Despite its almost global popularity, the health sector continues to raise questions as to whether caffeine is helpful or harmful. While caffeine does pack a lot of perks – from reducing chronic and exercise-induced muscle pain to bolstering general wellness and activeness, and even boosting your metabolism, it’s worth being aware of the healthy rules of caffeine consumption.
1. Pick your caffeine choices wisely.
The most common caffeinated consumables are coffee, tea, ice cream, and chocolates. When you feel like your body needs a bit of a caffeine boost, skip the sugar-loaded ice cream and chocolate options. Coffee and tea will both do the trick.
2. Limit your intake.
Stick to approx 200 – 300mg of caffeine per day or about 2 cups of coffee. Beyond this, you may experience side effects like jitteriness, upset stomach, or disturbed sleep. At the safe 200-300mg range, however, caffeine is known to improve your cognitive functions and even help protect you against type 2 diabetes and liver disease.
3. Consume your caffeine in the mornings and pre-exercise.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can enhance both your alertness and your endurance. It’s especially effective when taken an hour before a workout, to improve your performance.
4. Understand your inner balance.
While on average people report general health and wellness at about 2 cups of coffee/tea a day, you must always consider what’s right for you specifically. If caffeine gets you jittery, upsets your stomach, or makes you anxious, for example, then it’s best to cut back. Find your own sweet-spot.
You can also look into other ways to consume caffeine that you may tolerate better. Caffeinated gels and chews can be very useful. So, even if it’s not a caffeinated drink, there might still be a caffeine substance that’s right for you.