By Jenn Samson Contributing Author, a passionate freelance writer, and editor
The dangers of caffeine have been widely published and warned against. However, more recently, the benefits of adding caffeine to your diet has risen to the forefront, making a solid case for keeping this stimulant around. In the United States, 83 percent of Americans need a cup of coffee as a source of energy for the day. As a result, the inclusion of caffeine is being embraced and the age-old verdict reversed. However, there remains a divide, with some worried about the detrimental effects caffeine can have on their health and lifestyles and pondering the best way to utilize the stimulant in their lives. So, before you make your decision check out these interesting ways in which including caffeine can benefit you, and how you can add it into your lifestyle safely and healthily.
Caffeine Lowers The Risk Of Stroke
In 2009, a study found that older women who drank one or more cups of coffee each day demonstrated a 20-25 percent lower risk of stroke. In 2008, a Swedish study cited similar results in men. The key lies in getting your consumption right. Consumption of 3 cups a day was linked to a 17 percent reduction in risk. However, having too much caffeine can also have drawbacks. Everyone reacts differently and over time a built up tolerance can mean a diminished response to caffeine, including fatigue.
It Can Reduce Dementia & Alzheimer’s
In a CAIDE study, middle-aged participants who drank 3-5 cups of coffee each day were found to show a 65 percent decreased risk of dementia in later life. In addition, researchers in another study from 2012 found those participants with mild memory issues did not develop dementia when they had twice the amount of caffeine in the blood. While it is not definitive, many studies have linked the presence of caffeine with preventative benefits on cognitive conditions in older adults.
Caffeine Can Boost Your Fitness Quest
Most fitness and fat loss supplements on the shelves today are found to contain caffeine and with good reason. The stimulant effect of caffeine can energize you and get you feeling active, which is important when exercising. In fact, the inclusion of caffeine has been shown to improve exercise performance by almost 12 percent. In addition, it can boost your mood, increase your metabolic rate and improve results. However, there is one drawback; you build up a tolerance over time. The effects seemed to wear as participants got older.
Incorporating Healthy Levels Of Caffeine
Having too much caffeine in your diet can have adverse effects on you, so it is important to strike a balance when including it in your lifestyle. Be aware that it can become addictive, so practice moderation and be mindful of your consumption throughout the day. The recommended amount of caffeine is 400 milligrams each which is equivalent to 4 cups of coffee. If you are new to caffeine, begin gradually and avoid drinking it later in the day since it can interfere with your sleep patterns and cause insomnia.
There are a host of other foods and drinks rich in caffeine. Cocoa beans are great sources and a bar of dark chocolate (1.55 oz) contains roughly 18 grams of caffeine. If you are looking to replace your cup of coffee, then green tea is an option. One cup can contain between 24-40 mg of caffeine. Other options include matcha green tea or black teas. Guarana supplements are also gaining recognition for their benefits and are now widely included in supplements. If you follow moderate approaches to including caffeine into your lifestyle, you can be enjoying the benefits without the drawbacks.
Jenn Samson is a freelance writer and editor. She used to work in PR but has been embracing the freelance life for many years now. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, hiking and traveling to Europe as much as possible.