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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.

Salt – Is it time you cut back?

Salt can be quite an addictive condiment for some us, especially if you don’t know when to stop or how much we actually need each day. The lip smacking savoury goodness that we get from salt enriched foods satisfies our pallette like no other, but it’s important to note that excessive can be extremely dangerous.

Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top ways to help you cut back on salt intake:

1. Complimentary snacks – When out with friends or perhaps settling down to a relaxing with a drink or two after a long day at the office, you may find that the bar or pub you are in offers complimentary snacks. Be wary that nibbles such as crackers, potato chipsand even olives are jam packed with salt content. It may be sensible to drink more if you do decide to eat them, but perhaps drink water rather than alcohol.

2.  Sport hydration drinks – Drinks like these are designed for athletes who are training or exercising vigourously. The water and salt lost during sweating needs to be replaced quickly, making sports drinks like these vital to good health. However, for those of us not exercising a sports drink could do you more harm than good. Instead, why not opt for good old fashioned water as your thirst quencher.

3. Be wary of medication – If you suffer from regular headaches, muscle pains or even take regular medication, it may be worth checking the salt content. It may seem odd at first, but some painkillers and other common medication can contain a surprising amount of salt.

4. Soda or Sparkling? – You may be surprised to know that sparkling water and soda water are literally at the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the amount of salt they contain. Soda water is carbonated with sodium bicarbonate which contains an average of 75mg of sodium. Sparking water on the other hand contains just 3mg of sodium.

5. Calculation is key – It’s important to remember that salt is made from a combination of sodium and chloride, with sodium being the real cause of most health problems. When grocery shopping, you may have noticed that some food labels show salt content whilst others show sodium content. If you want to know the salt content rather than the sodium, simply multiply the sodium figure by 2.5.

Remember, taking all the above into account, that the average adult should not exceed an average salt intake of 6g per day. Anything over this has been statistically proven to cause long term health problems.

 

 

How much water should I drink a day?

A questions that is sent to the Healthy Hideout more often than most is “How much water should I drink a day?”

Past studies have shown that we simply don’t drink enough water in order to maintain good health. Although we take in a lot more water than we think from the food we eat, and includes that early morning cup of tea, it’s still important to drink water throughout the day.

Balance is key

It’s important to not drink too much water as this can be dangerous. Drinking excessive amounts of water can lead to water intoxication, in which the water content of the blood is increased causing salt content to become diluted. Consequently this lack of salt can lead to severe problems with the brain, heart and muscle operation.

So do you think your drinking too much?

Initial signs of over drinking include headaches and confusion, but these symptoms are very similar to those caused by dehydration. The only true way to understand your hydration levels is to keep track of your water intake – You could be drinking too little or you’re drinking far too much.

How much should you be drinking?

The British Dietetic Associations states that the average adult should look to consume around 2.5 litres per day – just under 4 pints. Furthermore, this amount will change depending on climate and physical activity. If you’re planning to jog around the block on a hot summers day, then take more water into account.

So how much water do you drink each day? Are you giving your body what it needs?