Friday, April 5, 2013

The Perks of Coffee

The Perks of Coffee
Presented to you by Jenny Saganski, RD, CNSC – Livingston Branch
Home Solutions Infusion Therapy

If you rely on that morning cup of Joe to wake you up and keep you going, you aren’t alone!  If you think that morning cup of coffee provides nothing more to your body than a jolt of caffeine, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that your daily intake of coffee provides some health benefits as well.  Caffeine has its perks, but can pose problems too. How much coffee is beneficial? How much is too much, and do you need to curb your consumption?

For most healthy adults, moderate doses of caffeine – 200-300mg – or about 2 to 4 cups of coffee a day, aren’t harmful and can actually be beneficial.  Coffee provides a good source of antioxidants. These antioxidants with other compounds in coffee can act as an anti-inflammatory and provide some disease preventing effects.  Coffee also contains some nutrients including potassium, niacin, vitamin E and magnesium – which help the body use insulin, possibly contributing to a decreased risk of developing diabetes.

Although moderate caffeine intake isn’t likely to cause harm, too much can lead to some unpleasant effects. Heavy caffeine use – more than 500 or 600 mg a day – may cause insomnia, nervousness, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors. While caffeine does not directly contribute to hypertension, it can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure. Certain groups, such as people with hypertension, anxiety disorders, heart arrhythmias or the elderly may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of caffeine. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. If you are susceptible to the effects of caffeine, just small amounts – even one cup of coffee- may prompt unwanted effects such as restlessness and sleep problems.

The bottom line:
People can go on enjoying their cup of coffee!
2-4 cups of coffee a day is considered safe and can provide a beneficial boost unless you are pregnant or susceptible to the unwanted effects of caffeine, in which case you would want to limit your coffee intake to no more than 1 or 2 cups per day.

More than 4 cups of coffee per day has been shown to lead to adverse side effects.

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