Posted by Minnie Mahendru on November 16, 2012

Caffeine uplifts the mood

Caffeine stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates an area of gray matter in the brain responsible for alertness and productivity,” states Rania Batayneh, M.P.H., a nutritionist and owner of Essential Nutrition for You.

Dopamine is responsible for pepping up the depressed mood temporarily. The consumption of coffee can help in enduring activities and also helps in an increased speed in work outs say some researchers.

But higher amounts of caffeine are detrimental as it is a drug and adversely effects when it is taken in high quantities. “At doses of more than 500 milligrams, which is about the amount in four cups of coffee, caffeine has been found to cause nervousness, irritability, insomnia, an upset stomach, muscle tremors, and an irregular heartbeat,” warns Rania Batayneh .

Caffeine v/s Calcium

Some researchers have unearthed evidence that caffeine does not permit the bones in the body to absorb calcium. At the same time, the researchers at the Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., carried out an analysis that says bone loss due to caffeine is caused mostly in elderly women .

The researchers have also come out with a solution- Add some milk to the coffee they say.

Another word of caution for the caffeine lovers. Keep you caffeiene intake low if you have high blood pressure.
Pregnant women and blood pressure patients need to be careful on the amount of caffeine they take, else they may end up with irritability and restlessness.

Caffiene v/s Stroke

A study published in CIRCULATION states that out of the 83000 women involved in the study women consuming more coffee showed a fall in the risk of stroke.

Does caffeine help in losing weight

In a limited quantity "Caffeine can speed up metabolism, resulting in a few more calories burned throughout the day,” states Batayneh, but insists on caution "But high intake of caffeine can also lead to the production of cortisol, the 'stress hormone,' which has been linked to weight gain and, of course, stress."

What about Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

Caffeine, when administered in moderate doses, is said to be the answer for curing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. At one time caffeine carried the blame as a causative factor for ADHD. Caffeine prompts the person’s ability to concentrate and focus.

Say no to sugary energy drinks with caffeine

"Energy drinks, energy shots, and sodas are manufactured to provide quick boosts of energy with little nutritional benefit; some energy drinks can contain as much as 70 grams of sugar -- the equivalent of 17.5 teaspoons.” Cautioned Batayneh. The energy drinks have high levels of sugar, caffeine, guarana, taurine and gensing. All these get together and act as a stimulant and raise the energy levels in a person dramatically. High levels of these drinks can cause jitteriness, increased heart beat, and irritability. All these are a sign of caffeine toxicity.

Coffee and tea do win hands down over these energy giving sugary beverages containing caffeine. As Batayneh states “Coffee and tea, in moderate doses, contain many antioxidants and a respectable amount of caffeine, offering both feelings of alertness, increased mood and long-term health benefits.”

The magic answer is moderation. So go ahead and have a cup of coffee or tea. But remember to take them in moderate quantities for maximum health benefits.

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