Caffeine Health Benefits and Risks


Here’s a nasty little secret you didn’t know about caffeine:  If your adrenal glands–the part of your body that produces stress hormones like cortisol & adrenaline are on overdrive–you could be setting yourself up for hypo/hyperglycemic reactions (low/high blood sugar).

A brief explanation about caffeine metabolism:

Caffeine is metabolized in the liver via enzymes.

Once the enzymes have broken down caffeine into metabolic byproducts, each has their own unique effect on the body, like increasing levels of fatty acids to the blood and dilating blood vessels.

Now this may sound healthy, but herein lies the problem:  Some people avoid caffeine because just one cup can make them jittery or anxious. Others can many cups of coffee with no response.

Nutrigenomic research (the study of how the diet impacts our genes) has found a reason for this: half of the population clears caffeine out of their body at a much quicker rate and the other half is slower due to the CYP1A2 gene which determines how quickly the body break down caffeine.   Those who metabolize caffeine more slowly should be careful because the incidence of heart attacks were higher in those populations.

My advice

Try to gradually replace all afternoon caffeinated beverages (including diet coke) to Unsmoked Yerba Mate or just plain water with lemon.  Keep in mind that feeling worse in the beginning stages of caffeine withdrawal is very common and eventually you’ll start to feel much better.

If you’re drinking caffeinated beverages, make sure your lifestyle is more active than sedentary.  Engaging in daily physical activity is healthy for detoxification–especially if you are half of the population who isn’t clearing the caffeine from your body as efficiently as you should.

More about Caffeine Health Benefits and Risks can be found here.