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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Joys of Java

Is this you? A fashionable working mom, juggling getting your children to school on time, and getting yourself to work on time...but not UNLESS you have had your morning coffee... Then around 2 or 3 pm you have another to Wake you up?
I want to share the Top 10 Perks to Caffeine....

10. Asthma Relief-
Drinking a moderate amount of caffeine can be therapeutic for people with asthma. Caffeine in the form of coffee may be used to prevent an asthma attack in emergency cases, but is NOT intended to replace medication.
9.Disease Prevention-
Caffeine keeps dopamine molecules active, preventing diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Harvard researchers have found that men who drink 4 cups of caffeinated coffee a day are half as likely to develop Parkinson's disease as those who refrain from consuming caffeinated beverages.
Antioxidants in caffeine help to stabilize free radicals and stop them from doing damage. If a free radical is formed in a cell and it is not neutralized, it can damage the DNA of the cell.
7.Diabetes Prevention-
Coffee contains minerals and antioxidants which help prevent diabetes. Frank Hu, M.D. one of the authors of The Harvard Study, theorizes it may be because3 caffeine stimulates muscles to burn fat and sugar more efficiently.
6.Faster Effects of Medication-
Caffeine constricts blood vessels and helps the body absorb medications more quickly, which is why it is added to some pain medications.
5. Reduced Muscle Pain-
Some researchers have found that caffeine may potentially stimulate the release of B-endorphins and hormones that depress the sensation of pain or discomfort.*5
4. Performance-
Some sources note that caffeine allows athletes to exercise for longer durations without hitting exhaustion. Although,the mechanism is yet known, caffeine affects the utilization of glycogen during workouts. Glycogen is the main fuel for muscles. Once depleted, exhaustion occurs. Caffeine decreases the use of glycogen stores during workouts up to 50 percent-allowing for longer workouts.*4
Studies suggest that caffeine can help you perform a variety of cognitive tasks, such as recognizing visual patterns, more quickly.*3
2. Mood-
At 250 milligrams, some report an improved sense of well-being, happiness, energy, alertness and sociability.*2
Even in relatively low does of 250 milligrams, caffeine has been shown to stimulate alertness and improve mental performance.*1

SO after reading this I am sure you are glad you are a coffee drinker.... but I have some alternatives to coffee to share with you... and then the Top TEN problems with Caffeine... so you can make your own educated decision... on Coffee...

Before we dive into the Top Ten problems with Caffeine... let's look at the alternatives to Coffee:

Black tea-made from dried leaves of camelia sinensis plant.

Dandy Blend-herbal coffee substitute made from dandelion, chickory and sugar beet.

Green Tea-this has been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer

Oolong Tea- This tea is semi-oxidized, providing a milder flavor than black or green tea.

Pero- see below

Teechino ( shown above) and description below

White tea-The plant is the same of black and green and oolong...but they leaves are picked when the plant is younger and buds are covered in white hairs. White teas has gone through, a minimal amount of processing and is not fermented. the tea does have a sweet taste, and about 15mg per serving of caffeine. ( which is smaller than most)

Yerba Mate- see below
* I took a picture of my chocolate pu.erh but I was suppose to take a picture of my Yerba Mate...oops.

So most of you know what black tea is and Green tea and even Oolong tea
BUT I bet you don't know what
Pero is?

Pero is caffeine free, instant coffee substitute it is from Switzerland and is made from malted barley, chicory and rye.
Teechino- (shown above) is a blend of roasted herbs, grains, fruits, and nuts. Teechino is also caffeine-free coffee. It brews similarly to coffee, can be used in a coffee machine and has a similar smell and taste to coffee. IT has high levels of potassium, which helps to balance acidity. It offers a natural energy boost from the nutrients, not from the stimulants.
Yerba Mate- is a species of holly, native to South America, It is prepared by steeping dried leaves in hot water, rather than hot boiling water, as you would for coffee or tea. The flavor is bitter, herbal and grassy. The stimulant in Yerba mate is called xanthines, which is similar to caffeine, although, many people report fewer side effects. It also contains potassium, magnesium and manganese.

So now we  have explored...the alternatives to coffee and the benefits... let's talk about the TOP TEN problems with Caffeine.

1. Approximately 4 cups of coffee or a beverage with the same or equal amounts of caffeine can raise blood pressure for many hours.

2.Caffeine consumption in the early morning affects the body until bedtime, making stress levels higher throughout the day. Caffeine increases stress hormones and elevates a person's perception of stress. Decreasing coffee and caffeinated beverages will help lower stress reactions.

3.When more than 2g of caffeine enter the body, the heart becomes stimulated and blood vessels dilate. Blood pressure can than increase, causing bronchial relaxation in the lungs and increased breathing. This can also cause irritability, restlessness, insomnia, and agitation.

4. Type 2 diabetes should be aware that caffeine may potentially impair insulin's action. IT does cause a rise in blood sugar levels. (drinking 2-3 cups a day)

5. Because it is a stimulant, caffeine can cause increased contractions of stomach muscles- sometimes abdominal pain, diarrhea, and increased bowl movements. IBS suffers and Crohn's  and colitis people may want to be cautious before chosing any caffeinated drinks.

6. Caffeine inhibits the absorption of some nutrients. We can lose calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and trace minerals.

7. Research shows that men can significantly reduce their risk for urinary and prostate problems by making dietary changes, which include eliminating coffee and caffeine.

8. Fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, osteoporosis, infertility problems, miscarriages, low birth weight and menopausal problems such as hot flashes are all exacerbated by caffeine consumptions. Women on birth control pills are particularly at risk since they tend to have a decreased ability to detoxify caffeine. ( Caffeine and women's health Food Insight..15 October 2009 )

9.Caffeine tolerance may decrease with age. Caffeine dehydrates the body, and skin. It can also inhibit DHA repair.

10. Caffeine in a stimulant which binds to adenosine receptors in the brain. This leads to a range of complex reactions which cause and increase of stimulation at the adrenal glands. This can increase vulnerability to a variety of health disorders related to inflammation and fatigue. ( Doyle, Marek, "Caffeine, Stress and Aging", 3 Nov. 2010)

So I grew up with no one drinking coffee in my life, lucky for me some say, other's sit staring at me saying ,"You have never had a cup of coffee... you don't know what your missing!" I only started drinking coffee this year... Christmas of 2012, it was a short courtship lasting until just a few days ago. Do I miss the sweet warm feeling of coffee's embrace and how hot it all felt? YES, but Mark Hyman MD says,"It's hard to say if coffee is good or bad for us, you might get media whiplash trying to figure that out." So the best thing to do is remember moderation. Watch the cream and the sugar, and try to only have one every other day or once a day. I love Starbucks.... but all the added sugars to most of the lattes' is NOT your friend, find a new treat. But the choice is up to you.

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