It is getting included in many new items every day. Instead of getting your caffeine via coffee and energy drinks, it is now appearing in all sorts of beauty products, medicines, and additional food items like gum. Why you might ask? Because caffeine does more than act as a stimulant to keep you going, it has a wealth of positive properties on the human body.
So why is everyone jumping on the caffeine bus? It is because this new research is disproving many of the harmful myths about caffeine that have been around popular culture for years, and along the way finding out that caffeine is actually making people healthier! By incorporating caffeine in new and inventive ways, products are doing their best to help you take advantage of some of these great benefits.
When ingested orally it acts as everyone’s favorite stimulant, blocking Adenosine in your brain which starts a chain reaction to make your brain fire on all cylinders, as well as providing an influx of antioxidants (1). When applied to skin it acts as a vasoconstrictor as well as providing many natural antioxidants. You will typically see this in facial creams and other beauty products to help in tightening up skin in sensitive areas and reduce redness.
So far, we have 26 ways caffeine is improving your life according to modern research!
Coffee and caffeine have been found to significantly reduce the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease (Studies). By keeping your mind sharpened with this
chemical, you are doing yourself a favor in the long run as well as the short-term. By blocking the adenosine receptors, caffeine effectively inhibits the inflammation of the brain that eventually leads to Alzheimer’s disease.
In a 2012 Harvard Study (link) it was found that people who drink at least three cups of coffee in a day have a 20% lower risk of developing basal cell carcinoma than non-coffee drinkers. This is the most common type of cancer in the country, and 20% is nothing to sneeze at.
By stimulating and energizing you, your resting metabolic calorie burn rate be higher than normal. By raising your metabolism in this way, you’ll be keeping the weight off a little bit by increasing how many calories you are burning at rest, and that’s a good side effect in our book.
It has been shown that caffeine intake can actually help prevent liver disease by aiding the breaking down of the lipids that cause such diseases and put stress onto this vital organ. By consuming coffee habitually you’re helping to avoid such liver complications down the line. (Study)
Per a study in 2013, caffeine and coffee has been shown to reduce the chance of being diagnosed with diabetes among other diseases. According to the authors of one study “Compared with no coffee consumption… six cups a day of coffee was associated with a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.” These are great findings because approximately 70% of people who suffer from diabetes will go on to develop Alzheimer’s, so by drinking some extra coffee you're getting some great life value.
That extra cup or two of coffee is doing yourself quite a few favors already, and you are only at number 5!
Even though it might brown your teeth a bit (Remember to brush!), according to some dentists, coffee is actually found to have a net positive effect in reducing the chance you will develop a cavity in your mouth.
A cup (or six) a day keeps the dentist away.
This happens because caffeine is a stimulant. All stimulants by nature reduce your craving for food. Whether it is because you are too distracted by expending your newfound energy, or if it is the true effect of simply blocking your brain from accepting the hunger receptors, it’s a known fact that this will happen when consuming any stimulant.
Many people look to energy drinks or complicated and complex pre-workout drinks before hitting the gym. Little do they know, caffeine is often one of the most-included ingredients of those complex formulas.
Next time, instead of reaching for the latest Jack3d or other hyped-up workout formula, have an extra cup of coffee or two and see how that treats you. It is natural, has plenty of antioxidants, and does not have an outrageous amount of additional chemicals, all while giving you that energy boost to finish your last few sets.
When someone has an intense headache, it is typically treated by an over-the-counter medicine. The primary component in those extra strength versions of medications is caffeine because it has analgesic properties that allow your body to metabolize the important medicines more quickly as a side effect of caffeine’s presence.
Studies, like This One, are showing that caffeine can protect the brain from Parkinson’s disease by enabling a neuroprotection against neuronal degeneration. It is a disease that afflicts approximately 1% of the world’s population over 60 years of age, and if caffeine can help deter that, I will gladly drink an extra cup or two.
One of the highest concentrations of antioxidants that you can find naturally is in Caffeine. Scientists have discovered that coffee and caffeine hold an incredibly high concentration of antioxidants, which can scavenge your body for free radicals. Free radicals are electrons that can wreak havoc and cause damage at a very low atomic level, and this helps stave off that damage. Read more here at Science Daily.
