Caffeine is better described as a drug consumed in the form of coffee, tea, cola drinks and also in chocolates (but in very small dose). Some studies have determined that caffeine is good for our body but on the other hand some studies have enlightened us with the ill effects of caffeine. So is it good or bad? Read on to find out:

The effects of caffeine on the body:

1. Hormones: The caffeine starts affecting our system within few minutes of consumption. Caffeine has a half life of about six hours in the human body. The following hormones are affected by caffeine:

a) Adenosine: This hormone has a calming effect on the body. Caffeine limits the absorption of this hormone and makes your mind alert. May cause sleep issues.
b) Adrenaline: Caffeine gives a temporary boost; however, you may feel depressed later. Excess of caffeine may make you jumpy at night.
c) Cortisol: Caffeine may increase cortisol levels which may lead to stress. Stress causes health problems such as weight gain, heart ailments etc.
d) Dopamine: Caffeine causes a rise in dopamine level. You may feel elated after taking it but may feel low as the effect wears off.

2. Sleep: Caffeine keeps your mind alert and helps you stay awake. Caffeine reduces your sleeping hours which mean that the restorative stages of sleep are shortened. However, unlike other stimulants caffeine does not interfere with the stages of sleep so it is a better choice.

3. Weight: Experts say that caffeine causes hike in cortisol levels which leads to fat as well as carbohydrates cravings. It also increases fat storage in the stomach. The fat in the stomach is causes most health risks. On the other side of the coin, caffeine speeds up the metabolism. Caffeine aids in breaking down of fat upto thirty five perfect more effectively if you have it before exercising. Caffeine also keeps the levels of blood sugar raised making you feel less hungry.

4. Exercise: After the effects of caffeine and all those changes in hormones have subsided the body feels tired and your mind depressed. This causes trouble in physical workout. Oh the other hand, it has been found that caffeine improves physical performance as well as endurance power if used in limited quantities. This property when mixed with caffeine’s ability of burning fat while exercising may enhance physical workouts and help you achieve better shape if taken at the right hour.

5. Stress: Large intake of caffeine causes stress and depression especially when it wears off. However, when taken in small quantities it can elevate the mood and may you feel elated.

The final say:
When takes in small doses caffeine can be your friend. Just keep the following points about caffeine intake in mind and reap the benefits:

1. Do not take too much it may lead to severe health consequences. Four cups or more causes dependence and you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, headache, muscle pain as well as cravings.
2. Avoid caffeine after 3pm. The effects of caffeine are prominent till four hours. Hence you must avoid taking caffeine six to eight hours before your normal sleeping hour.
3. Have little caffeine before exercising to boost your performance and lower the levels of stress.

Additional Reading:

Is Coffee A Safe Drink for You? Discover Its Side Effects

Coffee and Its Consumption: Risks and Benefits

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