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What’s Brewing With Caffeine & Healthy Living?

Coffee beans.

Ah, caffeine - the magical elixir that fuels our mornings and powers our afternoons! With its ability to enhance focus, boost energy, and even reduce our risk of certain diseases, it's no wonder that caffeine has become a staple in so many of our lives. 

As with any good thing, there are potential downsides, especially if you’re reevaluating your healthy living routine.  

Let's explore the good, the bad, and the caffeinated!

FUN FACT: Did you know that, in 1991, coffee was named a possible carcinogen by the World Health Organization? SHUDDER! But, in 2016, it was cleared of any association with increased cancer risk and removed from the hit list! Whew! 

a cup of matcha tea on a wooden board with a nature background.

What are the health benefits of caffeine? 

When consumed in moderation, caffeine has been shown to improve mental focus, alertness, and cognitive function. Additionally, caffeine has been linked to a reduced risk of some diseases

What are the downsides to caffeine? 

While caffeine can have some health benefits, it's important to understand the risks, especially for those who drink too many caffeinated beverages. 

Overconsumption of caffeine is associated with some uncomfortable side effects, like jitters, anxiety, irritability, and sleep disturbances. 

Excessive amounts of caffeine can cause even more severe symptoms like heart palpitations, high blood pressure, panic attacks, and in rare cases, heart attacks.

Pay attention to your body's response to caffeine and dial it back if you notice even a hint of symptoms, like anxiety, jitters, or palpitations! 

How much caffeine is OK? 

The consensus is that caffeine intake for adults should not exceed 400 mg per day. 

Drinking more than this amount can lead to those jittery, anxiety-ridden afternoons that end in a big grumpy crash! Yaaaawn! 

Want to know how much caffeine is in your favorite "Go Juice"? Find out here! 

How Much is Too Much?

Caffeine sensitivity varies significantly from person to person; some people may experience adverse side effects from consuming even small amounts. And some people should NOT have ANY caffeine at all! (Check in with your healthcare team!)

Excessive caffeine consumption is defined as more than 400mg per day. 

And just because 400mg per day is considered safe, that doesn’t mean you should consume this amount - or any! Listen to your body. 

How can drinking caffeine affect weight management and healthy living goals?

High caffeine intake interferes with sleep quality, gut health, and weight management goals, especially in sweet or calorie-dense beverages.

Popular coffee and energy drinks are loaded with added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and other high-calorie additives. 

If you’re a coffee drinker, listen up! Flavored creamers are loaded with sugar and are heavily processed. Avoid sugar-free creamers because they are harmful to your gut health. Artificial sweeteners are on the naughty list, folks! (More on this in a future blog post!) 

So if you can only tolerate caffeinated drinks that are very sweet, look for other ways to boost your energy! Like getting enough fiber, staying hydrated, and movement! 

Watch your timing!! Caffeine interferes with sleep quality, a critical factor in overall health and weight management. 

So set a limit, stick with it, and learn more ways to boost energy without caffeine! 

What are some healthy caffeine sources? 

There are many choices when it comes to getting a caffeine jolt, but a few options stand out; here are the ones we think you’ll like!

Green Tea: Green tea is a great caffeine source that contains antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. It has less caffeine than coffee but still provides a noticeable energy boost without jitters or crashes. 

  • Caffeine Content: Between 30 and 50 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce (230-ml) cup.

Yerba Mate: Yerba mate is a South American drink that contains about as much caffeine as coffee but with more antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds. It's been linked to improved mental focus, mood, and energy levels. 

  • Caffeine Content: About 80 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce (230-ml) cup.

Matcha: Matcha is a type of powdered green tea that is particularly high in caffeine and antioxidants. It's an excellent choice for a morning or afternoon pick-me-up, and its calming amino acid, L-theanine, can help prevent jitters. 

  • Caffeine Content: About 70 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce (230-ml) cup.

Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is a surprisingly good source of caffeine, with about as much caffeine as a can of soda. It also contains flavonoids and other beneficial compounds that may help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. 

  • Caffeine Content: About 12 mg of caffeine per ounce.

Coffee: Although it often gets a bad rap, coffee can actually be a healthy source of caffeine when consumed in moderation. It contains antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that have been linked to a reduced risk of some diseases. Avoid added sugars and processed creamers to maximize the health benefits of coffee. 

  • Caffeine Content: About 95 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce (230-ml) cup.

Caffeine, as you can see, can be great for mental focus and clarity when you need a quick pick-me-up.  But it's important to watch your intake, listen to your body, and be aware of its potential side effects. 

By choosing healthy sources of caffeine, not overdoing it, and balancing it with other healthy habits, you can enjoy the benefits of caffeine while achieving your healthy living goals! 

So go ahead and savor your favorite coffee or cup of tea and live… just better.®

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