Caffeine can be beneficial without becoming addictive and by caffeine, we are mostly speaking about coffee, clean sources of caffeine specifically. Thanks to the high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, it also seems to be quite healthy in small amounts. Be sure and choose beans that are fair trade and organic, made with 100% pure ingredients with no additives. First, let's talk about caffeine and then explore the benefits you may experience.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine comes from over 60 different plants, including coffee beans, cocoa beans (used to make chocolate), kola nuts (used to flavor soda), tea leaves, and yerba mate leaves (used to brew the popular South American drink). Caffeine comes from natural and synthetic sources. Yes, caffeine can be made in a lab and this synthetic form of caffeine is found in soda and energy drinks, while chocolate, tea, and coffee are full of natural caffeine.
Coffee likely originated in Ethiopia hundreds of years ago, around the sixth century. Scientists discovered caffeine as a substance separate from coffee back in 1819. It’s been a staple in many diets ever since! Here in America, we love our coffee whereas British folks love their black tea.
Both are made with plant leaves and steaming hot water, but coffee has way more caffeine than black tea. It is thought that coffee will perk the individual up whereas a cup of tea will be more of a relaxing beverage, a great example of how different caffeine content varies depending on what you are consuming. However, both drinks have some health benefits.
Caffeine from coffee, chocolate, and green tea can improve various aspects of brain function — including memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times, and general improved mental function. Coffee is rich in powerful antioxidants, and many people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and veggies combined. Chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa content supplies antioxidants, but choose chocolate without or with very little sugar in it as well as organic which has higher amounts of antioxidants. Coffee still has the highest caffeine content of all three here.
How long does caffeine stay in your system?
It does depend on the person, but generally speaking, caffeine has a half-life of 5 hours and essentially that means that if you drink an 8-ounce standard 95-milligram cup of black coffee, you’ll still have 47.5 milligrams of caffeine in your blood five hours later. After that, your body continues to break down the caffeine, but you’ll still have traces left for hours which explains why many people can not go to sleep at night if they’ve had caffeine in the late afternoon hours.
From boosting exercise performance to the possibility of helping you live longer, let's get into these benefits.
Benefits of Caffeine (in small amounts)
Benefit #1 Increased metabolism. Caffeine can increase metabolism anywhere from 3-11% depending on your present metabolic rate. This is accomplished by both the stimulant effect on the nervous system as well as increasing the conversion of T4 (the primary hormone created by the thyroid) to T3 (the metabolically active version of T4). This is super important when it comes to overall metabolism. If the body is low in T3 everything slows down. When you have enough, your metabolism runs well.
Caffeine also increases exercise performance because it boosts energy and stamina, improving athletic performance while also reducing fatigue during exercise. Caffeine may even make exercise feel less difficult, which can help you enjoy the process more and exercise more frequently.
Benefit #2 Improvement of insulin metabolism.
Caffeine, when consumed with chlorogenic acid as they occur naturally in coffee, improves insulin metabolism, and has been shown that 1 cup of coffee per day can reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 7%.
Heart health- coffee is associated with an increased heart rate, so some people assume caffeine may cause a risk of heart problems. However, in moderate amounts, consuming caffeine may reduce the risk of heart disease. In healthy individuals, one study compared a wide variety of caffeine consumption levels and it was concluded that women who consumed moderate amounts of caffeine had a significantly lower risk of heart disease than women who consumed less.
Benefit #3 Increased metabolic rate because the same stimulant effect that helps you be more alert also gives your metabolism a boost. Having a single cup of coffee has been linked to a 3-4% increase in metabolic rate. This means that consuming caffeine may slightly increase the number of calories you burn in a day. It is possible that caffeine reduces fatigue and encourages more movement or exercise for people. Also, studies have shown that caffeine can increase fat burning however these benefits were shown to decrease in long-term coffee drinkers.
Benefit #4 Coffee has shown great benefits against neurodegenerative diseases such as Dementia, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's. Studies have shown that those who consume coffee daily have around 2/3 fewer chances of developing these conditions. Coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease up to 65%, which is a leading cause of dementia worldwide. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative condition, right behind Alzheimer’s. Studies show that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, with a risk reduction ranging from 32-60%.
Colon cancer may be reduced as well because coffee contains a high concentration of chlorogenic acid, which increases the rate of bowel movements via the production of gastrin and cholecystokinin increasing. Your loosened bowels are getting things moving which lowers the risk of colon cancer. Coffee for Liver health as coffee consumption has been linked to as much as an 80% reduced risk of developing fatty liver, hepatitis, and even cirrhosis. The magic is in the combination of caffeine and chlorogenic acid.
Benefit #5 Coffee drinkers specifically may have less chance of premature death as they also tend to live longer. In two very large studies, drinking coffee was associated with a 20% reduced risk of death in men and a 26% decreased risk of death in women, over 18–24 years.
Although caffeine has some health benefits, you should not have it in large quantities. Caffeine can interact with medications and health conditions causing negative consequences. It is not for everyone. However, if it is safe for you, consuming caffeine in low quantities a couple of days a week or once a day can benefit you over time. Moderation is the key in many aspects of life and is true in caffeine, specifically coffee, consumption too. Coffee is an extremely popular beverage around the world that has some great benefits. Not only can your cup of joe give you the energized ambition you need, but it can also be a benefit to overall health by lowering the risk for several conditions and may even bring longevity.
If you are not a fan of typical caffeine sources you can get Sugar Metabloizer which is our supplement made of chlorogenic acid found in large amounts and most easily and efficiently extracted from green coffee beans. Thus, chlorogenic acid is also known as "green coffee bean extract."
Fun fact: Dr. A.T. Still, the founder of osteopathy, discovered that those that consumed coffee with each meal didn't contract encephalitis in the encephalitis epidemic that swept through Kansas and killed so many in the late 1800s.
Coffee can be an amazing remedy!
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