Caffeine Awareness Month – The Pros and Cons
With it being March, National Caffeine Awareness month has arrived. The majority of us are regular caffeine consumers, usually in the form of tea or coffee, but there is a minority who regularly slurp energy drinks.
There are many statements that hit the headlines with varying results and findings as to whether caffeine may benefit or hinder your health. The general consensus is that 400mg of caffeine each day will do little harm to your health and wellbeing, this equates to approximately 3-4 cups of coffee each day, depending on the strength. For pregnant women this recommendation is decreased to no more than 200mg per day.
Signs that you are addicted to caffeine:
- Becoming irritable, depressed or disorientated after drinking caffeine
- Going without caffeine causes you to experience a headache and drowsiness
Caffeine Awareness month presents a perfect opportunity to reevaluate your caffeine intake. For many of us, cups of tea and coffee are simply another daily habit that we have come accustomed to doing.
There are many ongoing studies that are looking into the effects of caffeine, but the following are a range of consistently found pros and cons to your daily liquid boost.
- Can improve attention and focussing abilities
- Can mildly improve athletic performance
- Decrease the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
- Help to protect you against Alzheimer’s disease
- Could help to protect you against cardiovascular disease
- Could decrease your risk of developing diabetes
- Help to improve digestion
- May protect you against liver disease
- May protect you against developing gout
- Coffee could lower your risk of death – studies have shown that a regular consumer’s overall risk of premature death is decreased by 25%
- May cause migraine headaches, especially in those who are heavily dependent on their caffeine intake
- Can cauese anxiety and panic attacks
- Has the potential to increase the risk of heart palpitations
- Can disrupt sleep
- Could decrease your ability to absorb calcium, leading to an increased risk of osteoporosis
- Can mildly increase blood pressure
- Potential weight gain if you add milk, sugar or syrups to your drinks to several drinks throughout the day
There are no absolutes or correct answers when it comes to caffeine as studies are ongoing and show few definitive answers. To maintain a good level of health and wellbeing, we recommend that you do not exceed the recommended limit (400mg), and instead of reaching for the coffee granules, perhaps try something different such as fruit infused water or caffeine free fruit teas. We have a range of drinks to tempt you into making this transition – simply click here.