The Benefits of Caffeine

Caffeine is perhaps the most maligned and yet the most beloved substance in the world’s most popular drink, coffee. Yes it may have some adverse effects like palpitations for those who have heart conditions, but the benefits of caffeine outweigh its risks. Just recently, a study shows that caffeine can actually reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. More studies indicate that people who drink coffee on a regular basis are less likely to develop Parkinson’s Disease. Other research shows that compared to those who don’t, drinking at least two cups daily can translate to a 25% reduced risk of colon cancer, an 80% drop in liver cirrhosis risk,  and nearly half the risk of gallstones. Coffee even offsets some of the damage caused by other vices, such as smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages. People who smoke and are heavy drinkers have less heart disease and liver damage when they regularly consume large amounts of coffee compared to those who don’t says another.

In general, 25 to 50 milligrams of caffeine is sufficient for a to get perked up and feel a level of alertness enough to meet the days activity. After taking a good brew, coffee drinkers always report, albeit subjectively, lowered perception of fatigue. This effect enables them to engage in an activity for extended periods.

Caffeine also augments the efficacy of some medicines. It makes pain relievers more effective in relieving headaches and helps the body absorb headache medications quickly, bringing faster relief. For this reason, pain relievers include caffeine as one of their main ingredient.

Caffeine is also a good fat burner. Although fat is the most abundant source of energy in the body, it is not its first choice. That’s why we usually store them around the belly and in different areas of the body only to be used when other sources are depleted. But when caffeine enters the blood stream, it forces the working muscles to utilize as much fat as possible, thereby delaying the consumption of glycogen and reducing the stored body fat. So for those who want to shed those extra flab, go and make a good brew.

Research has indicated with positive results that caffeine can increase the endurance of athletes in sports like cycling, running and swimming. It is for these reasons that it is always present in most sport drinks. There has been many discussions about caffeine and sports, but because of its obvious benefits, sports and energy drink manufacturer will not remove it in their formulation.

The benefits of caffeine indeed outweighs its risks. Expert opinions may vary but the volume of research is on the positive side. So for us mere mortals, this is an incentive to enjoy our favorite brew. Lets make more coffee.

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