Many people cannot go without their morning cup of coffee or their midday energy drink; in fact, 90 percent of adults enjoy caffeine daily. So, it begs the question: is caffeine good for you?
The answer isn’t that simple. Caffeine tastes bitter and generally isn’t something most people initially like the taste of. But, the feelings and the “reward” of consuming caffeine cause the brain to prefer and crave it. The craving for caffeine is subconscious.
There are ways to enhance mental and physical health and performance with caffeine strategically while minimizing the negative side effects.
Is Caffeine a Drug?
Yes, caffeine is a drug found naturally in plants. Because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and speeds up the “messages” sent throughout the body, it is considered a stimulant.
What Are Caffeine Benefits
There are several potential benefits associated with caffeine consumption, including:
Expedited response time
It can help improve your response time during a certain task and accuracy improves. It stimulates neuromodulators to improve focus and reaction time.
Increase in Dopamine and Acetylcholine
When you pair caffeine with a certain activity, it increases the reward and motivation neuromodulators that increase motivation, alertness, and feelings of wellbeing. This helps improve the clarity of thought, and flexibility of thought. Because of this, it reinforces engaging in that activity. This is different than how drugs, sex, and other things stimulate the reward center in the brain.
Caffeine targets the part of the brain responsible for focus and clarity of thought. Additionally, it increases the dopamine receptors’ sites in all areas of the brain, enhancing dopamine activity beyond just the area of the brain responsible for focus. In other words, something paired with caffeine feels not just great, but feels even better than great, and more dopamine activity is occurring.
Caffeine’s psychostimulant effects improve mood and have an antidepressant effect.
Caffeine makes you feel better – away from the taste. As a result, when you pair caffeine with a particular activity, such as exercise, social event, or learning, your craving for that activity will improve. It will increase the likelihood of you returning to the action that you paired caffeine with.
Acts as an antagonist to Adenosine
Adenosine causes the sleepiness that we would normally feel without caffeine. Caffeine reduces sleepiness and fatigue from adenosine by blocking the adenosine receptor sites. Essentially you are “borrowing” energy against your body’s natural system. When the caffeine wears off you will have a backlog of adenosine, causing a caffeine crash. You are manipulating your energy and adenosine levels with caffeine. If you are able to have a good night sleep, adenosine will be low and this isn’t an issue. However, if you have chronic poor sleep, caffeine is only making the adenosine build-up to get larger, causing a bigger deficit in energy.
Improves mental and physical performance
Caffeine improves response time, alertness, focus, physical dexterity, endurance, exertion, and memory. It also improves the dopamine release during that activity, which increases your “enjoyment” of the task, making it more likely that you will return to it and build upon your heightened performance during the initial activity. Thus, it will increase your overall cumulative performance. This goes for a mental task, workout, social experience, or anything.
Although caffeine shouldn’t replace asthma medication, it does help alleviate asthma.
May help prevent Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, and Dementia
Caffeine is known to increase dopamine receptors in addition to increasing the neurotransmitters that are related to these cognitive diseases. As a result, caffeine is showing promise to help prevent cognitive decline.
How Much Caffeine is Dangerous?
Caffeine intake at high levels can be dangerous. It is different for all people, depending on genetics, weight, dose, or other life stressors. Below are some factors to consider when consuming caffeine.
Dose. Some people have genetics that can’t break down caffeine as easily as others. Furthermore, body weight is to be taken into consideration. It is recommended to not exceed 1-3 mg per kg of weight. Furthermore, if you don’t regularly use caffeine, it is recommended to start with a low dose.
Jitters. Feeling jittery is one of the most common negative side effects of caffeine, and if you consume caffeine on an empty stomach, it will tend to increase the level of jitters experienced.
Afternoon Crash. The afternoon “crash” that comes with caffeine consumption is caffeine’s second most common negative side effect. Typically people ingest caffeine right away in the morning and have a crash that then encourages them to consume more caffeine in the afternoon. This will typically disrupt sleep.
Stress. If you are under excess stress, caffeine can increase anxiety and those feelings of stress.
Caffeine Adapted. If caffeine increases your heart rate and makes you anxious, then you are not caffeine adapted and should lower your dose or abstain from caffeine altogether.
Increased Anxiety. Those with anxiety may have worsened symptoms with caffeine intake, even during times with no caffeine.
Disrupted Sleep. Depending on your level of chronic stress and how you take caffeine, it may disrupt your sleep. Many can become “tired” during the day and “wired” at night. Sleep is the number one factor when it comes to health, so sleep should never be sacrificed in exchange for caffeine consumption. The quarter-life of caffeine is 12 hours. That means 25% of caffeine is bioactive 12 hours later. This is why caffeine later in the day will disrupt your sleep.
Insulin Sensitivity is Diminished. By using caffeine, insulin sensitivity decreases by 15%. This is transitory but it is a consideration if you have insulin resistance already.
