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Is Caffeine Bad For You?

Is Caffeine Actually Good For You? Here's How It *Really* Affects Your Body

Caffeine is one of those things most of us consume on a daily basis. Maybe you need coffee before you start your day, or maybe a green tea is one of your favorite ways to get through the afternoon. Whatever the case may be, there's no denying that caffeine keeps showing up in our lives on the regular.

The question is whether caffeine is actually good for you. We know there are some benefits to consuming caffeine, but are there enough to outweigh the negative effects? Let's break it down.

The Benefits of Consuming Caffeine

According to research gathered by the University of Southampton from more than 200 studies on the effects of coffee, people who drink three or four cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of facing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and liver and skin cancer. Some studies even show that drinking coffee regularly can improve your memory.

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The Negative Effects Caffeine Has on the Body

Caffeine is a drug that keeps you coming back for more. Your body can get really addicted to it, really fast, and if you skip out on your daily dose, you'll experience headaches, irritability, and trouble concentrating. The other side of the coin is that if you consume too much caffeine, you could experience serious bouts of anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues, dehydration, and even muscle tremors.

Additionally, if you become reliant on caffeine to get you going in the morning, your body's energy system will get thrown out of whack. Rather than allowing your body to wake up and create energy for itself in the morning, you become dependent on the caffeine, meaning you'll have trouble getting anything done without a cup of joe.

Should You Keep Drinking Caffeine or Get Rid of It?

This is entirely up to you, but if you have anxiety, digestive issues, or problems sleeping, you should strongly consider weaning yourself off of caffeine. Yes, coffee can help fight off certain diseases and improve your memory, but you can get those benefits from all sorts of other foods — and you can get those benefits from regularly exercising too!

If you don't have any health issues that might be exacerbated by coffee, you can certainly find a way to incorporate it into your life in a healthy way. About 300 milligrams or less of caffeine is a good goal to aim for. That equals about three cups of coffee, as an average eight-ounce cup of joe has about 95 milligrams of caffeine in it.

Whatever you do, don't exceed 500 milligrams of caffeine a day. That leads to dangerously increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and damaged stomach lining.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim
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