By Summer Banks on Dec 16, 2016

As you probably know, caffeine is consumed daily by millions of people worldwide [35].

Caffiene is a stimulant [1] and mild diuretic found in beverages and foods.

Some studies report negative or adverse effects of this natural ingredient [5].

Research also shows health benefits from caffeine [26] [29].
Caffeine Effects

Overview

What is Caffeine?

 

Caffeine is a bitter substance classified as a stimulant drug [1] [16] found in coffee seeds, tea leaves and cocoa beans [39] [42].

It is also the most popular weight-loss ingredient; used by companies and supplements like Plexus Slim and Truvision.

It was first discovered in 1821 [22] and became a global commodity by the late 1800s [4].

The chemical name is 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine [2] and also classified as a xanthine alkaloid [3].

It works by affecting the central nervous system [10] [37], which in turn increases heart rate, blood pressure and brain function [9], and it may take effect within only 15 minutes after consumption.

Energy drinks, protein bars and shakes, chocolate, soft drinks, hot cocoa and iced teas contain caffeine.

To Sum It Up: Caffeine, like that used in It Works! Energy, is the most widely consumed stimulant and psychoactive drug [15] in the world.

Dosage

Dosage – How Much is Safe?

Your weight, size, and tolerance to caffeine play a part in how much is safe for you.

Generally speaking, for the majority of healthy adults, 400 milligrams per day is considered safe [5] [41].

The amount of caffeine in coffee is around 95-200 milligrams of caffeine, while a cup of black tea provides about 14-70 milligrams [6].

Consuming too much caffeine may lead to unpleasant side effects like anxiety and restlessness [7].

To Sum It Up: Most adults may handle up to 400 milligrams of caffeine each day. Consuming more may increase the risk of adverse effects and even health risks.

Caffeine

Natural Sources

Natural Sources of Caffeine

 

Various plants contain the natural extract.

Some natural sources of this stimulant include coffee seeds, kola nuts [8], yerba mate plants, cocoa beans, tea leaves and the guarana plants.

Believe it or not, but it’s present in more than 60 different plants [2].

To Sum It Up: Different plants and seeds contain caffeine.

Mood & Memory Effects

Caffeine Effects – Elevates Mood and Memory?

Research shows caffeine affects both mood and memory [11] [47].

Individual studies have revealed that consuming 2-3 cups of coffee each day may lower the risk of depression in women [12].

Specifically, it helps block adenosine receptors [13], which is a chemical found in the brain that causes you to feel fatigued or less energized.

Furthermore, it helps boost brain function and triggers chemicals such as norepinephrine and dopamine [14].

To Sum It Up: Some research has suggested that this stimulant has a positive effect on both mood and memory [47].

Weight-Loss Effects

Caffeine Weight-Loss – Is it Good?

Some research shows it helps with weight loss to some degree [17] [18] [46].

Individual studies suggest that this stimulant may help elevate metabolism [17] [18] [19] by increasing thermogenesis, which is the way your body generates energy and heat to burn off calories [46].

It also helps suppress or reduce appetite on some level [19], which may allow you to consume fewer calories overall. Reducing your intake of calories may lead to weight reduction over time. (Ingredients like garcinia cambogia claim to aid in this area, as well.)

On average, 250 milligrams consumed with food or a meal may help you burn off up to 75 more calories each day [20].

To Sum It Up: This stimulant may have some impact calorie burning and appetite suppression, but the effects may be minimal overall [17] [18] [19] [20] [21].

Caffeine health benefits

Get An Energy Boost from Caffeine!

 

If you are looking for a mental buzz or an energy boost, coffee caffeine may do the trick.

This stimulant impacts acetylcholine, serotonin, and dopamine, which are all neurotransmitters that affect concentration [22].

It may help boost energy levels by releasing adrenaline, encouraging your heart to beat faster and produce energy [22].

If some form of caffeine is consumed within one hour before exercise, endurance levels may go up by as much as five percent [23] [24] [45].

Furthermore, muscles will remain energized for longer periods because caffeine leads to an increased production of plasma catecholamines, allowing the body to adapt more efficiently to physical stress [25].

To Sum It Up: If you take 200-300 milligrams of caffeine within one hour of physical activity, it’s likely to enhance your performance level and leave you feeling less fatigued. The problem with some products, like Thrive Patch, is that there’s just not enough caffeine to be effective [22] [23] [24].

Health Benefits of Natural Benefits

Benefits

Health Benefits of Caffeine

 

There are some noted health benefits of caffeine that are backed by robust scientific studies [26] [27] [29] [43] [48] [49].

A 2005 study involving more than 193,000 people showed that 4-6 cups of coffee a day may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by 35 percent [26].

Drinking at least three cups of coffee a day [for at least three weeks] has been shown to improve overall gut health by increasing good bacteria in the digestive tract [27].

Research involving 83,700 nurses suggests that drinking two or more cups of coffee each day reduces certain risks of stroke and heart attack by 20 percent [26].

Also, a 2007 study showed that drinking coffee may potentially lower your risk of liver disease [29] [28] [44] [49].

To Sum It Up: It may contribute to gut health, the prevention of type 2 diabetes, heart health and protecting the liver.
Caffeine Side Effects

Side Effects

What Are The Caffeine Side Effects?

 

Unfortunately, some side effects may occur if too much is consumed or if you’re sensitive to this natural stimulant [35] [40].

These adverse effects may include muscle tremors, insomnia, fast heartbeat, upset stomach, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, and headache. These side effects have been reported by users of weight-loss supplements like Hydroxycut and pre-workout shakes [5].

Consuming too much increases the risk for dehydration and more frequent urination [30] [50].

It’s important to balance your fluid intake and be sure to consume plenty of water to stay hydrated [50].

If you’re taking any prescription drugs or medications, it’s best to speak with a licensed physician before consuming caffeine, because caffeine may have an adverse reaction to the drug [36] [38].

To Sum It Up: Side effects occur when consuming large amount of caffeine.

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on Caffeine

It has its perks and drawbacks.

When consumed in moderation, it may assist with overall health and wellness.

However, if you consume too much of it, you may experience more bad than good.


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About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.