Low Muscle Growth. An increase in cortisol from caffeine may inhibit muscle growth. On the other hand, caffeine may increase work output during exercise which may negate the negative effect of cortisol.
Caffeine and Blood Pressure. Caffeine may cause a short but significant increase in blood pressure; this response to caffeine is different for all people.
Does Caffeine Cause Osteoporosis?
Although caffeine can extract calcium from tissues, and calcium is seemingly related to osteoporosis, there is a weak link showing caffeine causing bone loss. Bone loss has a lot to do with strength training, overall diet, and hormones. Caffeine won’t have a significant impact on the risk of osteoporosis.
Does Caffeine Affect Hormones?
There is no strong correlation between caffeine and its impact on testosterone and estrogen levels in men and women. There is a slight increase in SHBG, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin. SHBG binds to sex hormones like testosterone and lower free testosterone. The level is not very significant, but if high SHBG is an issue, caffeine should be a consideration.
Does Caffeine Make You Short?
There is a common myth surrounding caffeine stunting growth in children who haven’t reached their growth potential. There is no scientifically valid evidence to conclude that caffeine can affect height and growth. This misconception may be connected to the relationship between caffeine and osteoporosis, and the fact that loss of bone could lead to short stature.
Consuming Caffeine For Maximum Health Benefits
By using the strategies below, you will be able to improve your energy during the day and sleep during the night. The goal is to spike cortisol in the morning which sets the circadian rhythm for the next 24 hours.
Delay Caffeine intake
If you delay the caffeine consumption by 90 -120 minutes after waking, you may not experience the afternoon crash and experience steady energy. If you are used to consuming caffeine right when you wake, try to cut the intake in half and save the other half about an hour later. You are essentially stacking caffeine on top of the cortisol peak to increase alertness and mood.
View Morning Sunlight
This increases the peak of cortisol pulse by 50%. This not only increases mood and alertness, but also wipes out the lingering adenosine that causes the feeling of fatigue. On the other hand, if you wake up and immediately consume caffeine without the sunlight, you are blocking the adenosine receptor and because of the indirect effects of caffeine on the cortisol system, you are reducing the clearance of adenosine.
This will help eliminate the adenosine and spike the cortisol in the morning. If you exercise right when you wake up and consume caffeine immediately after waking without the 90-120 minute delay, the energy to workout is optimal but there may be a bigger energy crash in the afternoon.
By intermittent fasting and consuming caffeine you will be able to consume less caffeine and still get the optimal benefit.
Intermittent Caffeine Intake
By abstaining from caffeine for 5 days, it will increase the effects of caffeine on that 6th day. If you are preparing for a specific task, event or test, this may be beneficial to your performance.
Caffeine And Fat Burn
Caffeine enhances fat oxidation, and because of this, it can enhance physical and athletic performance. You can utilize it pre-workout and during a workout to increase fat burn.
Supplements to Enhance Health Benefits of Caffeine (without the Side Effects)
Acceleradine® increases ATP (which increases true cellular energy), increases metabolism and increases fat burning. As caffeine is needed for short-term energy, Acceleradine® increases cellular energy long-term and decreases the need for as much caffeine. Furthermore, Acceleradine® detoxes the brain from heavy metals that cause brain fog, slow cognition, and age-related brain diseases like dementia. It is also known that iodine deficiency leads to depression, hypothyroidism, and lower mood. So, for the mental and physical energy and mood benefits of caffeine, you are able to achieve them with Acceleradine®.
Directions: Start with 3 drops in water 3 times a day on an empty stomach and increase by 1 drop per dose per day until you get to 25 drops three times a day. Continue with 75 drops per day. Take at least 15 minutes before food or other supplements.
Accelerated Keto™ flips you into ketosis where you are tapping into your own body fat for energy within 30 minutes. As a result, the energy supply is endless and steady. On top of that, the additional ingredients, including a specific type of caffeine, spark steady energy without the afternoon crash, jitters, or increased anxiety. These other ingredients include:
- PurCaf caffeine. This is a natural form of caffeine derived from organic green coffee beans. Most Keto products contain caffeine to boost the metabolic effect of the ketones. Although, unlike ours, they use the synthetic form of caffeine, which can cause jitters, and the dreaded caffeine crash. Because PurCaf uses a real organic plant made of caffeine with all the natural cofactors, you feel the benefits of caffeine without the side effects of synthetic caffeine– longer effectiveness, and better absorption and utilization. Also, this is why with less than a quarter of the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee, Accelerated Keto gives you the needed “caffeine” boost.