As a topical ointment, caffeine can reduce rosacea in the skin. This is yet another example of how the cosmetic industry is working towards taking advantage of this great ingredient.
As a topical treatment in cosmetics and the like, there is a new addition. In conjunction with the beautification angles of caffeine, there is a quality in caffeine that protects skin from ultraviolet rays according to this study by the NIH. Combine this with caffeine's ingested property of reducing skin cancer, it's a no-brainer that it has found itself in skin care products as well.
By keeping you more alert and stimulating your brain’s neurons, your memory centers in the brain are able to store that information and retrieve it with better success. Per This Study, they found a significant increase in long-term memory storage for people that have a habitual relationship with caffeine.
Dopamine, which is what triggers the pleasure center of your brain, is allowed to flow more freely and is released when you consume caffeine. This not only leads to a more productive you, but one that is much happier as well. You can read more about the dopamine side effect in this abstract from the NIH.
Per another NIH study, caffeine applied topically can cause cellulite to reduce in size and appearance. If you are looking to reduce the cellulite content in a certain area, it might be worth investing in a topical cream and see if it works out for you. As an active property it literally “... prevents excessive accumulation of fat in cells” according to this NIH study's scientists. Yet another way for costmetics companies to incorporate caffeine.
Part of the vasoconstriction property of caffeine, which causes the blood vessels to constrict, is that this can tighten up loose or wrinkled skin somewhat. The content of many facial creams such as this one contain about 3% caffeine by volume and combined with the antioxidant properties, makes for a great way to keep your skin looking more youthful. Check out this example facial cream that is already utilizing caffeine among other things, for this same benefit.
According to this study, caffeine can have a fully positive effect on hair growth. The results showed that caffeine in high concentration was able to stimulate the follicle growth at a significant level.
It is FDA safe, but you may have feelings of physical dependency such as sluggishness or headache. However, that is not the same as addiction, because while you may experience some withdrawal symptoms and not feel as energetic, you are not physically incapable of functioning if you do not have caffeine in your system.
A topical application of caffeine is actually shown to significantly reduce the fat cell volume in your body. The caffeine is raising your metabolism and that slight reduction in your fat cell’s volume will help you look slimmer than normal. In this study by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, when applied to a person’s thighs they saw an average ½-inch reduction in circumference of the thigh. While it’s not permanent, it’s a fascinating way to see caffeine’s impact on the human body.
It is known that caffeine can be found in many items naturally, and per the CDC its most commonly derived from coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans, and cola nuts. From these sources, caffeine is then harvested as a natural ingredient and incorporated into a multitude of beverages and products across the globe.
The National Institute of Health says that drinking coffee has an approximate 10% reduction in the death rate. This was found after following 400,000 Americans starting in 1996 through 2008, and recording data about their lives including coffee consumption.
By being more alert and stimulated, you will effectively perform at a higher level using this natural component. This is a great way to stay focused while at the wheel of a car or at any real point in your daily routine when reaction time is of the essence.
By consuming 16oz of coffee a day in addition to their normal diet, it was found that this amount of coffee reduced the change of heart failure by up to 11%. While the American Heart Association may advise against it, some studies are beginning to lean the other way, as found by this study of 140,000 participants, in which caffeine showed a net reduction in heart failure for those who drink coffee.
This one might be a little self-gratifying because I enjoy getting up to take a stretch from my desk more often. However, it is true; coffee is a diuretic but that slight effect Does Not Offset Its Hydration. When tallying up your water intake for the day it is recommended to include coffee and teas (caffeinated items) into that tally, because even though there is a diuretic effect the water still counts more.
It would not be a list of caffeine's triumphs without mentioning its greatest overall benefit, waking you up in the morning! There’s a reason over 70% of Americans start their day with a cup of coffee, and that little boost combined with all of the above benefits make it a great start to any day.
As you can see, there is a lot to know and still learn about coffee and caffeine. The more we learn, the more we can incorporate it into our lives and take advantage of its many benefits.
Please do take care if you have pre-existing conditions that prevent caffeine consumption at higher levels, and consult your doctor on all such matters. If you are a healthy individual that is in need of direction, unknowing if your coffee habit is healthy or not, I think you can rest assured that coffee does more good than it does harm if you can drink it.
Check out this affordable way to brew great coffee at home, the Keurig K55Share on Twitter Share on Facebook