Caffeine – Foods, benefits, what it is for and how to use it!

Caffeine is the most consumed psychoactive drug in the world. It boosts energy levels, improves digestion and heart function, and may also lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and several types of cancer. However, it also has many side effects that you should be aware of. Read on to learn about caffeine .

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine , also known as 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine , is an alkaloid belonging to the xanthine family. It has stimulating properties on the central nervous system. And it can be obtained from various sources such as coffee beans or tea leaves, or synthetically.

It is considered a psychoactive medication, albeit with mild side effects if consumed properly. But as such, it can become addictive. It does not provide nutritional value and can be used to favor certain areas such as sports and the performance of cognitive tasks.

What is it for:

The main uses of caffeine , whether in the form of supplements or in foods, are to improve sports and cognitive performance, nootropic effects, and stimulant effects. It is a supplement that can be useful for studying, training with weights, training with resistance, losing fat and, finally, for any type of sport.

Health benefits of caffeine:

1. Increases short-term memory:

It affects areas of the brain associated with memory and concentration. While it’s unclear how long this effect lasts, research has shown improved memory for up to 24 hours after drinking caffeine, compared to people who didn’t consume any.

2. Protects against degenerative brain diseases:

Studies have linked caffeine intake to lower rates of Alzheimer’s , with coffee drinkers being up to 65% less likely to develop the disease. It is also linked to decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease , with one showing those who drink four or five cups of coffee a day cut their risk in half.

3. Keep your heart healthy:

In 2014, researchers analyzed 36 studies and found that people who drank three to five cups of coffee a day had the lowest risk of heart disease. The exact mechanism of this protection is unclear, however, most studies used caffeinated coffee. A similar analysis looked at stroke risk and also showed that coffee may provide stroke protection .

4. Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes:

More than two dozen studies have linked caffeine consumption to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes .

5. Fights depression:

Depression affects twice as many women as men and is a chronic problem that can last for years A study published in 2011 found reduced rates of depression among those who drank the most caffeinated coffee.

6. Improved focus and faster reaction time:

It is a natural stimulant that activates our central nervous system. Within 20 minutes of consuming caffeine , you begin to feel more alert with a better ability to concentrate, focus and react quickly.

7. A better workout:

The most widely used stimulant in the world, caffeine has been used as a natural ergogenic aid for years. It can improve stamina, decrease muscle soreness, increase the number of calories burned, and even help you enjoy exercise more.

8. Increases energy:

It has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system, which provides extra energy for sports, work, daily activities, etc. In addition, athletes and people who exercise regularly improve the pace of physical activity.

9. Reduces the risk of heart disease:

Caffeine ‘s antioxidants prevent damage to arterial walls and heart muscle. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent the risk of weakening this muscle.

10. Reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease:

Caffeine inhibits  the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine, decreasing the production of neurotransmitters that damage brain tissues.

Caffeine-rich foods:

As we have seen, caffeine can be obtained both synthetically and through food. Foods with the highest caffeine content are:

  1. Café
  2. Some types of tea, such as green tea .
  3. Cocoa
  4. Guarana
  5. matte grass
  6. Red Bull
  7. cola drink

But which one has more caffeine? It is very difficult to know the exact amount that each food has, because it is very variable. In general, coffee is between 40 and 180 mg per 150 ml (we can think of a cup of coffee as about 100 mg on average) and tea between 25 and 50 mg.

Pure cocoa has about 210 mg per 100 g, although we must bear in mind that the amount of cocoa we consume is generally very low. In the case of processed chocolate, a chocolate milk or coffee, caffeine products vary in amounts from around 17 and 125 mg per 100 g, depending on the purity of the  cocoa , among other things.

What is the recommended intake per day?

It has been said that regular consumption of caffeine causes tolerance. In addition, sensitivity to it depends in part on genetic factors, so the recommended dose must be tailored to each individual person. If you’ve never had caffeine before , you might want to start with relatively low doses, a dose of 100 mg.

Most fat burning studies are done with doses of around 200 mg, while increases in strength occur with larger doses of at least 500 mg. An interesting guideline might be to use 4 to 6 mg per pound of body weight.

Side effects:

Some of the most common side effects are:

  1. restlessness
  2. nervousness
  3. Excitement
  4. Dizziness
  5. blushing face
  6. increased urination
  7. Diarrhea
  8. vomit
  9. Muscle spasms
Useful links: 

However, most caffeine side effects tend to subside with prolonged consumption and tolerance.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *