What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural component present in chocolates, coffee, and tea. When reduced to its purest form, it is white in colour and tastes very bitter. Caffeine is a mild central nervous stimulant accompanied with its addictive qualities for people. Scientists even say that it can have an effect on your system which is mildly close to being addicted to cocaine.
It is known to make you feel more alert and boost memory & energy levels as it directly affects the brain functioning. One may derive many benefits from caffeinated products, like weight loss, or sports performance. But is that all there is to it? Well, too much of anything is bad, and caffeine is no exception. Let’s see the other ways your extra cup of coffee can affect you.
You may have heard how the increased alertness will interfere with your sleep schedule. Having more caffeine in a day may keep you up and running even when it is time to sleep. It may even cause you to be irritable, and face some mood swings. Caffeine directly plays with your brain and suppresses adenosine, a neurotransmitter that induces sleep. The effect of caffeine on your body is almost sudden.
Dedicated coffee drinkers start their everyday morning ritual of sitting to work with a cup of tea or coffee and struggle to keep their minds working on some days when it doesn’t reach their system. So are we all addicted to caffeine in some way or the other?
I remember that as a school kid, I fainted once and woke up to my mother feeding me coffee toffee. When I asked her what it was, she said it would make me okay. I didn’t understand how a coffee bar could help my situation, almost like panacea. Coffee or other food items containing caffeine come with the power of directly affecting your heart rate. With the alertness and memory boost, comes high blood pressure and heart rate.
Apart from that, coffee comes with diuretic effects, which leads to an increase in urination. As a result, water soluble vitamins also leave your system. This can be a tough situation to deal with when you are on high amounts of caffeine. B Vitamins and Vitamin C can be depleted due to fluid loss. Moreover, your body may find difficulty absorbing all that Vitamin D. Coffee or tea simply blocks the expression of Vitamin D receptors useful for building bone.
How do you reduce effects of caffeine on yourself?
Water is the most effective way to flush caffeine out of your system. It will take away everything that’s harmful for you. If you keep yourself hydrated after consumption of caffeine, one cup of coffee may require 2 to 3 glasses of water to be neutralised.
Having coffee is directly related to feeling energetic which means you are still in your active phase ready to workout. To push caffeine out of your system, exercising is actually a proven method to neutralise it. Caffeine can shift muscles to burn fat more quickly and gives muscles more time before they wear out. This will give you a longer and less painful workout.
So don’t think it’s something that’s too good or too bad for you. As much as a cup of coffee comes with its cons, pros aren’t far away. Almost 85% of Indians enjoy caffeine everyday, and there is nothing wrong with it unless there is no control to your intake. Because when there’s no control, there’s addiction. Enjoy a cup, or two, or three, or four. And stop there.
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