Most people associate caffeine with coffee, but this naturally occurring substance is in the seeds, fruits and leaves of more than 60 plants. Tea is another high caffeine product that you’ve probably been drinking for years without associating it with that buzz you get from coffee. In order to replicate that buzz, energy drinks were created that contain high amounts of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and can even cause susceptible people to have insomnia when consumed later at night. It’s a mild diuretic, which means it causes you to increase frequency and volume of urine.
Caffeine can increase the risk of heart disease.
Fact or fiction? If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you might have a slight increase in your blood pressure, but aside from that, it may not be a problem. What is known is that drinking caffeinated drinks in moderation isn’t a problem when it comes to heart disease. Recent studies that follow better protocol, such as identifing other risk factors, actually prove that it doesn’t increase heart disease, and may be beneficial for some situations. Larger studies show there’s no correlation between chronic coffee drinking and high blood pressure, although people who rarely drink coffee may show an increase in their blood pressure. Only those sensitive to coffee show arrhythmia.
Using caffeine before a workout can improve your performance.
Myth? Fact? The answer is both. Caffeine consumed before working out can increase your performance, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some side effects, either. Drinking a cup of coffee while you’re working out or right before might cause a blood clot, which can lead to heart attack, stroke or pulmonary embolism. While the jury is out on exactly why that happens, one thing is certain, caffeine reacts differently in different people. If you drink a cup of coffee before a workout, make sure that it’s at least 30 minutes before you exercise and choose water as your refresher while you’re working out.
Drinking coffee may help you lose weight.
Fact or fiction? Fact! A single cup of coffee can boost your metabolism by 3 to 4%. Researchers are unsure whether it occurs because of the actual effects of coffee or because the caffeine makes you more active so you’ll burn more calories due to that. It definitely gives you more oomph during a workout and can reduce your fatigue so you’ll workout longer.
- There is no evidence that coffee increases the risk of coronary artery disease, but there is some evidence that for women, it might offer some protection from it. There is a genetic mutation that causes some people to metabolize the caffeine slower, for those people, the jury is still out.
- The cafestol in coffee, a fatty substance, can increase the bad cholesterol levels. If you use paper filters, it filters out the substance and has no affect. Unfiltered coffee may increase LDL levels.
- One study showed that drinking between one and four cups of coffee a day actually lowered your risk of heart failure. Those who drank five or more cups didn’t benefit from drinking coffee.
- There are many ways to get your caffeine, coffee, tea, chocolate, nuts and energy drinks. If you want the healthiest, stick with the most natural, which includes everything but energy drinks. Coffee and tea have a high amount of antioxidants and can lower the risk for Parkinson’s disease by as much as 60%.
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