Caffeine may be the most commonly consumed psychoactive drug. So can it actually be good for you? It turns out that there may be a lot of benefits of caffeine. Plenty of research supports benefits for your brain, blood sugar, metabolism, and more.
Coffee is a major source of caffeine, and the majority of American adults drink coffee daily or on most days. Add in caffeine sources such as green and black tea, chocolate, caffeinated soft drinks, and energy drinks, and 90% of Americans may be getting some caffeine every day. If you’re one of them, now your cup (or two or three) of coffee can taste even better knowing the benefits of caffeine.
If you’ve been staying away from caffeine because of a reputation for it being unhealthy, you might want to reconsider. It’s about time to weigh the benefits against any potential risks of caffeine.
It’s also good to know that if you have been avoiding coffee because of its acid content, or if the acidity of coffee bothers you, there are organic low acid coffee options available. Alex’s Acid Free Coffee is a low acid organic coffee designed to be gentle on the stomach and be suitable for people who love coffee but need to reduce acid consumption.
It’s always important to ask your doctor before taking caffeine or about the levels you are taking. It’s also good to ask about any health concerns you may have! And now, here are benefits of caffeine.
Almost everyone who drinks coffee or uses caffeine knows about this benefit intuitively. You may start your day with a cup of coffee because otherwise you feel groggy and can’t fully wake up. Or you may depend on a morning or lunchtime cup of coffee to feel more energetic during the day.
Coffee is a stimulant. It works by stimulating your sympathetic nervous system. It increases levels of epinephrine, or adrenaline. That’s the hormone associated with the “fight or flight” response that happens when you encounter a stressful situation. It’s designed to let your mind and body rise to the occasion.
Caffeine also blocks the activity of adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. Adenosine activity can make you feel tired. Caffeine can make you feel less tired.
Caffeine is in many weight loss supplements, and some evidence suggests that it may help with weight loss. Caffeine may have these effects.
Some studies have found that people who drink coffee or use caffeine may lose more weight, reduce body mass index (BMI) more, and reduce body fat percentage more than people who don’t use caffeine.
If you are trying to lose weight, be sure to talk to your doctor. It’s healthiest to adopt a nutritious eating plan and include regular exercise as part of your weight loss program. Depending just on caffeine to lose weight may not be healthy or effective.
Caffeine appears to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s a condition with higher than normal blood sugar. It happens when your body develops resistance to insulin, which is the hormone that helps your body use carbohydrates properly.
Caffeine may help increase insulin sensitivity. That allows the cells in your body to use blood glucose, or sugar in the blood, without needing as much insulin. Caffeine may also support the health of beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells are the cells that produce and secrete insulin.
Prediabetes, which comes before type 2 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes are usually linked to lifestyle factors. Eating a high-sugar diet, being overweight or obese, and being physically inactive are risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
This benefit may come as a surprise if you’ve heard about headaches from caffeine withdrawal. Maybe you have even experienced withdrawal headaches yourself when you’ve skipped your regular morning coffee. But caffeine may reduce headaches.
Many headache medications have caffeine. Excedrin ES and Excedrin Tension Headache, Bayer Back and Body, and Midol Complete are examples. They have amounts similar to those in a cup or 1.5 cups of coffee. Excedrin Migraine is an example of a medication for migraines that contains caffeine.
It’s best to talk to your doctor if you experience headaches or migraines. They may be a sign of a more serious condition, or they can be brought on by other modifiable factors, such as mild dehydration or unmanaged stress.
Being more awake and energetic isn’t just a physical phenomenon. Caffeine wakes up your brain, too! You may perceive that caffeine makes you more alert and better able to focus. Studies suggest that caffeine can improve memory on some tasks.
Caffeine can also decrease reaction time. That’s not just helpful when making decisions at work or home. It can be possibly life-saving in some situations, such as when driving.
The effects of caffeine on the brain might not just be immediate. They may be long-term! Caffeine may help lower the risk for these conditions.
These are progressive conditions that are linked to aging and other factors. Caffeine may also slow their progression. Other ways to lower your risk for these conditions include eating well, maintaining a healthy way, and staying active.
