Caffeine is a plant product most commonly found in coffee beans, tea, soft drinks, cocoa and chocolate. It is a central nervous system stimulant and a diuretic. According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 90 percent of the world’s population consume some form of caffeine.
It is safe for most healthy adults to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. It is believed that 3 out of 4 regular caffeine consumers are addicted to caffeine.
Caffeine can also be man made, which is added to some medicines, foods, and drinks. For instance, some painkillers, cold medications, and over the counter drugs. Some energy drinks and energy boosting gums and snacks also contain caffeine.
Caffeine can act on the brain and nervous system as a stimulant. It is possible to develop a tolerance to caffeine, which means greater doses are needed to achieve the same effect.
Caffeine is not stored in the body. It is excreted from the body through urine after several hours of its consumption. It is absorbed and passes rapidly into the brain.
Since, our body do not require caffeine, it can be avoided in the diet. It stimulates the brain and nervous system. Although, caffeine is believed to help a person sober-up, it will not minimize the effects of alcohol.
Caffeine may be used for short term relief of fatigue and drowsiness.
Effects of caffeine on the body
Caffeine has many effects on the body’s metabolism. It
Stimulate nervous system, which can make you feel more awake and provide you boost of energy.
Acts as a diuretic which means it helps body to excrete extra salt and water through urine.
Increase the release of acid in stomach, sometimes leading to an upset stomach or heartburn
Caffeine in large amounts may interfere with absorption and metabolism of calcium. This can contribute to bone thinning (osteoporosis).
Increases blood pressure
Caffeine reaches its peak level in blood within one hour of caffeine consumption. The effects of caffeine continue for four to six hours.
Side effects of caffeine on the body
Side effects of caffeine includes:
Urinating more often
Cessation of caffeine suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms. They include:
Nausea and vomiting
According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 600 milligrams a day is generally considered too much which is equivalent of four to seven cups of coffee. A standard size cup of coffee is eight ounces.
Researches show that large amount of caffeine may stop calcium absorption and may lead to osteoporosis. In addition, it may also lead to painful, lumpy breast ( fibrocystic disease)
The dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers to consult their healthcare provider concerning caffeine.
The American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs states that moderate tea or coffee drinking is not likely to be harmful to your health as long as you have other good health habits.