3 Practical Ways to Keep Caffeine Healthy
Can you imagine completely giving up coffee? Hopefully you won't ever have to. Caffeine is easily addictive and though in its natural form it has many benefits, if abused it can turn to be harmful. As you read keep in mind that coffee & caffeine are not the same thing though they often go hand in hand. There are many sources of caffeine both natural and unnatural, healthy and unhealthy.
KEEP IT NATURAL
The two most popularly known sources of natural caffeine are coffee and tea. There are studies that link both of these beverages to many health benefits, though as long as it is balanced. Harvard Health Publishing stated that about 3-4 cups of coffee consumption has been linked with a longer lifespan. Tea is another fan favorite source of caffeine though it does not contain as much caffeine as coffee. According to Cynthia Sass One cup of black tea contains 14-70 mg of caffeine- and green tea 24-45 mg, compared to 95-200 mg in the same sized portion of coffee. Tea is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to help blood vessels from hardening - especially green tea. Dark Chocolate is another form of natural caffeine. You guessed it! Soda's and Energy Drinks do not make the cut as they are full or artificial flavors and sugars.
NO ADD -ONS
This can be the hardest part. In order to keep your caffeine intake as healthy as possible avoid adding sweetener's. You have heard and probably read it all before: refined sugar is not your body's friend. The average American is known to eat as much as 3 pounds of sugar a week and in today's market this ingredient is hidden in most common foods such as bread, cereal, peanut butter, ketchup, sauce...etc. Sugar intake affects your body's blood-sugar balance linking it directly to many illnesses. It's best you keep it away. Natural sugar's are better for you than refined sugars yet not ideal to over-consume.
What about cream? Most creamers are full of sugars and ingredients that are un-natural so they are a no. As to half & half and regular milk though not the worst they will quickly add your caloric and fat intake. Coffee and tea are best for you plain.
LESS IS MORE
Self-control is the key to keeping your caffeine intake healthy. Harvard Health Publishing stated that about 3-4 cups of coffee consumption has been linked with a longer lifespan. However, the Mayo Clinic states that consuming more than 500-600 mg of caffeine in a day may lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat and even muscle tremors. The recommended amount is no more than 400mg of caffeine a day per adult which is about 4 cups of coffee (this amount may vary per beverage and body weight). If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, chances are your caffeine intake is too high. A large McDonald's cup holds a total of 32oz (4 cups) this might give you an idea of how much caffeine you may be consuming per-day.
So, are you ready to brave some black coffee and plain tea?