It seems as though caffeine may be linked to improved outcomes related to the liver. For example, people who consume caffeine regularly may have less scarring if they have fatty liver disease or chronic hepatitis C.
Still, these benefits may be related to coffee more than caffeine. If you have concerns about the acidity of regular coffee, consider an organic low acid coffee. Alex’s Acid Free Coffee has the same antioxidant and caffeine content as regular coffee, but less acid.
All cancers are different, and they each have multiple different causes. Plus, cancer takes a long time to develop, so it’s hard to pinpoint the cause of a specific cancer in a specific person. But, it seems as though caffeine consumption may lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
If you have a condition such as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), your doctor may tell you that you’re at higher risk for esophageal cancer. You may be better off drinking a low acid organic coffee instead of a regular one, since many GERD patients are asked to limit acid consumption.
Caffeine may make exercising easier for non-athletes. It may improve athletic performance for athletes and people who push themselves hard. It appears that caffeine may improve endurance in long-distance events. It may also improve power in shorter events. Caffeine may make you feel less tired and lower your rating of perceived exertion, or how hard you feel like you’re working.
Lots of sports supplements have caffeine. Sports drinks, gels, and bars that are designed to be taken during or before events have caffeine. If you are planning to use them, test them out before your event. Since caffeine is a stimulant for your digestive tract, they can lead to stomach issues, which is definitely not what you need when you’re trying to work out!
Be sure to take caffeine safely, since too much can be dangerous. Once you start working out hard or competing, your heart already starts pumping faster. Caffeine increases your heart rate, too, and it can lead to bad effects if you take too much.
It seems as though coffee drinkers may have the ultimate benefit: a longer life expectancy. Some research studies that followed people over several years and tracked their coffee consumption found that those who drank coffee regularly had a lower risk of dying during the study period.
Why might this be the case? Well, take a look at the above benefits! Plus, coffee has systemic effects. It may lower levels of chronic inflammation. It’s high in antioxidants, which have a variety of benefits.
Coffee may be the best known source of caffeine. Most types of brewed coffee, such as Alex’s Acid Free Coffee, have about 100 mg of caffeine per 6-ounce cup. There can be more caffeine in a stronger brew. You’ll also get more caffeine in a larger cup of coffee. A single ounce of espresso can have about 30 mg of caffeine.
These other beverages have caffeine.
White tea, oolong tea, matcha, and chai tea also have caffeine.
Some foods have caffeine. Chocolate has about 12 mg per ounce, and baking cocoa has about 12 mg per tablespoon. Foods made with them contain caffeine, though not a whole lot if you’re talking about benefits of caffeine.
Also, guarana extract has caffeine. It’s in some weight loss products.
If you have been told to avoid acidic foods, or you’re doing so on your own, you may have noticed something about the list above. Many of the sources of caffeine have acid! So how can you get the benefits of caffeine if you’re supposed to limit your acid intake?
Alex’s Acid Free Coffee is an organic low acid coffee that is made for people like you! You may fall into one or more of these groups.
Alex’s Acid Free Coffee is a low acid organic coffee. It goes through a special process and is roasted to a medium dark French roast. The result is a lower acid content than the average of many national brands. We know, because we’ve had them tested in a third-party independent lab!
You may have heard that coffee is acidic. That’s true, but caffeine isn’t the main acid in coffee. The main acids are chlorogenic acids. This group of acids contribute most of the acidity to coffee. That means you can get your caffeine from coffee as long as you choose a low acid coffee.
Oh, by the way, Alex’s Acid Free Coffee may also be for you if you want great-tasting coffee. Since it’s an organic low acid coffee, it has less of a bitter acid taste. It’s smooth and balanced, with notes of chocolate, nuts, citrus, and vanilla.
The general rule for caffeine consumption is to limit it to 400 mg per day. That’s about the amount in 4 small cups. Still, every individual is different, and your doctor may ask you to have less than that.
These are some more tips.
Organic low acid coffee, such as Alex’s Acid Free Coffee, can be a great choice for getting your caffeine. And with that caffeine may come health benefits! Be sure to ask your doctor if you have any health concerns, and enjoy your coffee!