What is caffeine: caffeine is a chemical that is found in tea, coffee, cocoa and colas. Because caffeine is a stimulant, most people use it after waking up in the morning or to remain alert during the day. While it is important to note that caffeine cannot replace sleep, it can temporarily make us feel more alert by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production.
There is no nutritional need for caffeine in the diet. Moderate caffeine intake, however, is not associated with any recognized health risk.
How caffeine works: Caffeine enters the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine and can have a stimulating effect as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. There is a chemical (adenosine) that is being constantly monitored by our nervous system. When the level of this chemical falls below certain level our body start preparing for sleep or relaxing. Caffeine somehow mimic this chemical and tells our body that it is not time to sleep or relax. Once in the system, caffeine stays there for around 6-7 hours.
Recommendation: WHO says that it is safe to have around 400mg of caffeine every day that is approximately 4 cups of coffee. In moderation it does not cause any harm but certainly it is addictive.
Caffeine and depression: There is no direct relation between caffeine intake and depression but few people who are sensitive to caffeine and suffer insomnia may feel depressed due to low serotonin levels.
Caffeine and obesity: Caffeine raises the stress hormone cortisol, resulting stress can also interfere with sense of well-being and can trigger emotional eating or a desire for comfort food. These foods are high in energy and low if fibre, causing gut issues. Ultimately gut issues causes low energy levels, fatigue, low metabolism and obesity.
To conclude the article there is no harm to drink 2-3 cups of tea or coffee/tea in a day. Enough attention should be given for the amount of sugar, type of milk (full cream or toned), and no compromising on actual meal. It should not be drink half an hour before and after meal as it hinder absorption of nutrients especially iron.