Caffeine. Good or Bad?

Many of us love our coffee and tea because they are our de facto perk-me-up-drink in the morning.

And with cafes and bubble tea shops sprouting up everywhere these days, many of us might be consuming more caffeine than we realised and needed.

Caffeine consumption has always been a topic of controversy. So it is good or bad?

Before we judge, lets understand caffeine a little better.

  • So what is caffeine?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant commonly found in tea, coffee, and even cacao plants (think of chocolates!)

  • How much caffeine do I need a day?

Most adults can consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This will translate to about 2-3 cups a day.

Teenagers should limit themselves to no more than 100 mg of caffeine per day as their physique is not as developed to take in as much caffeine as the adults.

  • How much caffeine is present in my cuppa and sweet treats?
  • Black Coffee: 102–200 mg
  • Energy or Sports drinks : 50–160 mg
  • Brewed tea: 40–120 mg
  • Soft drinks: 20–40 mg
  • Decaffeinated coffee: 3–12 mg
  • Cocoa beverage: 2–7 mg
  • Chocolate milk: 2–7 mg
  • 1-2 squares of milk chocolate: 1–15 mg
  • 1-2 squares of dark chocolate: 5–35 mg.
  • So is caffeine a health booster? Or not?

The Pros to Caffeine consumption

  • Lower health risks
    Studies have found that regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia of up to 60% Great news!
  • More alert

Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant which makes you’ll feel more awake and less tired! It’s a commonly used in medications to treat drowsiness and migraines.

  • Weight loss booster

Consuming about 300 mg of caffeine per day may allow you to burn an extra 79 calories daily. However, try not to add the weight back with the whipped cream, full cream milk and sugar syrup from your frappuccino or macchiato. Best is coffee black with little sugar! (Kopi O Siu Dai, anyone?)

The Cons to Caffeine consumption

  • Fragile bones

Caffeine in large amounts may interfere with absorption and metabolism of calcium. This can contribute to osteoporosis which means fragile bones that can break easily. Ouch!

  • Caffeine withdrawal

You may experience headaches, anxiety and drowsiness if you suddenly reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet. This is known as caffeine withdrawal/ which is almost like cold turkey treatment.

  • Need to urine more often.

Experience going to the toilet more often after your coffee/tea? This is because caffeine doesn’t get stored in your body. It gets processed in the liver and exits through your urine. This is why you feel the need to empty your bladder more often after your cuppa which is known as the diuretic effect.

In a nutshell, you can still enjoy the “perks” (pun intended) of your daily coffee, but just don’t reach out to more than 3 cups a day!

Enjoy your guilt-free caffeinated drinks at any of the Food Canopy outlets where you can ask for freshly brewed hot/ cold beverages without sugar! Sure helps to kick start a bright new day!


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