Caffeine: The Science Behind It

Caffeine is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It keeps you alert and awake, often tastes totally delicious. It is mainly found in soda, coffee and tea.
Many people enjoy these beverages on the daily (sometimes multiple times per day). What are the benefits? What are the costs?

Let’s find out.


Costs of Caffeine:

  1. Increases blood pressure. — This is pretty obvious. The more you drink, the higher your blood pressure rises. You don’t need a doctor to tell you that isn’t ideal.
  2. On that note, it also increase heart disease. — Along these same lines: the more often your blood pressure is rising, the easier it is to contract a heart disease. No bueno.
  3. Blood glucose levels also rise. — This is the amount of sugar in your blood. It also makes sense that you would want to keep this at a sensible level.
  4. Lower bone density. — Some studies have shown that in women, the more caffeine they consume, the lower their bone density.
  5. Seriously messes up your sleep schedule. — Everyone knows drinking caffeine wakes you up. It’s pretty much WHY you are drinking it in the first place. But if you drink too much, it can cause damage to your body’s natural sleep cycle.

Benefits of Caffeine:

  1. Improves memory. — It has been shown to boost memory, which is probably why coffee consumption is highest in college-aged students!
  2. Decreases fatigue. — In moderation, caffeine is good because it decrease temporary fatigue. That allows you to get more stuff done.
  3. It may prevent Type 2 Diabetes. — Why it isn’t officially proven yet, some studies think that caffeine can actually prevent several diseases including: liver diseases, diabetes and Parkinson’s.
  4. Colon cleanse. — Sometimes after you drink coffee or tea you kind of have to….go.Β That is because it acts as a colon cleanser! Thank your coffee later.
  5. Lowers suicide risk. — This has actually had numerous studies done. Caffeine has been proven to lower the risk of suicide for men and women between the ages of 18-35.

So, what’s the verdict? I think you have to go with your gut on this one. While I personally choose to stay away from caffeine (and most things that aren’t natural), it doesn’t seem like the side effects of it are well proven yet. You can choose the better to be safe than sorry route, or take the risk and enjoy your drink!

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