drinking your few cups of coffee a day, I suppose it could be a difficult decision to make based on health alone, as there are arguments to sway you either way. I suppose the best advice that I can give, and one that applies to most things, is EVERYTHING in moderation.

 

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This guest post has been provided by Janet Lynch – a health and fitness expert. She works with ChefsDiet, a leading health food company that is innovating the possibilities for busy people to stay healthy on the run.

Tips for kicking unhealthy habits!

With a wealth of bad habits surrounding us each and every day, many of us are guilty of even the mildest bad addiction. One in five of us smoke, 33,000 of us die from alcohol related death and two out of five of us are overweight. Some statistics even show that we watch more than 3 hours of TV per day!

Eye opening statistics – It’s worth stepping back to try and change your ways. The long term health benefits speak for themselves, so why not try kicking those habits by using some of the Healthy Hideout’s top tips:

Over-eating

  • Don’t be tempted by cleaning up all the left-overs. Store food that will keep in tupperware and throw the rest away.
  • Don’t reach for the biscuit tin as a quick fix – Instead, grab yourself a glass of water and do something else for 20 minutes.
  • Buy shelled nuts instead of pre-shelled salted alternatives. Cracking the nut requires more effort, causing you to eat less.
  • For the extreme over-eating, store food in single portion containers. It’ll stop you eating for two when you really don’t need too!

Television & Video Games

  • It may seem odd, but try changing your lounging chairs to upright alternatives. You won’t be tempted to sit there for hours on end if the chair isn’t overly comfortable.
  • Turn the TV on for a particular programme or 30 minute gaming session, making sure to turn it off when you’re finished. It’ll stop you channel hoping.
  • Hide the TV away from eyes either behind a cover or TV cupboard. It’ll prevent the TV becoming a focal point that you find yourself “buzzing” around.

Drinking

  • Remove drinking as a habit or ritual that you carry out every week, such as drinking after the working week’s over on Friday afternoon. Do something else with your work colleagues, such as exercise or going to the cinema.
  • Calculate how much you spend on alcohol a week – Half that amount and save it in a jar as a visual reminder of how much you save by not binging.
  • Create your own set of rules and try and stick to them. Drink only one drink when you’re out, or only drink when you’re dressed smartly. Something to give you a mental reminder that you’re trying to cut down.

Smoking

  • The facts speak for themselves: After 24 hours the carbon monoxide leaves your lungs, whilst after 48 hours you’ll find your sense of smell and taste improving. After 72 hours you’ll find breathing becomes easy.
  • Switch to decaf during your quitting process – The caffeine could cause the cravings to become stronger.

Being healthy can add 14 years!

New research carried out by Cambridge University has shown how leading a healthy lifestyle can increase a persons lifespan by up to 14 years, simply by not smoking, drinking occasionally, eating well and keeping physically active. Many research studies already show the dangers of smoking, excessive drinking, not eating properly or a lack of exercise but few have shown the danger of the combined impact of all four on the longevity of our lives.

“The results strongly suggest that these four achievable lifestyle changes could have a marked improvement on the health of middle-aged and older people, which is particularly important given the ageing population in the UK and other European countries.” stated Professor Kay-Tee Khaw, Cambridge University.

healthy eating is the key to a healthy lifestyle!

healthy eating is the key to a healthy lifestyle!

The survey took place with over 20,000 men and women living in the Norfolk area of the UK. The participants were aged between 49 – 79 and were not shown to have any heart or cancer related problems. In 2006, the researchers contacted the participants and found that nearly 2000 had died since the start of the project.

On average, it was shown that the healthiest group of the participants had an extended lifespan of approximately 14 years. Those who smoked were shown to be almost 77% more likely to have died during the study, whereas a low intake of alcohol increased a chance of survival by almost 25%.

This research to not to be taken lightly. Although other factors do come into account such as genetics and environment, the importance of leading a balanced lifestyle are once more reinforced by research such as this. With the start of the new year in full swing, what better time to make the effort to get healthy!

