Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caffeine and relaxing don't mix

Caffeine is hard to avoid because it is in some of our most favorite things such as chocolate, soda and coffee. According to, It is found in various beans, leaves and fruit in some plants.

For us humans, caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. Caffeine can have positive effects such as a "pick me up" when we need it the most. However, it can also have negative effects on our bodies such as making us overstimulated giving us the jitters and can spike our blood pressure.

* Mind boggling fact: Many researchers have mixed emotions regarding the effects that caffeine has on our blood pressure. Many studies have been done and they give results that are sometimes mind boggling. For example, one 12-year study was done using 155,000 women and they found that women who got their caffeine from soda experienced a risk for higher blood pressure than those women who got their caffeine from coffee. mentions other effects that caffeine has on our body such as disrupting sleep or interfering with hormones in our body and can cause moodiness. Too much caffeine such as approximately 4 cups, can make you dependant and cause you to have headaches as you try to wean yourself off of it.
Mayo Clinic hypertension specialist Dr. Sheldon Sheps recommends the following, "limit caffeine to 200 milligrams a day- about the same amount as in two 12-ounce cups of brewed coffee. Keep in mind that the amount of caffeine in coffee and soft drinks varies by brand. Also, avoid caffeine right before activities that naturally increase your blood pressure."