Introduction To Caffeine

 

Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world. It is everything from tea and coffee to over the counter drugs and chocolate.

It is very safe, in moderation, and gives you that little boost you need to help you get through the day. 

Depending on the source, will determine the amount:

Coffee:

  • brewed, 40 to 180 mg per cup
  • instant, 30 to 120 mg per cup
  • decaffeinated, 3 to 5 mg per cup

Tea:

  • American brew, 20 to 90 mg per cup
  • Imported brew, 25 to 110 mg per cup
  • Instant, 28 mg per cup
  • Canned iced, 22 to 36 mg per 12 ounces

Other:

  • Cola and other soft drinks with caffeine, 36 to 90 mg per 12 ounces
  • Cocoa, 4 mg per cup
  • Chocolate milk, 3 to 6 mg per ounce
  • Chocolate, bittersweet, 25 mg per ounce (1)

Just as with anything life it can be used too much and today we are going to talk about both sides of the coin and how you can know where you sit on this spectrum. 

 

Pros Of Caffeine

  1. Boost of energy 

Wither or not you get your day started with a cup, or maybe 2, or in the middle of the day to help you finish off the day. It is there to boost your mood and energy levels.

Too much of anything is not a good thing, so it's advised to stay under 400 mg for the day. We will dig into this later and we will talk about why I believe you should drinking less. 

2. Increase your metabolic rate

It has been proven to increase your resting metabolic rate, or the rate in which your body burns calories without exercise.

This is why most weight loss supplements have caffeine or some other sort of stimulate in them. 

3. Headaches

Studies have shown that caffeine is effective for relieving migraine headaches, tension headaches, and headaches following surgery.

All of these methods included some sort of pain killer like aspirin or in an IV, when following surgery. (2)

Cons of Caffeine

1. Chronic fatigue

When we were talking about dosage, we talked about keeping the amount under 400 mg /day. According to a survey in the US (3) nearly 30% intake over 500 mg on a daily basis. 

This is equal to around 4-5 cups of coffee. 

Over consumption leads to fatigue for many reasons, one of which is the central nervous system, and it being over stimulated. 

Half life of caffeine, or the amount of time it takes for half of the dosage to leave the body, is 5 hours. 

Lets take a look at the chart below to explain how long it takes for caffeine to leave the body during a given week.

Weekly Chart when consuming 500 mg per day of caffeine:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

As you can tell, that amount of caffeine adds up really quick. Keep in that mind that each day you only took in the same original 500 mg of coffee that you did before. 

By the end of the week, you are up 118 mg. 

Now look image that you stuck to that for a even just month. You would now be taking in, roughly, an additional 450 mg, from all the carry over plus the normal 500 mg that you take everyday. 

In order to beat this fatigue, you have to lower consumption.

2. Weight gain

The more the body the body is stressed, the more it combats that stress with cortisol.

This stress hormone is there to help preserve the body because it believes that there is some sort of fight or flight situation at hand.

More and more stress means more and more weight gain.

Even if you don't gain weight, it can make it impossible to lose unwanted body fat. The high levels of caffeine can easily cause this to happen.

3. High blood pressure /Headaches

Each time you in take caffeine it jumps up the heart rate, narrows the blood vessels, and increases the blood pressure. 

As you continue to drink high levels of it,  your blood pressure will continue to stay elevated.

This back and forth will create headaches because of the blood vessel returning to normal size. This is more frequent in the mornings or when you have gone 8-10 hours without any caffeine. 

 

Conclusion

As you can tell, this is something that affects a big part of life and it can wreck havoc on everything in your life. 

If you are chronically tired, you are more irritable which makes it harder to make the proper choices throughout the day. 

Image what life would be like, if you got the proper amount of sleep everyday. 

How much more productive would you be if naturally had the energy that you used to get from caffeine? Not to mention how much money you would save. 

 

So where are you in this spectrum? 

What symptoms do you have or had?

Let us know in the comment below.

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Cody Rhinehart

Cody Rhinehart

Owner

Cody has been a coach since 2009 and has made it his lifes’ work, to help change peoples lives. He holds several certifications, ranging from Kettlebells and Crossfit, to Precision Nutrition and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach.

His passion for this comes from his own life, after he was able to turn his life around drastically. One that was headed in the bad direction for 10 years.

He now applies the same habits and skills he learned there, into building long lasting health and fitness.