Misconceptions about Caffeine

People have been consuming caffeinated beverages for thousands of years. Dating back as early as 2737 B.C., when the first pot of tea was created humans have had a love affair with caffeine. Whether you are the avid coffee drinker who cannot function without your morning Starbucks, or an advanced bodybuilder who uses caffeine as part of your fat burning regimen, you are probably one of the 90% of the population that consumes caffeine on a daily basis.

It seems that, for as long as there have been caffeinated products, there have been advisories against using them. We’ve all heard the stories, it causes high blood pressure, it causes excessive gas, it even causes twitching! Yes, you read it right, twitching. The simple truth of it is, caffeine has not been proven to cause any of those things and here are a few other misconceptions we should lay to rest:

Spontaneous abortion or preterm delivery
Nope, not even close. Although most OB’s will advise that caffeine be consumed in moderation when you are pregnant, there is no indication that even heavy consumption predisposes expecting women to either miscarriage or premature delivery.

Wrong again. Studies at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Harvard Medical School indicate that moderate caffeine consumption does not reduce the chances of conception.

Hyperactivity disorders in children
The National Institutes of Health studies show that food and beverages containing caffeine have no effect on hyperactivity or the attention span of children. In fact, the Institute’s findings were that children handle caffeine the same way adults do.

I know what you are thinking. Everyone knows that caffeine causes cancer. We’ve heard it a million times! Not according to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. They published a study of over 16,000 individuals that found no correlation between caffeine consumption and cancer risk. AND, if that weren’t enough, the official position of the American Cancer Society is that “available information does not suggest a recommendation against the moderate use of coffee. There is no indication that caffeine, a natural component of both coffee and tea, is a risk factor in human cancer. Oh, and by the way ladies, that includes breast cancer!

Fibrocystic Breast Disease
In addition to breast cancer, there is no known relationship between caffeine intake and the development of Fibrocystic Breast Disease, or benign fibrous lumps in the breast.

It has been concluded that caffeine does not significantly affect calcium absorption. Therefore, women who consume adequate calcium to start with are not at higher risk for osteoporosis with moderate caffeine consumption.

While some might feel the effects of caffeine more greatly than others, caffeine does not accumulate in the bloodstream so the effects are typically gone within a few hours of consumption. Most find caffeine provides an increased alertness and an ability to remain alert during work or study. So go ahead and get your Starbucks fix.

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