Coffee and tea are particularly popular drink choices due to their stimulant effect. But should you be limiting or even eliminating your caffeine intake if you are trying to be healthy and/or lose weight?
Firstly, does caffeine contribute to your water/fluid intake for the day? This is not a simple yes/no question. Caffeine is a diuretic, i.e. makes you lose more water through urine, and therefore can contribute to dehydration. But similarly if you are having a big cup of tea or coffee you are consuming a fair amount of water which obviously helps to hydrate you.
It all depends on the amount of caffeine, i.e. the strength of the drink you are consuming. So if you have a really large, weak cup of tea you will be a lot better off than if you have a really strong shot of espresso. To be on the safe side I think it’s best to not count tea or coffee in you daily fluid intake. So you want to be consuming 1.5/2 litres of pure water every day.
So from a hydration point of view as long as long are drinking plenty of water alongside you tea/coffee you will not dehydrate, but are there any other negatives to caffeine?
In short, only if the quantities are too high can caffeine pose any problems, but there are a few health risks if you drink too much;
1/ If you’re pregnant, be particularly careful. High caffeine intake can be linked to low birth weight as well as other risks.
2/It can interfere with certain medications and reduce their effectiveness.
3/ Can increase the excretion of calcium in urine and therefore increase the risk of osteoporosis.
4/ Can mess with your energy levels, blood sugar levels, and metabolism.
Today’s Takeaway – But if you stick to a maximum of 3/4 cups a day you will be fine. Caffeine is not bad for you in small quantities and there is no reason to cut it out completely.
This entry was posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:44 am and is filed under nutrition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.