Caffeine is a bitter substance that is commonly found in teas, colas, chocolate, nuts, certain medicinal drugs and of course, in your favorite coffee.
Who doesn’t love coffee? If you are a coffee drinker, then you know very well how your body reacts to coffee’s active compound – caffeine.
But did you know that there are a lot of myths and beliefs about caffeine that discourage people from taking it?
Yes, it can be disturbing, especially if you believe that it can greatly ruin your health.
Below are five of the most notable and common beliefs about caffeine:
1. It is not healthy
Since caffeine is a very powerful stimulant, most people think that they will vomit, get a heart attack, or will instantly get nervous about anything when they take caffeine-rich products, particularly coffees. This made people view this substance as unhealthy and not suitable for every individual.
But caffeine is clinically proven to have health benefits, and not harmful to many claims it to be. It helps enhance alertness, mental sharpness, cognitive function, focus and overall brain function. How? Caffeine directly affects your central nervous system, which stimulates your overall mental functions.
2. It is harmful to children and teens
As mentioned above, caffeine is not completely unhealthy if taken in moderation. Most parents are telling their children to avoid drinking coffee due to its active substance being harmful to their health.
But most people don’t realize that caffeine can be found in most beverages that can be bought in local grocery stores. This includes energy drinks, teas, and sodas.
These beverages are packed with either synthetic or natural sugar, which both can easily impact your kid’s health, increasing their risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. So, in general, caffeine itself is not harmful, unlike those caffeinated drinks.
3. It can make you dehydrated
There are some speculations that drinking too many caffeinated beverages will result in dehydration due to excessive urination. While caffeine is considered as a diuretic by most people, this substance is actually not the real cause of dehydration.
Remember that the fluid you consume, coffee, for example, tends to counteract the effects of fluid loss when you urinate. This means that moderate drinking of caffeinated beverages does not cause dehydration.
4. It can cause cancer and heart disease
This is an old belief, but most people are still against drinking caffeinated beverages because of this myth.
First off, there is no scientific evidence that caffeine is either a carcinogen or harmful to the heart. There is no proven research that it can indeed trigger these chronic diseases. In fact, drinking coffee may even have cancer preventative effects due to the antioxidants found in coffee beans.
Furthermore, a comprehensive review of caffeine intake was done and published to guarantee that it is safe for cardiovascular health. A 400mg per day intake of caffeinated beverages was proven safe for the heart and also for people suffering from various cardiovascular conditions.
5. It is addictive
If you love coffee or teas, people have a misconception about your drinking habits as “addictive”. Depending on what you mean by “addiction”, caffeine is not an addictive substance if you look at it from a scientific standpoint.
Why? As a stimulant, it works directly with your central nervous system, which causes mild dependency if taken on a regular basis. This means that caffeine actually doesn’t make you addicted to coffee as most people think.
It is incomparable to drug addiction where withdrawal takes a lot of effort to accomplish. Caffeine doesn’t harm your physical, mental, social and economic health the way addictive drugs do. This is the reason why experts don’t consider it as an addictive substance.
Caffeine can affect your health in both positive and negative ways, but it all depends on you. Since caffeine can still trigger some side effects, especially if you are allergic to stimulants, it is best to avoid drinking caffeinated drinks or take it in moderation.
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