In today’s jet set age where most of us have multiple roles, responsibilities and commitments, stress is inevitable. Coffee, to a lot of us, seems to be that one companion that helps us wake up and fight the `fatigue’ monster. The debate between caffeine addicts and health freaks, who stay away from it, is unending.So, I thought why not tackle the issue once and for all. Is coffee just bad, or too much of it is bad? To answer that, let’s ask a basic question…


Caffeine is the most popular drug throughout the world for a couple of reasons – it is a stimulant to the central nervous system as it decreases the time taken by our mind to respond to some thing, thus increasing mental efficiency. It also increases the heart rate and impacts our breathing process positively, by relax ing the air passage in the respiratory system. It is also a di uretic as it increases the urine output and delays fatigue.


Caffeine in right doses isn’t detrimental to our body’s functioning. Healthy adults, with no medical issues, can consume up to 300 to 400 mg of caffeine -approximately 3 cups (200 ml each) of coffee -per day, without any adverse effects. Some individuals are very sensitive to caffeine; even one cup of coffee (100 to 120 mg caffeine) hampers their sleep routine. Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine, and a higher intake is then needed to produce the same effects.

Thus, caffeine is con sidered an addictive drug. As you know, sleep is imperative for our body’s growth and wellbeing, any sub stance that hinders sleep should be avoided. This is why caffeine is not recommended for children under 12 years of age. With increasing demand on teens to perform well in studies as well as extra curricular activities, a caffeine has become their best friend; not to forget that coffee shop adda has become a part of an adolescent’s `cool’ lifestyle. But since teenagers undergo a constant brain development process, they should ideally keep their coffee consumption under 100 mg per day. Also, pregnant women and nursing mothers must consume as little caffeine as possible -a maximum of 200 mg per day -to prevent a negative effect on the developing foetus or the infant.


Your daily limit of caffeine is the sum total of caffeine from your daily intake of coffee plus other sources, like black tea (47 to 60 mg per cup), green tea (25 mg per cup), energy drinks (80 to 100 mg per can) and aerated sodas (40 to s 50 mg per can). Also, remember that the type of coffee beans and methods of brewing also affect the overall caffeine content. A standard espresso contains 80 mg caffeine, while a cup of strong drip coffee has 140 mg.Generally, dark roast coffee has less caffeine content than lighter roasts as the roasting process reduces the bean’s caffeine content.

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