Nutrition

The Secret About Caffeine

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Things you may wish to know about caffeine

Feeling groggy this morning? It's OK reach for another cup of coffee. Here The Cuban Cardio give you some surprising facts about caffeine.

 Caffeine helps athletic performance

  • Scientific studies on athletes have be ongoing for more than 35 years. Caffeine is documented to boost athletic power and endurance, so you can exercise harder and longer. Caffeine has a direct metabolic effect on muscle, to improve endurance. In biological terms, caffeine helps muscle burn fat as the energy source, instead of glycogen (a carbohydrate). This difference in type of fuel boosts endurance.
  • To get a rough idea of effective dose for your, take your weight in pounds, divide it in half, and multiply by three. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, that would be 100 x 3 = 300 mg. That’s the amount in a large coffee. There are caffeine pills and supplemts, but stick with coffee. Also, too much is bad for performance. Studies also show that excess caffeine intake doesn’t give you a further athletic boost; instead, it decreases your performance.

Caffeine can boost mental focus and alertness

  • Caffeine easily gets into the brain, and affects many kinds of neurons brain cells in a positive way. Studies continue to show that caffeine can increase mental focus and concentration. Caffeine is really nature’s stimulant in caveman times, a quick boost when you had to run away from a predator trying to eat you, or needed extra energy to go forage for food. While moderate caffeine intake can boost your ability to concentrate, and improves mental alertness.

Less caffeine consume, the better it works 

  • While body and brain receptors sites of action respond to caffeine as part of normal biology the more you use, the more your body gets used to this signal, and stops responding the same way. The response is much less. This is call attenuation. Same dose of caffeine, less effect. With this knowledge, the best way to have optimal effect of caffeine is to limit consumption to about 300 mg per day, and consume it ONCE a day at the time you want to be most alert, and want the maximal effect. For many people this is the morning. And, if you limit your total caffeine intake, when you need a quick pick me up at another time of day, you’ll still get it. For example, you have an evening meeting, and have a 10 oz. coffee around 5 pm you’ll get a boost in energy and mental focus, IF you are a low consumer one cup a day in the AM . So, save if for when you need it!!
  • Too much caffeine is a health negative, with symptoms like anxiety, sleep disturbances, digestive problems, muscle twitching, and heart palpitations. Caffeine is natural part of nature, and like all things in nature, a little is a health promoter, a lot is a health negative.

Caffeine is not addictive

There is no physical dependency of caffeine and it doesn’t matter what source of caffeine is consumed coffee, tea, cola. You might feel dependent on a certain food-source of caffeine, but it is not the caffeine alone. There are no negative physical symptoms of withdrawal, except for a temporary headache, which typically lasts for several days. To avoid the caffeine headache, don’t go cold turkey, and cut back gradually. Make your coffee half-decaf, or alternate one regular cup, and one decaf cup. In fact, caffeine is often a treatment recommended for headache sufferers. While the mechanism of why caffeine is related to headaches, one theory is that it is related to caffeine’s effect on blood vessel relaxation opening up a little more in the brain.

Coffee has three times more caffeine per cup than tea or cola

  • We’re in a big gray area here, as amounts in sodas are fairly standard, but a lot of variability occurs in coffee and teas. It depends on the roasting of the beans - the darker the roast, the LOWER the caffeine content, even though it tastes stronger. Different kinds of tea leaves contain differing amounts of caffeine, and brewing time alters the caffeine content. Note chocolate has very little caffeine, compared to other foods sources . Colas are more standardized, although there are some exceptions with soda, like Mountain Dew, with more.
  • That said, as a general rule coffee has about 150 mg in a cup (medium mug) – with the same volume of tea containing around 50 mg, A 12 ounce can of soda is around 50-60 mg. Be aware of servings – as this adds up fast. A general health rule is to limit daily consumption from all sources to about 300 mg per day.
  • Important food sources of caffeine, tea, coffee also have value added health benefits, unrelated to caffeine, occurring from antioxidants in tea leaves and coffee beans. There are also non food sources of caffeine including NoDoz (caffeine pills), some analgesics complex headache over the counter meds, and asthma medicines a related form of caffeine so beware of caffeine intake when taking asthma medicines.

