March is Caffeine Awareness Month.
(From www.daysoftheyear.com) Caffeine Awareness Month is a great time to get the low down on exactly how much caffeine you are consuming in a day and if that is having any harmful effects on your body. Some uses of caffeine are as an additive to medicine or food so you may not even realize that you are consuming it.
History of Caffeine Awareness Month
In 2003, the Caffeine Awareness Alliance was formed to advocate for a caffeine-free industry. Their goal is to provide information and resources for everyone in the industry from executives, retailers, and media. It is this organization that has sponsored the creation of Caffeine Awareness Month. The stated goal for the month is to be a health awareness campaign that can help people to make informed decisions about the consumption of caffeinated products.
There are some facts about caffeine that may come as a surprise to you. There are about 60 different plants that have caffeine in them including cocoa, coffee beans, tea leaves, and kola. This means that you may not always know if there is caffeine in a product because, in the United States, the Federal Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to list the amount of caffeine in the nutritional information.
The commonly held safe amount of caffeine consumed in a day is 400mg. That is equal to about 10 cans of soda, 5 cups of coffee or 2 energy drinks.
Click HERE to see a chart of products that contain caffeine and the estimated amounts. Use Caffeine Awareness Month to learn all you can about this stimulant and how it is working in your life.
- In Japan, researchers have shown that caffeine increases memory. Also, a newer study out of Johns Hopkins University showed that a 200mg caffeine pill helped boost memory consolidation.
- Caffeine mixed with carbs replenishes muscle glycogen concentrations faster after exercise.
- Caffeine detoxes the liver and cleanses the colon when taken as a caffeine enema.
- Caffeine helps keep you alert while driving during periods of sleep restriction. Here’s the research
- Caffeine can stimulate hair growth on balding men and women.
- Caffeine relieves post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%.
- Caffeine may protect against Parkinson’s disease. Research shows that those who consume coffee are at less risk of developing Parkison’s disease and it even reduces the risk of those genetically more likely to develop the condition. Here’s the study.
- Caffeine helps ward off Alzheimer’s.
- Caffeine increases stamina during exercise.
- Caffeine through coffee protects against eyelid spasm.
- More than 4 cups of coffee linked to early death. A Mayo Clinic partnered study found that men who drank more than four 8 fl.oz. cups of coffee had a 21% increase in all-cause mortality. However, those that reported that they consumed excessive amounts of caffeine were also likely to smoke and have poor fitness. Dr. Nancy Snyderman from NBC said there were a few discrepancies with the study, but stresses that moderation is still key. See Her Interview Here.
- Caffeine consumption may raise blood pressure. Especially in those already suffering from hypertension and those who don’t normally consume caffeine. People with hypertension were given 250 mg of caffeine (about 2 coffees) and the data revealed that their blood pressure was elevated for about 2-3 hours after the caffeine. Src. A second study performed by The Mayo Clinic found similar results from a 160 mg dose. All participants experienced a marked rise in blood pressure and it was the most pronounced in those that didn’t normally consume caffeine. Src.
- Increased risk of heart attacks among young adults. A study conducted by Dr. Lucio Mos found that young adults who were diagnosed with mild hypertension had 4 times the risk of having a heart attack if they consumed the amount of caffeine equivalent to 4 cups of coffee. More moderate consumption showed 3 times the risk. Src.
- Caffeine linked to gout attacks. This study showed that people who binge on caffeinated beverages increase their risk for a gout flare-up. Src.
- Breast Tissue Cysts In Women. One study showed that “Women who consumed 31–250 mg of caffeine/day had a 1.5-fold increase in the odds of developing fibrocystic breast disease and women who drank over 500 mg/day had a 2.3-fold increase in the odds of developing cysts. Src.
- Caffeine could cause incontinence. A study out of the University of Alabama showed that women who consume a lot of caffeine are 70% more likely to develop incontinence. Src.
- Caffeine may cause insomnia. Caffeine in a person’s system at bedtime can mimic the symptoms of insomnia. Src.
- Caffeine can cause indigestion. People who consume caffeinated beverages often report an upset stomach or indigestion. This mainly occurs when the beverages are consumed on an empty stomach. Src.
- Caffeine can cause headaches. While occasional doses of caffeine can relieve headache symptoms, the overuse of caffeine can cause headaches and lead to migraines. Src.
- Caffeine could reduce fertility in women. A study from The University of Nevada School of Medicine showed that caffeine can reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant by about 27%. Src.