Saturday, October 4, 2008

Are you Hooked?

While I was in labor with my son I heard another lady having a baby say...would someone get me a diet Coke NOW! It was hilarious that when she was in pain she wanted a Diet Coke. I have been off and on in my life in drinking caffeinne. I won't for months then once I have a diet Pepsi I keep craving them. Is caffeinne really that bad?.....
Pure caffeine is a bitter, white, crystalline substance that acts as a stimulant drug. That's not exactly the kind of ingredient you would want to see listed on the side of a diet Coke bottle. Yet caffeine is a big part of our lifestyles, and has recently become an even bigger topic of interest in research studies, which have drawn a wide range of conclusions on its effects. One day caffeine is shown to be a great antioxidant; the next day we're told to avoid it altogether. The constant debates and studies can cause a great deal of confusion, especially for those of us who are not only concerned about our health, but hate to think of giving up chocolate or diet pepsi.

Caffeine: The Positive Side

On the plus side, studies have shown that regular consumption of caffeine can reduce the chance of developing Parkinson's disease. Caffeine has also been linked to protecting the body against gallstones and improving alertness. In addition, it appears to enhance mood, temporarily improve physical stamina, and relieve headaches. These are all benefits that most people would love to enjoy from a common, everyday beverage. Keep in mind, however, that participants in these studies drank 2-3 cups or less of caffeinated beverages to yield these positive results. More isn't necessarily better.

Caffeine: What to Beware Of

On the flip side, caffeine can interfere with certain other aspects of your health. It has been reported that sleep patterns are definitely disturbed when you drink caffeine a few hours before bedtime. That makes sense, of course: if caffeine is meant to keep you alert, then you can probably forget about trying to fall asleep quickly after a diet pepsi Max. Furthermore, contrary to its reputation, caffeine does not effectively help "wake" us up after a poor night's sleep or diminish the effects of alcohol. You may feel more alert, but a Coke will not help you drive better or improve your judgment.

Unfortunately, sleep isn't the only thing that caffeine can disturb. Fertility rates and miscarriages are reported as being negatively impacted by as little as 2 pops a day. Health Canada states that women who may be trying to conceive should have no more than 300 mg/day of caffeine.

Limiting caffeine intake can be difficult these days because of an explosion of products with caffeine additives. A quick check of grocery shelves will reveal caffeine in energy drinks, in chewing gums, and even in non-consumables such as soap!

Here is a list so you know much much is in what...
Beverage Caffeine (mg)

Starbucks Brewed Coffee (Grande - 16 oz.) 320
Tea, brewed (8 oz.) 53
Diet Coke (12 oz.) 47
Dr. Pepper (12 oz.) 42
Pepsi (12 oz.) 38
Coca-Cola Classic 35
Monster Energy (16 oz) 160
Red Bull (12 oz) 114

Coffee has a ton huh? In my own oppinion, I feel that if you don't have a caffinated drink for a day and you get a headache then you are addicted and need to cut back.

1 comment:

VanSickles said...

I can't drink pop, it kills my stomach. Just another thing to add to the extremly long list of foods that I can't eat. Lucky me...