There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee or tea in the morning and many of us will be the first to admit that we need our daily dose of caffeine to get our day started. Given that about 68% of Americans in 2006 claimed to be addicted to coffee, according to the National Coffee Association, an important question we should all ask is, “How is caffeine affecting our health?” The truth is, there are many pros and cons to which each person should weigh in determining their own answer to this question. In honor of the widespread love for the cup o’ Joe we are so fond of, let us begin with the positive effects that caffeine has on our health.
Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant. In addition to giving us an energy kick and a decrease in fatigue, it temporarily increases our mental processes. As a result, it can help boost our short-term memory and reduce the risk for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other memory loss related health problems. Many caffeinated drinks such as green tea also contain anti-oxidants that reduce inflammation throughout our bodies and may reduce the risks for cancer and heart disease. Additionally, nutritionist Rania Batayneh attests that caffeine releases the neurotransmitter Dopamine, which increases productivity and alertness.