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.
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.
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.
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.
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.