Updated: Nov 21, 2020
If you are like me, the smell and sip of freshly brewed medium roast coffee kicks start the day by getting rid of morning sluggishness. Coffee by far is the most common source of caffeine followed by tea, caffeinated sodas, energy drinks and other foods.
The Ethiopian legend:
No one exactly knows where coffee was discovered however as per one of the popular legends it was discovered by a goat herder in Ethiopian plateau when he noticed that his goats were more energetic and would not sleep at night after eating certain berries from a plant. Coffee cultivation and use then spread from Arabia to Europe and to rest of the world.
More than two billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day. It is the most common socially accepted psychoactive substance used by people. Hence, lot of research has been done to study how coffee impacts our health.
For majority of the healthy adults without any significant medical issues, consuming less than 400mg of caffeine a day is considered safe.
Benefits of caffeine:
Improves mental alertness
Improves cognitive performance especially focus and reaction time
Helps athletic performance
Reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes type 2, gout and alcoholic cirrhosis
Harmful effects of caffeine (typically if consumed excessively):
Increases the blood pressure
Palpitations due to irregular heart beats
Anxiety especially in those who are already suffering from Anxiety disorder
Headache (which can be caused by caffeine withdrawal as well if you suddenly stop caffeine intake)
You should avoid or limit caffeine if you have following health conditions:
Pregnancy and breast feeding
Migraine and other forms of headaches
Heartburn or stomach ulcers
Heart disease or irregular heartbeats
High blood pressure
Certain medications (make sure to check with your doctor if caffeine intake is safe with your medications)
Now that you know more about health effects of caffeine, enjoy your cup of coffee and remember that moderation is the key!
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