Caffeine sensitivity 

  • Caffeine has to be broken down in the body, and it's activity and actions depend on how long it hangs around, intact, before it is broken down and excreted in the urine. This is a metabolic process, and this can have a genetic predisposition in families. This means that if your parents seem to get strong effects of caffeine on a small amount a half cup, say you are likely to have the same kind of response. Look to your family tree, to get a clue of how much caffeine might work for you in a health promoting way. This does vary.

Excessive caffeine can be dangerous 

  • While this is extremely rare, too much caffeine can have cardiovascular effects that can cause death. Because caffeine impacts the nervous system, heart rate, and blood pressure, if you are susceptible, it can have severe effects. This is more likely with caffeine pills and high caffeine energy drinks.
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Coffee may protect against MS and many other ways it's saving your life


For decades, researchers have studied coffee, trying to find something bad about our favorite morning wake-up beverage. But the tide has turned and now barely a month goes by without a study touting the health benefits of the bean.

Cup of Coffee a medical elixir?

The latest bit of good news: Coffee may be associated with a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis, according to a study presented. To look at the impact of coffee consumption, researchers compared 1,629 Swedish patients with MS to 2,807 healthy controls, as well as 584 California patients to 581 healthy controls. In the Swedish group, consuming at least 6 cups of coffee a day lowered the risk of MS by 33 percent. In the American group, consuming more than 4 cups of coffee a day also lowered the risk by 33 percent.

The researchers suspect that it is caffeine that is protecting brain cells, in part by suppressing inflammation. That’s not the only thing that coffee can do for the brain. It also appears to both help prevent Parkinson’s disease and help quiet the tremors in people who already have it. Coffee also gets thumbs up from the influential advisory panel for the new dietary recommendations, with up to 400 mg of caffeine daily about 3 to 5 cups of coffee considered to be safe for adults.

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Some other amazing health benefits from coffee:

  • It protects the liver from a disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis, as well as possibly counteracting the harmful effects of drinking alcohol, according to a 2014 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

A separate 2014 study from researchers found people who reported drinking three cups of coffee a day were less likely to have abnormal enzymes in the liver, indicating improved liver function. The researchers tracked 27,793 men and women, age 20 or older. That doesn’t mean you should drink a lot of alcohol and then have coffee to protect your liver.

  • It increases the amount of sex hormone binding globulin, which in turn lowers the risk of diabetes. There are scores of studies on coffee and diabetes and the results are consistent: Coffee drinkers have lower diabetes risk. And this isn’t a caffeine effect,” Bonci says. “But rather an effect of the antioxidants and polyphenols, which are plant nutrients, some of which are unique to coffee.
  • Moderate consumption may lower the risk of heart failure, according to a review of five studies. The key is moderate: about two cups a day.
  • It possibly protects against certain kinds of cancer. There have been studies looking at coffee lowering the risk of various cancers,” Bonci says. That’s hard to tease out. But there does seem to be evidence that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of liver and prostate cancer.
  • It helps athletic performance. Caffeine boosts endurance so you can exercise harder and longer, studies show. To get a rough idea of an effective "dose" for you, take your weight in kg, divide it in half and multiply by three(.e If you weigh 60 kg, that would be 30 x 3 = 90 mg, if you are about the amount in a large coffee).

People tend to think that coffee’s effects are related to caffeine. But in many cases, it’s other constituents in the bean that are protective. It’s a plant, a bean, and Like many other plants, it contains nutrients. And you don’t get rid of them when you roast it. However, as remarkable as coffee is, drinking too much during pregnancy may be harmful, so if you're expecting, check with your doctor about how much is OK for you.