Caffeine: Everyday Necessity or Occasional Treat

mountain-strong-denver-caffeine-per-cupCaffeine does have its health benefits and hindrances.  The best alternatives to caffeine would be herbal teas, decaf coffee and green juices. Here is a list of health benefits and health hindrances to consider:

Health Hindrances Health Benefits
1. Cardiovascular Problems- approximately 4 cups of coffee or a beverage with equivalent amounts of caffeine can raise blood pressure for many hours. 1.Alertness, mood and concentration- 250 mg. of caffeine have been shown to stimulate alertness, happiness, energy, sociability and improved sense of well being and mental performance.
2. Stress- caffeine increases stress hormones and elevates one’s perception of stress. 2. Performance- caffeine allows athletes to exercise for longer duration without hitting exhaustion. Caffeine decreases the use of glycogen stores during workouts by up to 50% allowing for longer workouts.
3. Emotional Disturbances- when more than 2 grams of caffeine enter the body, physiological reactions start to occur causing irritability, restlessness, insomnia, and agitation. 3. Asthma Relief- drinking a moderate amount of caffeine can be therapeutic for people with asthma.  
4. Gastrointestinal Problems-  caffeine is a stimulant that can cause increased contractions of stomach muscles- possibly causing abdominal pain and increase bowel movements. 4. Faster Effects of Medication and reduced muscle pain- caffeine constricts blood vessels and helps the body absorb medications more quickly, which is why it is added to some pain medications. Also, it may potentially stimulate the release of B-endorphin’s and hormones that de-press the sensation of pain or discomfort.

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