Friday, July 18, 2008


You may love those numerous cuppas, but how healthy are they for your body? Wake up to some new gyan on the brew!

With coffee houses at every corner, we are all consuming more amounts of caffeine everyday. Catching up with friends over a cup has become part of our every day life. The coffee pot is also an indispensable fixture in offices. A cup or two seems to give the burst of energy sought by office workers each morning, or to gain a slight edge on a mental
task late at night. However, caffeine plays havoc with your body and mind.

In its pure form, caffeine is a bittertasting fine white powder that looks
like icing sugar. It is soluble in water and is easily absorbed into the blood stream, reaching the brain rapidly.
In general, a single dose of caffeine will enter the bloodstream within 10 minutes of consumption. Caffeine is at the peak of its concentration between 30
and 60 minutes later, but the absorption is much slower on a full stomach.


Experiments that measure the electrical activity of the brain have shown that caffeine in just one or two cups of instant coffee dramatically changes the pattern of brain activity — from a typical resting state
to that of an alert person.

Caffeine also stimulates the adrenal glands to raise the level of stress hormones. These are the ones that are released when we are anxious, scared, angry or nervous and produce the ‘fight or flight’ response. These hormones also ener
gise and stimulate the brain. Hence, caffeine not only increases the body’s stress levels, but also blocks the action of one of the body’s de-stressing chemicals.

COFFEE TALK: People suffer withdrawal symptoms when they stop consuming coffee abruptly


It takes 24 hours for one cup of coffee to pass through the kidneys and urinary tract. People who have had several cups of coffee will have lots of caffeine in their bloodstream, inhibiting sound sleep.

The body needs to produce more energy in expelling caffeine and this affects the sleep pattern. As a
result we have less energy remaining in our body.

Caffeine will continue to affect your functioning as long as it remains in the bloodstream. Enzymes in the liver also breaks down the drug and removes it from the system.

Some people can drink a large amount of coffee without much effect, while others feel jittery, anxious and simply cannot tolerate caffeine. Smokers experience its effects for a shorter time while women on pills react to it strongly.


Caffeine is definitely habit forming. Many peo
ple depend on it and suffer significant withdrawal symptoms (headaches, dizziness, fatigue, tiredness, anxiety, irritability and anger) when they stop its consumption abruptly.

As the initial stimulating effect of caffeine wears out, the person craves another cup to experience the same lift. People taking more than four cups a day become dependent on it.
These symptoms are often relieved by rushing for another cup of coffee, which reinforces the addictive habit.


Green tea Herbal or lemon-honey tea Plenty of water

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