8th June 2023

Caffeine is a naturally occurring chemical found in a variety of foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. It’s the world’s most widely used psychoactive drug, with over 80% of the world’s population consuming caffeine daily. Caffeine is a stimulant and can provide a boost of energy and improve thinking and brain function, but it also has potential negative effects on health. Here are some of the pros and cons of caffeine for health:

Pros of Caffeine:

  1. Increased Energy: One of the main benefits of caffeine is that it can provide a sense of increased energy. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, increasing alertness and reducing feelings of fatigue.
  2. Improved Cognitive Function: Caffeine has been shown to improve cognitive function, including increased attention, focus, and memory.
  3. Boosts Physical Performance: Caffeine can also improve physical performance, particularly in endurance sports. Caffeine can increase the amount of fat that is burned for fuel during exercise, which can improve endurance. It can also help with short sharp bursts of activity like sprinting and jumping
  4. Potential Health Benefits: Caffeine consumption in small to moderate amounts has been linked to a reduced risk of some chronic diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and liver cancer. High caffeine intake has been linked to negative health (see below)

Cons of Caffeine:

  1. Increased Anxiety: Caffeine can increase anxiety and irritability in some people. It can also worsen symptoms of anxiety disorders.
  2. Disrupts Sleep: Caffeine can disrupt sleep, particularly when consumed later in the day. This can lead to fatigue and reduce cognitive function.
  3. Can Lead to Dehydration: Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it can increase urine production and lead to dehydration. Many people don’t drink enough water for their body’s needs as it is, adding caffeine makes that situation worse.
  4. Can increase stomach acid production. When taken on an empty stomach (like first thing in the morning) caffeine affects your normal digestion processes causing irritability, indigestion and sometimes heart burn.
  5. Addiction and Withdrawal: Caffeine is an addictive substance, and regular consumption can lead to withdrawal symptoms when you stop. These symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, and irritability.
  6. Can Aggravate Certain Health Conditions: Caffeine can aggravate certain health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and acid reflux.

Caffeine has both pros and cons for health. While it can provide a sense of increased energy and can improve cognitive function, it can also lead to negative effects, such as anxiety, disrupted sleep, and dehydration. It’s important that

if you consume caffeine that you do so in moderation and are aware of its potential negative effects on health. At FastTrack, we recommend limiting your caffeine intake , but if you choose to have a coffee for example that you have this after you have eaten in the morning, and that you don’t have any caffeine after about 10.30am. Try decaf, we were all surprised how it can taste really good!