The potential benefits of caffeine are often overshadowed by concern or fear about its possible side effects, but caffeine can be good for us physically and mentally in many ways!
Caffeine is widely consumed around the world. We can find this much-loved substance not only in teas from the Camellia sinensis tea plant, but also in coffee (the most popular source of caffeine), chocolate, soft drinks, energy drinks, and snack foods. Caffeine is also added to many prescription and non-prescription medications.
Although warnings about possible concerns with caffeine consumption are well-publicized, recent research is showing us that caffeine, when enjoyed in moderation, may provide many benefits, too.
You'll find more caffeine benefits here (if you missed our first page about some of the ways that caffeine can be good for us, you'll find it here).
Enjoy some caffeinated tea to feel more upbeat, positive, and happy! Caffeine can quickly improve mood by stimulating production of dopamine, a 'feel-good' neurotransmitter in our brains that boosts our sense of well-being and helps to ward off depression.
Energy-boosting caffeine can make your workout feel almost effortless, and provide you with the stamina to work out for longer periods of time and expend more energy (i.e. increased intensity) as you exercise, as well.
Including some caffeine in your day may improve your game or workout, too - studies have found that moderate amounts of caffeine can enhance physical and motor performance, improve neuromuscular coordination, boost motivation, and quicken responses (click here for more information about this research).
Recent scientific research also suggests that consuming caffeine before intense exercise may lessen pain during your workout (you can learn more about this research here).
And, sipping some green or black tea after your workout can help to relieve post-exercise muscle aches and pains quickly and effectively, as well!
If you've been hoping to lose a few pounds, low to moderate amounts of caffeine may be an effective addition to your overall weight-loss plan. Research has found that caffeine increases metabolism by 3 or more percent (you'll find this research here); however, additional study about the long-term benefits of caffeine for weight-loss is still needed.
Please remember, if you are dieting to lose weight, be sure to ask your healthcare provider to help you develop a healthy, safe weight-loss program customized for you!
As you sip your next cup of tea and enjoy some of these benefits of caffeine, please keep in mind that caffeine (especially large amounts) also has some potential risks, side effects, and even contraindications.
Be sure to ask your qualified healthcare provider about safe, healthy amounts of caffeine for you and your family (this is particularly important if you are expecting a baby or are being treated for a heart condition or another illness).