6 Things Your Doctor Wishes You Knew About Caffeine

Step away from the espresso.

For many of us, life completely sans caffeine will probably never be a thing. But keeping a lid on your intake could do all kinds of good stuff for your body. Here's everything your doctor wish you knew about the busy person's drug of choice.

1. Even a morning coffee can ruin your sleep

We all know that having energy drink as a night cap is going to keep us up all night shaking, but caffeine at any time of day can interfere with your kip.

"Because caffeine is a stimulant and the effects can last up to 24 hours, it can interfere with the process of falling asleep," explains Christina Merryfield, lead dietitian at Bupa Cromwell Hospital. "If you are having sleeping problems then you need to limit your consumption, especially in the afternoon and evening.

2. It can be bad for your bones

If you're drinking more than four cups of coffee a day, you're going to need to pee more, which can make you lose calcium.

Christina says: "Nutrients such as calcium, are essential for bone health which can help reduce the risk of bone fractures later in life. Good sources are dairy, leafy vegetables, nuts, and fish where you eat the bones like sardines."

But rather than upping your calcium intake to counteract the effects, the advice is, alas, to decrease your caffeine.

3. Caffeine can impact your mental health

Caffeine can make you super alert but, depending on your tolerance and how much coffee you're necking, it can also make you feel anxious, irritable and jittery.

The NHS advises that people with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) avoid caffeine altogether.

This is what NHS Choices says about caffeine and anxiety:

"Caffeine can disrupt your sleep and also speed up your heartbeat. If you are tired, you are less likely to be able to control your anxious feelings.

"Avoiding drinks containing caffeine - such as coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and energy drinks - may help reduce your anxiety levels."

4. It isn't the only stimulant you need to watch out for

Drinks containing caffeine are often packed with other stimulants as well. Opting for sugar-free drinks, and watching out for extra stimulants, can cut negative health effects.

Christina says:

"Taurine, guarana and ginseng are other ingredients which may be found in caffeinated drinks, particularly in energy drinks, in addition to caffeine. These may have mild stimulant effects. Energy drinks may also be high in sugar which can also provide a short term energy boost."

5. Avoid a dinnertime cuppa

"Tea and coffee consumed with a meal can reduce the absorption of iron from your food," says Christina.

If you don't consume enough iron you can get tired easily and feel short of breath. Heavy periods can also put you at greater risk of becoming iron deficient.

6. You really do develop a tolerance

We joke about Starbucks addiction but your body does actually end up needing more and more caffeine to give you the same buzz.

Christina explains:

"If you regularly drink large quantities of caffeine - say, five or more cups of coffee a day - you may find your tolerance increases and that you need to drink even more to get the same stimulant effect."

Rather than cutting caffeine altogether, it's better to gradually wean yourself off. That way, you avoid headaches and feeling like a total zombie.

By Natasha Preskey

See the full story on Cosmopolitan.co.uk

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What do you think?

Life
Share
If You're Big On Italian, You're Going To Love This Place...
Get your Tiramisu spoons ready!
Life
Share
"Whoever Said Feminism Was the Opposite of Femininity?"
Six incredible women share their perspective on the 'F' word...
Life
Share
9 Miraculous Workout Moves to Get the 'Best Body' in 1 Minute!
An ultimate guide to #InstaFitness!
Life
Share
Here Are 12 Funniest Reactions to the Snapchat Fiasco!
Poor or not, we're def rich in humour!
Life
Share
5 Secret Tips Every Fit Girl Follows!
Thank us later...
Life
Share
Get a Flat Stomach Super-Quick With This ONE Exercise
Recommended by Harvard doctors, this effective move doesn't even require the gym or any equipments!
Life
Share
Here's Why Sairee Chahal Set Up India's First Women-Only Job Portal...
...and how she did it.
Life
Share
7 Super-Gross Things That Happen When You Don't Change Out of Your Gym Clothes
Seriously. Get out of your gym clothes ASAP.
Life
Share
How Documentary Filmmaker Sabiha Sumar Crowdfunded Her Brilliant New Project
"Getting funding from any set of investors is a terribly trying experience—there's no circumventing the pain of the process in any...
Life
Share
Age Shaming (But In Reverse)
A whole lot of young people just don't feel as sprightly as the rest—and when you prefer staying in to slugging shots, every day is...