Caffeine jump-starts your day and puts a bounce in your step. It can help you focus, improve your mood and maybe even help you live longer.
But how much is too much?
Caffeine, a natural stimulant, can be found in a variety of foods, such as coffee beans, tea leaves, cacao beans, guarana berries and yerba maté leaves. It also can be synthetically created and added to beverages such as soda and energy drinks. Research shows that about 90% of U.S. adults consume some form of caffeine every day.
One of the most popular ways people consume it is through coffee. Because of that, most caffeine research centers around this drink, said Dr. Greg Marcus, associate chief of cardiology for research and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
Full disclosure, I love coffee and coffee drinks like latte’s and cappucino. I drink more than one cup every day of my life.
If you need another reason to start the day drinking a cup of joe, a recent study by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers has revealed that consuming at least one cup of coffee a day may reduce the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) when compared to those who do not drink coffee.
“We already know that drinking coffee on a regular basis has been associated with the prevention of chronic and degenerative diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease,” says study corresponding author Chirag Parikh, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Nephrology and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “We can now add a possible reduction in AKI risk to the growing list of health benefits for caffeine.”
As a senior citizen coffee drinker who also has serious concerns about possible cognitive impairment, I was pleased to run across this study by Rutgers scientists.
Rutgers scientists have found a compound in coffee that may team up with caffeine to fight Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia – two progressive and currently incurable diseases associated with brain degeneration.
The discovery, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests these two compounds combined may become a therapeutic option to slow brain degeneration.
Mouradian said further research is needed to determine the proper amounts and ratio of EHT and caffeine required for the protective effect in people. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Lead author M. Maral Mouradian, director of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Institute for Neurological Therapeutics and William Dow Lovett Professor of Neurology, said prior research has shown that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. While caffeine has traditionally been credited as coffee’s special protective agent, coffee beans contain more than a thousand other compounds that are less well known. Continue reading →
I am a coffee drinker and always happy to learn of positive effects to be gleaned from drinking it. As a matter of fact, I pretty much concentrate on decaf, though, because I don’t like to introduce any foreign chemicals into my system if I can help it. Also, I read an article about caffeine withdrawal symptoms that scared me.
Summary: A new study reports caffeine concentration, the equivalent of four cups of coffee, can promote the movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria. This can enhance mitochondrial function and protect heart cells from damage.
They found that caffeine induced the movement of p27 into mitochondria, setting off this beneficial chain of events, and did so at a concentration that is reached in humans by drinking four cups of coffee. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Caffeine consumption has been associated with lower risks for multiple diseases, including type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, but the mechanism underlying these protective effects has been unclear. A new study now shows that caffeine promotes the movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria, enhancing their function and protecting cardiovascular cells from damage. Continue reading →
I confess I love coffee. I drink it every morning and after meals when I eat out. Mostly I consume decaf as I have read some horrifying studies on caffeine addiction and caffeine headaches. Also, I really don’t like to add chemicals to my system if I can help it. Here is an interesting study of the effect of caffeine and coffee on workouts from Medical Xpress.
Caffeine is one of the most researched substances reported to help athletes perform better and train longer and harder. As a result, professional and amateur sportspeople often take it as a performance-enhancing “ergogenic” aids for a wide range of activities. These include intermittent exercise such as football and racket sports, endurance exercise such as running and cycling, and resistance exercise such as weightlifting.
But while most research looks at the effects of pure caffeine consumed as tablets with water, in the real world most people get their caffeine from coffee, energy drinks or other products like special gels or chewing gum. So will drinking a cup of joe before your workout actually make a difference? The answer could depend as much on your genes as what kind of coffee you’re drinking.
Scientists think caffeine affects the body chemical adenosine, which normally promotes sleep and suppresses arousal. Caffeine ties up the receptors in the brain that detect adenosine and so makes it more alert. Continue reading →
Since this is the biggest day for chocolate consumption in the year, I thought it would be worthwhile to check into it.
Do you know how much chocolate the average American eats in a year? One pound? Ten pounds?
As a matter of fact we eat an average of a pound of chocolate a month, so 12 pounds in a year.
According to WebMD’s chocolate quiz “We each eat close to a dozen pounds of chocolate per year. And most of that is milk chocolate. More than 90% of Americans say they prefer milk chocolate over dark or white.
“It takes a long time to work off all that chocolate. It would take a 130-pound woman about four days and nights (95 hours) of brisk walking to burn off those calories!”
And I know you have heard that chocolate has caffeine in it, but how much? WebMD says,
“You’d need to eat 14 regular-sized (1.5 oz) bars of milk chocolate to get the same caffeine as you’d find in a 8-ounce cup of coffee! That would have about 3,000 calories and more than 300 grams of sugar — compared to only about two calories in black coffee.
“Dark chocolate does have more caffeine than milk chocolate. Even then, it would take four bars to give you the same buzz as one cup of regular Joe.”
So, enjoy the evening, but if you are going out with your little trick or treater, keep in mind how much walking is required to burn off those calories.
I guess this would have to be filed in the Something We Need Like Another Hole in the Head Department. Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc., has launched a chewing gum with 40 milligrams of caffeine per piece and 8 pieces per box. The average cup of coffee has 100 mg, so just one of these amounts to 40 percent of a cup of coffee.
As you can see from the ad, the product is being advertised for free at 7-Eleven with the purchase of a Skinny Salted Caramel Mocha or other large hot — and presumably caffeinated— beverage! I was not able to nutritional info on this drink, nor the amount of caffeine.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) pointed out that The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the consumption of caffeine and other stimulant substances in the diets of children and adolescents. Too much caffeine can cause anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and insomnia in just about anyone, according to CSPI.
The release is perfectly timed to come out right around final exam time for kids everywhere.
Large amounts of caffeine can cause rapid heartbeat and seizures that are severe enough to require emergency care. While the FDA has regulations governing caffeine in cola-type beverages, those regulations did not anticipate the widespread caffeination of the food supply.
As I oppose Red Bull and all those other stimulant drinks, I have to say this gumming up chewing gum idea really takes the cake. The opportunities for getting too much caffeine are rife. If you were to take all eight pieces you would have chewed up 320 mg of caffeine, more than three cups of coffee with caffeine.
These are a dangerous idea for adults and reckless for kids.
I have written repeatedly about The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep. That is one of my links highlighted at the top of this page. If you click on it you will be directed to at least seven blog posts on the importance of sleep.
This is my dog, Gabi, I wish I could sleep as soundly as she does.
This afternoon I went to one of Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Healthy Transitions Program® that happened to be about healthy sleep habits. Associate Professor Ramadevi Gourineni in Neurology and Director of the Insomnia Program gave us the following list of Good Sleep/Wake Habits:
Daytime factors included:
*Avoiding excessive caffeine. She said not to consume more than two or three (10-12 ounce) beverages with caffeine and not to take anything with caffeine after 2:00 p.m.
*Avoid excessive napping. A 30 to 45 minute nap prior to 2:00 p.m. is all right.
*Exercise three to five days a week for 30 minutes or longer.
*Do Not Smoke.
*Stay active during the day and get sunlight exposure.
Evening Factors included:
*Avoid unintentionally falling asleep sitting and relaxing in the evening.
*Avoid alcohol before bedtime.
*Finish heavy meals at least three hours before bedtime, particularly if you have problems with regurgitation. *On the other hand, a light bedtime snack is all right. Continue reading →