For the most part, we are trained to see caffeine as a bad thing. It’s something we’re meant to drink less of; that the world has an over-reliance on; something we could all do with cutting down on. There are even terms like “addiction” and “withdrawal” frequently used to describe our love of caffeine.
The problem is… caffeine isn’t a Bad Guy. In fact, in might even be the exact opposite: a white hat, the Good Guy, an upstanding member of the food and drink family. For years, caffeine has been maligned and blamed for all manner of issues – but there are actually many positive health benefits from your morning cup of Joe.
Caffeine The Cancer Fighter
It’s true: numerous studies have shown that caffeine has a powerful input when it comes to cancer prevention. Caffeine reduces the risk of throat and mouth cancer and is currently being studied for the possibility it helps to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Caffeine The Memory Booster
Caffeine has been shown to be able to improve memory and even help increase focus in those with Attention Deficit Disorder.
Caffeine The Hair Loss Solution
Caffeine has long been used to help prevent hair loss, and can even be effective at stimulating growth when hair loss has begun. For this reason, numerous shampoos and conditioners contain the substance.
How Much Is Too Much?
Even with its benefits, it’s important to remember that caffeine should be consumed in moderate quantities. It is, after all, a stimulant – too much and you’ll be jittery and uncomfortable. The general consensus is that four cups of coffee per day (around 400ml) is safe for a healthy adult to consume.
What Drinks Contain Caffeine?
If you’re sold on the benefits and want to consume more of this powerful substance, then you have plenty of options.
The best known caffeinated drink is – obviously – coffee. Instant coffee isn’t going to thrill the taste buds, so it might be worth investigating other methods of making coffee if you’re a serious connoisseur. You could try a French press, play with coffee bean roasters or even experiment with making your own frappés – perfect for a hot summer’s day!
If coffee isn’t your thing, then you still have options. There’s caffeine in black and green tea, both of which can be brewed hot or cold depending on your preference. You’ll also find caffeine in soft drinks and drinks designed to provide energy – but you may wish to avoid these for other reasons. Most energy drinks, for example, don’t utilize caffeine to give a jolt of energy, but instead contain huge amounts of sugar so as to provide a sugar rush. You’d be better opting for coffee or a brewed tea if you’re in need of a shot of energy.
Finally, it’s worth noting that even though a substance has a bad reputation, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to avoid it. There’s plenty of research out there which can help to expand your mind and broaden the options on your palette – so don’t write anything off just from hearsay!