Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Caffeine Problem...

It is well documented on this blog that I love caffeine. 


I am not a coffee person, I drink unsweetened iced tea. It's like a religion to me. Lately, I have had some people call me out on my "excessive caffeine consumption." And because I do try to live healthily, I decided to look into the matter. Exactly how much caffeine is too much? And are there benefits? I did some digging & figured it out. Since I know that many of you love your caffeine too, I thought I'd share.  Here's what I learned... 

  1. There are many different types of caffeine, and the effects vary widely based on the concentration. IE: the caffeine is a piece of chocolate & the caffeine in a Red Bull are not equal. The caffeine in black tea is pretty low on the scale, and I never touch energy drinks, so I think I'm safe on this one. 
  2. Caffeine is a diuretic - which means it can lead to dehydration. This is a problem for me. I need to be hydrated for my runs, especially as the weather warms up. So, I'm going to be more conscious about drinking an ounce of water for every ounce of iced tea. 
  3. You can't actually go into withdrawal from caffeine, but "it definitely affects the brain and body and stimulates them in a manner similar to the amphetamines such as cocaine." (source) True story, quitting caffeine sucks for the first two days, then you're fine. I gave it up completely during pregnancy & can do it again if necessary. I simply have no desire to...
  4. The Mayo Clinic says that 300 mg of caffeine consumed daily is within safe limits. My black tea consumption, even on a bad day, falls safely within these limits. 
  5. Caffeine can actually help with my running! Studies have shown that ingesting caffeine before a workout increases your endurance, can help ease post exercise muscle soreness, and can help sedentary people exercise more vigorously
So am I going to give it up? Nope. Will I be more conscious of my intake? Yes. Being conscious of you intake of anything is always a good idea. Remember people, everything in moderation. 


2 comments:

  1. I wish I was addicted to tea and not pop lol

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can take care of one for you - caffiene is NOT a significant diuretic unless you are absolutely pounding the soda/coffee/tea to the extent of getting your '8 cups of water' from caffienated sources ... (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/caffeinated-drinks/AN01661)

    In other words, having a coffee or tea a couple of times a day (morning and afternoon tea) and a soda with lunch is *not* going to dehydrate you. Pounding that Mountain Dew before a race is *not* a diuretic based on caffiene - though some other ingredients might mess with you.


    Of course, since soda is 'chemical soup', you are better off with mostly water, and moderate coffee & tea anyway.

    ReplyDelete

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