Clients often ask me if having caffeine in their diet is detrimental to their health goals. It seems the popular press is always changing its advice about caffeine- one day it is touted as an amazing addition to your diet and another day, the press says it should be avoided at all costs. This article will examine some of the latest research.
Caffeine is a crystalline compound that acts as a stimulant of the central nervous system. Some of the biggest sources of caffeine for most people are coffee, tea, soda and dark chocolate.
Research has found that combining caffeine with ibuprofen significantly increases its pain fighting abilities especially when trying to combat the pain associated with postoperative care, menstrual cramps and migraines.
Observational studies have demonstrated a link between caffeine consumption and improved memory and better executive functioning (planning, organizing, and time management) in healthy older adults. Animal studies have also demonstrated a potential link between caffeine consumption and lowered incidents of Alzheimer’s.
There is abundant research suggesting caffeine enhances athletic performance and endurance while decreasing feelings of exertion during exercise.
Moderate caffeine use has been shown to improve your ability to concentrate and boost mental alertness.
A word of warning- different people respond differently to caffeine. For some it may result in the above benefits but others find it increases anxiety, makes it more difficult to go to sleep, heart palpitations and causes feeling of jitteriness and restlessness. If you add caffeine to your life and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be good to cut back on your consumption.