For many, a cup of coffee is the ultimate eye opener, and they cannot imagine starting the day without that first cup of joe. For many, it’s the flavor of coffee that they most enjoy and they’d happily switch to decaf if they could find one worth drinking. For others, they need that boost they receive from that morning dose of caffeine.
Caffeine is a controversial substance. Proponents advocate that caffeine is a natural antioxidant, while some warn of the negative health consequences. There are certain health reasons to quit consuming caffeine. If you find yourself in a situation such as pregnancy where you need to cut back, perhaps you are wondering whether to try switching to decaf or are just considering giving up coffee altogether.
Positive Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine does stimulate your nervous system, making you feel awake and alert. While the effects can vary person to person, it also helps with concentration and focus. Because caffeine absorbs rapidly into your blood but doesn’t accumulate, all its effects are temporary. Studies show that caffeine is an effective treatment for migraines and can even help prevent the onset of headaches. Caffeine is a common additive in analgesics such as aspirin as research show it can increase the effectiveness around 40 percent. Recent studies look at the possibility that caffeine could provide some protection from developing Parkinson’s disease. But with the good news, there is usually bad as well.
Adverse Consequences of Caffeine
Caffeine, in high amounts, is known to worsen high blood pressure and increase nervousness and anxiety. It also enhances the production of both urine and gastric acid. Drinking caffeine before bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep. It is also known to decrease your total sleep time and negatively impacting your overall quality of sleep. For those with a heart condition, it is important to mention that caffeine is a primary trigger for heart arrhythmia and tachycardia or rapid heartbeat. Caffeine is also addictive and has clear associated symptoms of withdrawal. Signs of caffeine detox can include fatigue, headache, anxiety, depression, and irritability.
You might be interested in this caffeine free Turmeric latte recipe
So, Is Decaf Worth It?
If you have decided that quitting caffeine is the best decision to make for your health, but you really do not want to give up your favorite coffee beverage, there is good news. Thanks to new technology the decaffeination process has become more sophisticated and produces a more flavorful cup of coffee. The Swiss Water Process (SWP) is a newer method where no chemicals are introduced, stripping the coffee of its flavorful oils. The caffeine is removed by circulating the green coffee beans in a vat of water and coffee extract, which actually adds flavor back into the coffee bean. The result is a coffee that is nearly indistinguishable from regular coffee yet 98 percent caffeine-free.
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