The effect of caffeine on our health is a long debated topic with no obvious results as of yet. The popularity of coffee and its diverse varieties is ample proof. For the more caffeine conscious coffee lovers, there is of course the decaffeinated version. So, is caffeine good or bad for your health? Here are some facts to mull over as you drink your morning cup of coffee.
Although caffeine does not have any nutritional value, scientific studies on the effect of caffeine and coffee in general reveal that coffee has several health benefits. Here are a few important benefits of coffee:
Health Implications of Caffeine
If you prefer caffeinated beverages, instead of coffee, black tea or green tea offers better health benefits.
Even if caffeine lacks any nutritional benefits, it has mild addictive effect. So on chronic consumption it can lead to insomnia, restlessness and panic attacks.
Too much of caffeine can increase stomach acid production, eye pressure and also interact with certain medications such as asthma drugs.
When to Avoid Coffee
If you have trouble sleeping, get panic attacks, have glaucoma or GERD, or drink just coffee while avoiding eating healthy vegetables and fruits, it is best to reduce your coffee consumption.
This applies to people who find their morning cup of coffee way more energetic than a morning run and to those who deprive their well needed sleep due to drinking too many cups of coffee.
If the above symptoms are severe it is best to avoid coffee completely. But, stopping coffee abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms, particularly very harsh headaches. It is best to taper down the coffee gradually.
You can instead opt for caffeine supplements that can help you gain all the nutritional benefits of coffee, yet not get addicted to it.
Drink Coffee Safely
If you drink only a few cups of coffee in a day and do not have any of the above mentioned issues there is absolutely no harm in enjoying your cup of flavored or decaffeinated coffee. But, make sure you follow the tips below to ensure it is safe to do so:
According to the federal guidelines on coffee drinking, 3 to 5 cups of coffee is allowable for a healthy diet and the coffee should be in plain black form. If needed drink black coffee with soy milk or any other nonfat milk and use a fiber added sweetener with zero calories like Splenda.