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CAFFEINE: APPETITE, WEIGHT LOSS AND WARNINGS

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Caffeine is a natural food element that can be found in coffee beans, tea leaves and other drinks. Caffeine can also be made synthetically. It is a stimulant known to help people to stay awake and focused for longer, without feeling fatigued or tired, has been said to help weight loss and boost the metabolism.

IS CAFFEINE NEEDED

Caffeine is frequently used by people to stimulate them to stay awake for longer without feeling sleepy, such as when they are driving or studying for exams. However, it can have negative impacts as a result of continuous use and also cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE

  • Severe headaches - Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system in order for an individual to be able to stay awake and focused for a longer period of time. However, too much can lead to severe headaches, and even cause hallucinations.
  • Heartburn and stomach problems - Caffeine has also been linked to heartburn and other stomach problems for people who have been using it for a long time. This is because it stimulates the production of excessive amounts of acid.
  • High blood pressure - Caffeine also increases blood pressure in people who consume it often. When caffeine is consumed it enters the bloodstream and gets pumped to the various parts of the body and this brings about an increase in the blood pressure due to the fact that the heart is always subjected to more work by the mere presence of caffeine in the bloodstream.
  • Increase foetal heart rate -  In pregnant women, caffeine can bring about an increase in the heart rate of an unborn child.

POSITIVE EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE

  • Calorie burning - It is reported that caffeine can increase a process in your body called thermogenesis which is when your body uses energy to digest food and it also produces heat as a by-product.
  • Appetite suppression - There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that consuming caffeine helps to suppress the appetite and therefore reduce what you eat each day.
  • Increased metabolism - Caffeine can help to break down your fat stores which are used to provide energy for your body, and thus helps to boost your metabolism.

HOW T O USE CAFFEINE EFFECTIVELY

The above are just some of the effects of caffeine but you can improve your use of caffeine to minimise the negative side effects:

  • Consume caffeine in small quantities throughout the course of the day. This will help your body make effective use as there won’t be in incidence of having too much caffeine in your bloodstream at a particular point in time.
  • Ensure that you have eaten well before consuming caffeinated drinks. This will also help to ensure that your body has the required amount of food nutrients so that the heart will also get enough energy to keep pumping blood and oxygen without putting additional pressure on it.
  • Drink plenty of water before your coffee drink: This helps to keep the caffeine well diluted within your body so that its ability to cause the body to release excess acid will also be reduced. This will help you to avoid stomach problems that may arise as a result of the excess acid .

Caffeine can have both negative and positive benefits, depending on how and how often you use it. Another example is of athletes who use it in training and racing in order to sustain a higher level of exertion for a longer period of time and therefore improve their performance. It has to be used wisely though, as overdosing is common and some of the negative effects above are experienced by inexperienced athletes.

Warning: Those who are pregnant or have any heart related problems should avoid caffeine due to the potential dangerous side effects.

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