Did you know, about 83% of adults drink coffee every day? While most experts agree that drinking some caffeine each day is harmless, intake should be limited to avoid potential health complications. Check out the caffeine fast facts below.
Caffeine is a naturally-derived drug…sometimes
Caffeine is found naturally in more than 60 plants, such as coffee beans, tea leaves, kola nuts, and cacao pods, These ingredients are found in our favorite foods and drinks like coffee, tea, soda, vitamins, and chocolate. Sometimes man-made caffeine is added into foods and medicines to stimulate the central nervous system, which increases alertness. It’s listed as both a food additive and a drug by the Food and Drug Administration, and it can be habit-forming if consumed at high levels. Experts recommend drinking moderate amounts of caffeine—two cups of coffee or four sodas a day translates to roughly 200 mg of caffeine.
Caffeine affects your body in several ways
In addition to increased alertness, caffeine increases the amount of acid in your stomach, leading to heartburn in some cases. It is also a diuretic, which makes your body flush out water quickly. In fact, drinking caffeine when you’re thirsty will actually make you thirstier than drinking nothing at all. It also increases your heart rate, so people with heart problems or high levels of anxiety often find that caffeine makes their symptoms worse. Certain people are affected by caffeine more than others and may feel jittery, nervous, or have a hard time sleeping.
Caffeine and your waistline
Caffeine itself has very few nutritional components and neither supports nor hinders one’s diet. The way caffeine is delivered, in most cases, is what makes over-consumption hazardous for your waistline. Adding milk, cream, sugar, or flavored syrups can take your cup of coffee from two calories per cup to more than 100! Consider drinking your coffee black to avoid sipping on excess calories.