Caffeine is an early morning essential for people all across the world. In many cases, this craved caffeine fix is delivered via a cup of coffee in the early hours of the day.
While your morning cup of Joe may be your 6 a.m. energizer or a catalyst of productivity, it is important to acknowledge the effects that caffeine may have on your body. These effects will differ from person to person and are dependent on just how dependent you are on the stimulant.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that we consume when we drink coffee, tea, and even chocolate. This magical molecule stimulates the brain and central nervous system, resulting in energy boosts, alertness, and prevention of drowsiness.
Just like all great things, caffeine has its pros and its cons. Familiarize yourself with these positive and negative side-effects that your caffeine intake may have on your mind and body.
- Mood boost
Caffeine blocks certain brain-signaling molecules while simultaneously promoting others, including dopamine and norepinephrine. This shift in how our brain talks to our body poses benefits to our mood!
- Improve brain function
Just as a change in brain-signaling has the power to influence our mood, it also has the ability to improve our brain function. These benefits include, but are not limited to, heightened awareness, alertness, reaction time, and short-term recall.
- Increase your metabolism
Caffeine’s stimulation of the central nervous system has been studied in relation to metabolic rate. Low-to-moderate intake of caffeine daily may increase your metabolism, in turn, posing benefits to our body’s fat burning capabilities.
- Enhance exercise performance
Caffeine helps our bodies use fat as fuel when we workout and also may help to delay muscle fatigue. This specific benefit of caffeine is why you will find this stimulant in pre-workout. Not feeling energized before, during, or after exercise? Try and incorporate a pre-work supplement into your diet and reap the benefits of low-caffeine intake with every workout.
- Anxiety provoking
If kept to a low-to-moderate daily intake, caffeine can result in hyper awareness and alertness. However, consuming higher doses of caffeine have been studied in correlation to heightened anxiety. In fact, there are only a handful of identified caffeine-related syndromes, and caffeine-induced anxiety disorder makes the list! If you drink plenty of coffee everyday and also battle chronic anxiety, be sure to talk to a physician about how caffeine may be potentially playing a role.
As one can assume, caffeine consumption later in the day, even as late as 3 o’clock in the afternoon, may result in an inability to sleep. High intake of caffeine has also been studied in correlation to one’s inability to fall asleep. While genetics do play a role in your sleeping patterns, if you are someone who both drinks a lot of coffee, soda, or darker teas and also cannot fall or stay asleep, consider lowering your daily dose of caffeine and cutting it off before the early afternoon.
While it seems counterintuitive, caffeine can actually drive fatigue. Feeling exhausted after a heavy intake of caffeine is considered a rebound effect, something that happens once caffeine leaves your system. To avoid this negative side effect, minimize your daily intake of caffeine and stay hydrated from the moment you wake up in the morning!
Caffeine, like many stimulants, can easily evolve to become an addiction. The world’s dependency on caffeine is undeniable, and is perpetuated by the fast-paced world that we live in. For those that are addicted, headaches, fatigue, and other withdrawal symptoms may become apparent in the absence of caffeine.