Should you think before you have that next cup of coffee or afternoon energy drink? There are many options for caffeine, but what are the pros and cons of drinking it? Should you limit it or allow yourself to sip away?
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant that occurs naturally in plants such as tea leaves and cocoa beans. It stimulates the Central Nervous System and makes you feel more awake. Caffeine is in a plethora of drinks on the market today, but many question how much they should have daily. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends consuming no more than 400 mg each day. Those who are pregnant are recommended to consume no more than 200 mg each day.
How Much Do You Drink?
- 8 oz. coffee: 95-200 mg
- 12 oz. soda: 35-45 mg
- 8 oz. energy drink: 70-100 mg
- Brewed tea: 40-120 mg
- Espresso: 240-720 mg
- Watch your energy increase! Because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, it can be just what you need for a quick energy boost or to get going in the morning.
- See improvements in weight management. Caffeine increases your Resting Energy Expenditure, which can increase the amount of calories you burn.
- Watch for health changes. Some research shows a reduction in the risk of heart disease and an improvement in diabetes.
- Performance may increase. Drinking caffeine prior to working out can increase your energy level and improve performance. Some people like to have a pre-workout drink to help them feel energized and get moving.
But Be Cautious About…
- Monitor your blood pressure. If you struggle to keep your blood pressure in check, limit your caffeine as it has been shown to increase blood pressure. Try limiting your consumption to a cup or switch to decaf.
- Stay hydrated! Caffeine is a dieuretic, so you run the risk of becoming dehydrated if you choose only caffeinated beverages.
- Watch the sugar. Many caffeinated drinks also contain sugar, especially sweet coffee drinks. Choose low-calorie versions or consider making your own!
Mint Chocolate Ice Whipped Coffee
- 1/2 cup cold brew coffee
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat milk or other milk (non-dairy is an option, too)
- 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 3 tablespoons whipped cream or nondairy whipped cream
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
Add milk, coffee, chocolate syrup, and ice cubes to a blender. Blend until the ice is crushed and the mixture is slushy.
Mix whipped cream and peppermint extract in a small bowl.
Pour the blended coffee into a small glass and top with the peppermint whipped cream. Serve immediately.
- 114 calories
- Fat: 2.8g
- Cholesterol: 12.9 mg
- Sodium: 51.9 mg
- Carbohydrates: 17g
- Dietary fiber: 0.5g
- Protein: 2.8g
- Sugars: 13.5g
- Niacin equivalents: 0.1mg
- Saturated fat: 2.3g
Caffeine can have a place in your daily plan. Choose wisely and reap the benefits!