Hangovers this Christmas!

It is that festive time of year when alcohol seems to be flowing all the more abundantly! However, this often leads to more hangovers. A hangover often gives your head a spinning feeling, thumping headache and accompanied with the feeling of being sick.

Why does alcohol cause a hangover?

The worst effects of a hangover are often due to dehydration. Alcohol is actually a diuretic, which means that water is lost from the body faster. The feeling of sickness and vomiting are due to alcohol irritating the lining of the stomach. Therefore, a combination of an energetic night out, lack of sleep and the extra stress on your organs due to the alcohol will lead to a less than welcomed hangover.

Alcohol Beverages

Alcohol - But how do I deal with a hangover this Christmas?

Tips for avoiding a Hangover this Christmas

The best prevention is to drink in moderation and not to excess. This is not only better for your body in the long term but is also a guaranteed way to limit the chances of a hangover. However, if you do plan to drink a little more then the Healthy Hideout’s following tips will help to minimise the risk of a hangover.

  • Before drinking: Have a drink of milk and eat a good sized, fatty meal.
  • While drinking: Alternate your drinks between alcoholic beverages and water or another non-fizzy drink. Drink more slowly and limit the amount of glasses you have – know your limits. Alternating your drinks is a great way to drink considerably less in the course of the evening.
  • Before you go to bed: Eat some carbohydrates (toast is a great option); drink at least a pint of water or a sports drink designed to rehydrate the body.  You can also take some vitamin C and go out into the fresh air to clear your head a little.

Enjoy this Christmas but take a few moments to think about the effects on your body. Too much alcohol can irritate the stomach lining and put undue pressure on your liver and kidneys. Eating fatty food and drinking milk can help to protect your stomach lining while slowing the absorption of alcohol. Always make sure you eat plenty before going out and drinking.

What if I get  a hangover?

Be prepared: Make sure you have some antacid tablets on hand – these will help settle your stomach. A ginger tea has also been found to help some people. You may also want to take Ibuprofen or paracetamol to help relieve your headache.

Eating a full English breakfast can also pay dividends. The eggs help reduce the negative effects of the alcohol while toast and vitamin C also help to fight the effects of a hangover. If all else fails then time is sure to heal your woes. The effects are likely to ware off within 24 hours.

Tell us about how you deal with a hangover?

Alcohol “worse than drugs”

A new study released yesterday has claimed that alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs, kicking heroin off the top spot into second place, with crack cocaine following closely. British experts took alcohol along with cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and other substances ranking them based on how destructive they were to both the individual and society. The study was paid for by Britain’s Centre for Crime and Justice studies, entering the medical journal on November 1st 2010.

Researchers looked at various factors to come to a conclusion including; how addictive the drug is, what it does to the body, the environmental damage the drug causes, and it’s role in breaking up families. Economic damage was also looked at in terms of social services and prison costs should an individual become convicted of crime.

Heroin, crack and methamphetamine (crystal meth) were shown to causes the most damage to the individual. Alcohol however, outranked all other substances when compared to the social after effects caused by the drug, followed closely by heroin and crack. Marijuana, LSD and ecstasy scored lowest.

When drunk in excess, alcohol nearly damages every organ system. Alcohol statistically has a higher death rate, and is involved in a larger percentage of crime when compared to other drugs.  But not everyone agrees that elimination of alcohol all together would solve the issue.

“We cannot return to the days of prohibition,” says Leslie king, advisor to the European Monitoring centre for Drugs. “Alcohol is embedded into culture and society, and simply won’t go away.” King went onto say that targeting problem drinkers would be a short term solution, along with raising the price of alcohol so that it wasn’t so widely available.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “In England, most people drink once a week or less. If you’re a women and stick to two to three units a day or a man and drink up to three or four units, you are unlikely to damage your health. The government is determined to prevent alcohol abuse without disadvantaging those who drink sensibly.”

For more information on the study, please visit the following site.