Caffeine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in tea, coffee and cacao plants, has been widely researched for its potential health benefits. While it’s important to consume caffeine in moderation, there are various health perks associated with a responsible intake for physical and mental wellbeing.
Continue reading to find out more about how caffeine can contribute towards a healthy lifestyle.
1. Improves alertness and focus
Caffeine is known to improve mental alertness and focus, helping you to stay awake throughout the day. It achieves this by blocking the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleepiness and relaxation.
2. Boosts mood and brain function
Research has found a positive correlation between caffeine consumption and increased levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which is associated with improved alertness, a boosted mood and sharper cognitive function. As a result, caffeine has been linked with reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.
3. Facilitates weight management
Caffeine is found to temporarily boost your metabolism thanks to its stimulating effect on the central nervous system. It’s important to note that these effects are short-term and a healthy balanced diet and regular physical activity are essential for a healthy metabolism and sustainable, long-term weight management.
4. Elevates exercise performance
During physical activity, caffeine helps the body to use fat as the main energy source. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of glucose stored in your muscles, enabling longer periods of physical activity before reaching exhaustion. In terms of timings, consuming a small amount of caffeine an hour before a workout has been found to enhance physical performance.
In a nutshell, responsible caffeine consumption can offer a myriad of health benefits from enhancing alertness and mood, to improving weight management and prolonged physical performance. Moderation is key as over-consumption may lead to negative side-effects, and gaining an understanding of your body’s specific caffeine tolerance is hugely beneficial to best incorporate caffeine into your lifestyle.
Author: Plenish Nutritionist, Katie Morley
DipNT, mBANT, mANP, CNHC
Email: [email protected]