Updated: September 21, 2022
More Than Sugar in the Tank! Health Benefits of Caffeine:
We have all heard that too much coffee is bad for you. While this is definitely true, in moderation, coffee (more specifically caffeine) can actually be beneficial to our health in many ways. Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping you stay alert and prevent the onset of tiredness.
Here are some ways that caffeine (in moderation) can help you to Live Well!
This is perhaps the most well known benefit of caffeine consumption. It keeps you awake! It works by blocking the effects of ‘adenosine’, which is a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain and makes you feel tired. This enhanced alertness can lead to more productivity and a better level of concentration.
Caffeine not only makes you less tired, it can also improve your mood and brain function. A study on caffeine showed that ingesting a cup of coffee can increase your alertness, short-term memory, and reaction time. More caffeine is not always the answer however. Studies show that drinking more than 1 cup in an 8 hour window has no further benefit to mood.
Improved Athletic Performance
When it comes to exercise, caffeine may increase the use of fat as fuel. Caffeine may also improve muscle contractions and increase tolerance to fatigue. This can lead to workouts feeling easier and may give you that extra bit of motivation and energy when you are feeling tired. Caffeine should be consumed around an hour before working out for the best benefits.
Because of its ability to stimulate the central nervous system, caffeine may increase metabolism and fat burning. Consuming 300 mg of caffeine per day (just over one cup of coffee) may allow you to burn an extra 79 calories daily!
A moderate amount of caffeine daily, or even every other day, can be very beneficial to our health. So, if you aren’t already a coffee drinker, maybe consider trying a cup the next time you are feeling tired and need a boost!
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