Caffeine.

coffee

It appears I have a theme this week… and for no particular reason, either… promise! 😉

The average American drinks 3.5 cups of coffee per day. This begs the age-old question: Is caffeine good or bad? Well, the answer is both. It has pros and cons that every individual should consider carefully. Here are just a few of the pros and cons of caffeine (links are to sources).

Pros:

Cons:

  • Elevates blood pressure.
  • Increases stress hormones and one’s perception of stress.
  • Abdominal pain, increased bowel movements, and diarrhea due to increased contractions of the stomach muscles (warning to those with IBS or Crohn’s).
  • Emotional effects such as irritability, anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia.

Different people have different levels of tolerance and sensitivity to caffeine. Some people are so sensitive that any caffeine after noon will keep them awake all night. Or, if you’re like me, you can drink a cup coffee and it does nothing for you. My morning coffee isn’t exactly to wake me up – for me, it’s more about the routine and just a little treat for myself to start the day. The bottom line, as always, is to pay attention to your body to decide what is right for you. If you have any concerns associated with the cons list, then you might want to avoid caffeine. However, if caffeine doesn’t adversely affect you, then perhaps you can reap the benefits from the pros list.

So tell me, how does caffeine affect you?

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