Caffeine is part of almost everyone’s diet. It has both positive and negative effects on the body, depending on the dose.
No matter if it comes from coffee, tea or dark chocolate, caffeine can speed up your metabolism, make you more alert and improve your memory. It also makes your blood pressure higher, increases your heart rate and works as a diuretic.
CAFFEINE AND FERTILITY
There’s no conclusive data on whether caffeine affects fertility. Scientists assume it can make it harder for women to get pregnant and it can change the DNA structure in sperm cells. It’s estimated that those effects come from other habits associated with caffeine consumption (for example, coffee and cigarettes).
CAFFEINE DURING PREGNANCY
The caffeine molecule can pass through the placenta. Unfortunately, the fetus can’t metabolize it the way adults can. It can cause disturbance in its sleeping pattern and cause excessive fetal movements. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor which can lead to decreased blood flow to the fetus. This can lead to preterm birth and low birth weight.
Some gynecologists allow their patients to take in minimal amounts of caffeine during pregnancy (less than 200mg daily). However, since caffeine is found not only in coffee, you should avoid the delicious beverage as much as possible.
ENERGY DRINKS — A MODERN ALTERNATIVE?
The amount of caffeine in a can of energy drink can greatly surpass the one in cup of coffee. Manufacturers usually do not disclose how much caffeine their drink contains which can lead to a fatal overdose. Many of those products are filled with sugar. They might also have been enriched with some vitamins. This should not fool you, the harms are more than the benefits.
CAFFEINE OVERDOSE — HOW TO RECOGNIZE IT?
Everyone’s tolerance for caffeine is different. When you consume a too large an amount of caffeine too fast you might experience nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations and arrhythmia. People with cardiac disease are at a greater risk. Although symptoms usually go away in a few hours, you should not underestimate the situation and seek medical treatment.