It is two weeks into the New Year, and some may be going strong with their new year’s resolutions while others may be faltering. When it comes to resolutions, quitting coffee for health reasons is probably one of the more popular items on the list and a pretty hard one to keep to. But while you are experiencing caffeine withdrawal, did you ever consider if there actually was a need to quit your morning cuppa at all?
The thing is, caffeine may have a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to our health, but studies indicate that moderate amounts of caffeine are actually pretty good for you. In fact, here are five good reasons why you should quit trying to quit coffee.
Keeps You Alert
Millions of people around the world rely on a cup of caffeinated beverage to wake them up from their morning stupor, and to keep them going the rest of the day; it is actually the most widely used stimulant in the world.
Caffeine is shown to block the brain’s adenosine receptors (adenosine in the brain causes us to feel drowsy, which is great if you were heading to bed but much less so if you need to get cracking in the mornings!), which is why it helps us to feel more awake, less tired and improves our ability to concentrate and focus on our daily tasks.
May Help with Hair Loss
It is a common misconception that consuming caffeine can cause hair loss. While we may actively seek to find the best ways to remove hair on the rest of our bodies, losing hair on our heads would be a stressful situation for most of us.
But it turns out there is no scientific basis that caffeine leads to hair loss. In fact, the opposite may be true; research shows that caffeine can actually promote hair growth by attaching itself to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that blocks hair follicles from receiving the essential vitamins and minerals needed for hair growth. Furthermore, caffeine also encourages the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which supports hair growth.
When we drink our coffee or tea, the caffeine enters our system and may reach our hair follicles, thereby helping to promote hair growth. Of course, it is not a magic bullet, and there are many other potential factors that may be contributing to hair loss. It is, therefore, best to seek professional help if you are experiencing a massive hair loss problem and want to nip it in the bud.
Jumpstarts the Metabolism
Some studies have shown that consuming caffeine on a regular basis can help you burn up to an extra 150 kcals a day.
Just a cup of coffee (the equivalent of 200 mg of caffeine) can raise your metabolic rate by up to 7 per cent. What that means is that in the 2–3 hours after you consume your coffee, you will continue to generate more heat and burn more calories and fat; it is the reason why caffeine is often added to supplements that purport to help with weight loss.
Certainly food for thought if you are trying to lose a few extra kilos.
Caffeine has been shown to improve muscle strength as well as physical endurance and stamina, all the things that are necessary for enhancing athletic performance.
This makes caffeine a popular choice with professional athletes as it gives them the boost they need to train more intensely and for extended periods of time; it may also help to enhance their competitive performance.
It Has Antioxidant Properties
Caffeine also contains high amounts of antioxidants, even more so than green tea. Many of its health benefits are attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research has found that those who drank two or more cups of coffee a day were 14 per cent more likely to live longer than the people in the study who drank less than two cups of coffee or none at all. Studies have also found that caffeine can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, skin cancer, breast cancer, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and more.
Can You Actually Have Too Much Coffee?
Alas, there is such a thing as too much coffee.
Experts recommend no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day for the average healthy adult—that amounts to approximately four cups of brewed coffee.
It is important to know that caffeine can be hidden in many unexpected areas so that you can be more aware of how much caffeine you are consuming. You will be surprised where caffeine can be found: not only is caffeine a natural component found in many of our foods such as coffee, tea and chocolates, you will also find them in sodas, painkillers, many products that purport to be energy boosters and even shampoos that are specially formulated for hair loss.