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Advantages and Disadvantages of Caffeine

Advantages and Disadvantages of Caffeine

Caffeine is found in many popular beverages. The advantages of the active ingredient are well known; Caffeine wakes us up and increases our performance. But the additive also has disadvantages. Vital explains what caffeine is all about.

In many households, the morning starts with a cup of coffee every day. That contained in coffee caffeine should defy tiredness and make us physically and mentally fit. But is it really that easy and quick to do with the active ingredient? And what other beverages are there besides coffee that have a similar effect? We'll tell you and show you Advantages and disadvantages of caffeine.

What does caffeine contain?

Caffeine is an effective stimulant. It attaches itself to receptors in the brain and blocks them for the messenger substance adenosine. This, in turn, is responsible for tiredness and reduced concentration. By blocking the receptors for other messenger substances, the caffeine keeps us awake and prevents a drop in concentration.

The active ingredient is found in numerous plants. Mate tree, guarana, cocoa plants, kola nut and tea bush are just a few examples. Caffeine serves the plants as a natural protection against insects.

The substance can also be found in many drinks. Coffee, green tea, cocoa, espresso, club mate, cappuccino, energy drinks like Redbull and Cola are examples of caffeinated drinks. The caffeine content in the drinks varies, the value of cola and energy drinks in particular is known. The popular cola contains around 10 milligrams of caffeine per 100 ml or 100 mg per liter. Coffee usually has a caffeine content of around 30 to 100 mg per 100 ml. Coffee is therefore more caffeinated than cola. But what effect does this have on people and from what caffeine content is the substance harmful?

The content must not exceed the maximum permitted value of 320 milligrams per 1 l in Germany, everything below this value is classified as harmless. The Federal Institute for Consumer Health Protection and Veterinary Medicine would like to reduce a health risk. If your daily consumption is more than two cups of coffee, tea or similar drinks, this can have some side effects that can be harmful to your health.

Benefits of caffeine

In small doses, caffeine has positive effects on our body and our well-being. Also, caffeine in small amounts is not harmful to us.

  • Caffeine stimulates the heart rate and metabolism.
  • The memory capacity of the brain is increased by the absorption of the active ingredient, but only the short-term memory.
  • The concentration is improved by the absorption of the substance, as is the performance.
  • Caffeinated drinks are effective against tiredness after just a few minutes. However, the effect only lasts for a limited time; the active ingredient is broken down again in the brain just a few hours later.
  • A reduced intake of caffeine alleviates the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS for short. Typical symptoms of PMS include: fatigue, gas, headache, abdominal cramps, breast tenderness and swelling, and weight gain.
  • The active ingredient has a positive effect on digestion and the urge to urinate increases.

Cons of caffeine

It has been shown that women are more sensitive to the active ingredient caffeine than men. The female body also needs more time to break down the substance again.

  • The active ingredient is not healthy. Caffeine is particularly harmful to unborn babies. If pregnant women consume large amounts of caffeine, they increase the risk of having a conspicuously small child or miscarriage. Unborn babies can only break down the dose of caffeine they have taken very slowly and with great difficulty, and there are also side effects such as rapid heartbeat. Taking vitamins reduces these risks.
  • In pregnant women, the ingredient can cause palpitation (palpitations) and heart stumbling.
  • If the mother consumed a lot of caffeine during pregnancy, the baby may show signs of caffeine withdrawal after birth, because the active ingredient may have penetrated the placental barrier during pregnancy. Their job is actually to prevent mother and child blood from mixing and to filter toxins such as medication, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
  • You should also refrain from consuming caffeine after giving birth. Everything we eat ends up in breast milk and therefore also in the offspring. Babies need several days to break down the caffeine in their bodies. Side effects such as stomach pain and gas are not uncommon.
  • The cardiovascular system is negatively affected by a large amount of caffeine. The heart beats faster and stronger, which increases blood pressure and pulse. Palpitations can occur as a further side effect.
  • Large amounts of the active ingredient can trigger inner restlessness, excessive adrenaline, nervousness, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal complaints and headaches.
  • People who drink coffee or similar caffeinated beverages can develop addiction. Caffeine works quickly like a drug in humans.

Conclusion: Small amounts of the active ingredient are perfectly fine, also for your health. You should keep your hands off higher dosages, especially if you are pregnant. You can also build up a stimulating effect such as improved concentration in other ways, e.g. through more activity and movement in the fresh air.