Knowing your health better.

Caffeine comes from coffee but it is also found in many other products. These include tea, chocolate, cola and some headache drugs.

Caffeine is defined as a drug because it affects the central nervous system. It is categorized as a stimulant because caffeine speeds up production of nerve impulses. Caffeine increases dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine us a neurotransmitter influencing certain parts of the brain and activating the pleasure centre.

Caffeine blocks adenosine reception so that you feel alert. It then injects adrenaline into the system to give you a boost. It also manipulates dopamine production to make you feel good.

So you can see why your brain might like caffeine in the short term. When taken in liquid form, caffeine produces a number of mild effects on the body.

A small dose such as one cup of coffee can have the following effects:

· Increased body temperature & metabolism.

· Increased urination.

· Increased alertness.

· Stimulated secretion of gastric acids.

· Stimulated secretion of serotonin.

· Dehydration.

In large doses caffeine can cause headaches, jitters and nervousness, along with reduced or delayed sleep patterns.

It can also interfere with the body’s absorption of minerals such as calcium and iron.

Caffeine is a drug and can be addictive. We recommend drinking no more than three cups of caffeinated beverages per day.

If you are drinking more than three caffeinated drinks per day don’t give up immediately as you may suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Rather cut down by one cup per day every three or four days until you are down to three cups or less per day.

Make sure that you follow every caffeinated drink you have with a glass of water to avoid dehydration.

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