Caffeine: To Drink or Not to Drink!!!
It feels like we are constantly hearing about a new study that either berates caffeine or lauds its benefits. We know that caffeine has negative effects on our body especially if consumed in large quantities like increased acid in the stomach, heartburn and blood pressure. However, caffeine also has some great benefits which include improvements in alertness, reaction speed, concentration and memory. So the question is, do the positives outweigh the negatives? I think the answer to that question falls into two categories. The first: Where is the source of the caffeine? Caffeine in the form of unsweetened coffee or tea is acceptable whereas caffeine in the form of energy drinks, sugary lattes or sodas (diet or regular) is unacceptable. These forms of caffeine contain unpronounceable chemicals and sugar which are undoubtably detrimental to your health. Studies suggest that coffee and tea, however, have numerous benefits. According to an article in Optimum Nutrition coffee and tea consumption has been associated with a reduced risk for Parkinson's Disease, cardiovascular disease, melanoma, and type 2 diabetes. Possible reasons may include the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in the coffee and tea. The second category to explore is how much caffeine should be consumed. As with almost everything in our lives moderation appears to be the best option. Numerous studies suggest that 2-3 cups of coffee or tea daily is appropriate. As you increase consumption, however, the detrimental effects from the caffeine begin to outweigh the benefits. So enjoy your morning cup or two of coffee or tea without guilt!