Caffeinated Coffee: Benefits of Caffeine

For those who could not function without several doses of caffeinated coffee a day there is good news. Recent research shows that it can actually be healthy. In fact, many studies on caffeine have been done from various government sources including the National Cancer Institute, the US Food and Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, and the International Food Information Council.

According to their recommendations, it is OK to have a cup of coffee with caffeine. Studies show that moderate intake of caffeine (1-3 cups of coffee a day) does not increase the risk of many diseases that were once attributed to it. It has been shown that increase risk of cancer, cardio-vascular disease, high blood pressure, or osteoporosis will not result from enjoying a daily cup of Joe or two. (A side note: one study showed that, contrary to popular belief, caffeine does not sober up people who have consumed too much alcohol.)

Moderate caffeine from coffee has been shown to enhance endurance and performance in athletic sports. Tests showed that taking caffeine about half an hour before athletic activity resulted in less fatigue, longer endurance and faster times.

Caffeine also helps to speed up metabolism; so it may help in weight loss. This is a reason caffeine is a key ingredient in many diet pills. It also frees up the fatty acids by breaking down fat and helps to convert fat stores to energy with 30% more efficiency when caffeine is consumed before exercise.

When caffeine is ingested, either through coffee or any other caffeinated beverage, it goes to work in the central nervous system, stimulating and an increasing the heart rate. It encourages glucose to be released into the blood and elevates dopamine levels which helps stimulate the "pleasure" region of our brains. This is probably why many people find drinking coffee so pleasurable and even say that coffee is relaxing. This stimulation can also be a negative factor for some people.

Although caffeinated coffee can have short term positive effects, it is best consumed in moderation. One to three cups a day is considered moderate. Even so, caffeine is found in many products such as sodas, chocolate, and tea. Some caution should be exercised to prevent excess caffeine levels which can cause rapid heart rate, trouble sleeping and headaches (especially on withdrawal). It should be noted that caffeine can be addictive.

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