- TeaCrine™. This is a patent-pending compound containing pure Theacrine, which can be found naturally in Camellia assamica, kucha tea, coffee, and certain exotic fruits. A natural identical compound, Theacrine™, improves energy, mental clarity, mood, and motivation. Theacrine works synergistically with PurCaf providing a unique energy experience. While Theacrine has molecular similarities to caffeine, the subtle yet significant differences have energy boosting effects without the jitters and crashes associated with synthetic caffeine. Also the energy boosting effects have been shown to last for hours. Combined with the ketones, it amplifies clarity and mental focus. Furthermore, combined with the Purcaf and Dynamine, sustained energy is experienced, making it easier for intermittent fasting while curbing appetite.
- Dynamine™. This is methylliberine, a pure alkaloid found in the Kucha leaf. Its molecular structure is similar to TeaCrine™, and is believed to behave in similar ways. Like TeaCrine, methylliberine may amplify feelings of energy, focus, and mood by activating dopamine and other key neurotransmitters, all without elevating blood pressure or heart rate. With the increase in mood, we feel more satiated.
Directions: Take 3-4 Capsules in the morning on an empty stomach. Intermittent fast until you are hungry. For best results, break the fast with protein meal to increase fat burning.
Accelerated Thyroid® is the most comprehensive Thyroid supplement to help optimize thyroid function, metabolism, and energy. With optimal thyroid function, the desired energy, fat burn, and alleviated mood from caffeine are present. It combines freeze-dried glandular, with thyroid-supporting herbs for optimal thyroid health. Furthermore, it is enhanced with Scalar frequencies to detox the thyroid from radiation and heavy metals that decrease energy, drive, and longevity. As a result, the need for caffeine is lessened.
Directions: Take 3-4 capsules in the morning. May add 1-2 at noon if needed
Cogniblast® is a cutting-edge natural Brain Enhancement supplement that increases mental focus, energy, learning speed, mood and memory in the short term and protects the brain from memory issues and decline long term. As many use caffeine for focus, enhanced mood, and mental alertness, Cogniblast® will lessen the need for caffeine and will provide short-term focus without the jitters and afternoon crash experienced with caffeine.
“Cogniblast® takes it a step beyond any other brain enhancement supplement with healing Scalar Frequencies! The Scalar frequencies further enhance Memory and Cognition beyond the power of the ingredients alone.”
Directions: Take 3 Capsules in the morning or 30 minutes before an important task.
ACCELERATED ANCIENT SALT™
Caffeine is known to be a diuretic and depletes you of electrolytes. It is the depletion of electrolytes that contributes to the “crash” experienced hours after caffeine consumption. It is essential to have a broad spectrum of electrolytes for cellular energy. We need salt, and Accelerated Ancient Salt™ not only has over 62 minerals for hydration at the cellular level but can be used to increase energy when added to drinks and food to combat caffeine dehydration. It also plumps up the volume of fluid inside and outside of the cell, which in turn, cleans the liver, induces DNA repair, and detoxes the body. As a result, cellular energy and physical energy increase, leading to a lessened need for caffeine.
Directions: Put a pinch on your tongue 15 minutes after Acceleradine®, add to water or drinks, and add liberally to food.
ENERGY ENHANCER PATCH
This patch increases energy and endurance, and reduces fatigue and muscle soreness, and increases fat and caloric burn. As a result, the need for caffeine is lessened. All of the desired benefits from caffeine are achieved with Energy Enhancer without the jitters or crashes.
It also helps with nausea, and reflux, improved digestion, strengthened and tonified organs, drained dampness and phlegm, and increased Qi Bioenergy in organs. The patch signals the body to increase beta-oxidation in the mitochondria for fat burning which is the fastest way to burn fat.
Directions: Wear during the day for 12 hours and take off at night. White on right and brown on left. Options: Inside the wrists, on the balls of the feet, inside the shoulders on the lung meridians.
X49 STEM CELL ACTIVATION PATCH
The X49 patch helps increase endurance and energy, in addition to increasing bone density, burns fat, builds muscle, and improves cardiovascular health. It helps minimize the dependence on caffeine.
Directions: Wear two inches below the belly button for 12 hours during the day.
Carnosine is great for improving strength, stamina, and cognition– things that caffeine helps. By using the carnosine patch, the need for caffeine is lessened. It also helps repair tissue, muscle tears, tendonitis, and tennis elbow. It is also good for burns, lumps, bumps, clots, bruises, and lacerations. It protects telomeres from shortening to extend their lifespan. The Carnosine patch signals the body to make the antioxidant and nutrient carnosine found in our brain, heart and muscles.
Directions: Wear 5-7 days/week during the day or night for 12 hours. It can be worn behind the right ear, on the right temple, the center of the breastbone, back of the neck, or two inches below the belly button.
Sara Banta is a Stanford University Graduate with a Degree in Economics and Psychology, and a certified Natural Supplement Expert & Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sara is the Founder of Accelerated Health Products and host of the health & wellness podcast, Accelerated Health Radio.