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Is Caffeine Bad for You?

You may have heard that caffeine is bad for you. Could it actually be good for you? Nutrition Diva explains

By
Monica Reinagel, M.S.,L.D./N,
Episode #033

These withdrawal symptoms are harmless and usually last only a few days. Or, you can make it easier on yourself by tapering your consumption off over the course of a couple of weeks. But hey, if it’s not broken, why fix it?

A Few Reasons to Avoid Caffeine

People who are very sensitive to stimulants are usually better off avoiding caffeine altogether. In addition, caffeine does appear to negatively affect the growth and development of babies in the womb, so it’s also off-limits for pregnant women.

Although caffeine doesn’t cause heart disease, it can temporarily increase your heart rate and your blood pressure. So, people who already have heart problems and who are sensitive to caffeine may want to avoid it. Even if there’s only a small possibility that a jolt of caffeine will trigger an event, many feel it’s just not worth the risk!

For everyone else, moderate consumption of caffeine appears to have a lot of benefits and limited disadvantages. The alert listener will have noted that I have once again invoked the “M” word: Moderation. Here are your parameters for moderate caffeine consumption:

The benefits of caffeine start kicking in when you consume a cup of coffee or a couple of cups of black tea every day. The positive effects really start piling up when you drink three or four cups of coffee a day or the equivalent. People who drink seven or eight cups a day may get even a little more benefit but also have a higher risk of ill effects. And more than that is not advisable.

Check out my Quick Tips on how coffee and tea relate to the body's ability to absorb iron for more. To find out how much caffeine is in different types of tea, coffee, chocolate, and soda, see the show notes below. I’ll also include some links to more information on caffeine and health.

Administrative

This is Monica Reinagel, the Nutrition Diva, reminding you that these tips are provided for your information and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, please work with your health professional to determine what’s right for you. 

Have a great day and eat something good for me!

RESOURCES:

Coffee: The New Health Food? (WebMD)

Could Coffee Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s? (About.com—Alzheimer’s)

Coffee and Cholesterol (MSNBC)

Caffeine and Athletic Performance (Active.com)

Caffeine Containing Products (Mayo Clinic)

 

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About the Author

Monica Reinagel, M.S.,L.D./N
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