The Surprising Truth About Caffeine
Like anything that seems too good to be true, caffeine can get a bad rap. You may have heard that it’s a drug, and this is technically true; classified as a stimulant, caffeine is an alkaloid that occurs naturally in nearly 60 plant species, including cocoa and coffee beans as well as guarana beans, some tea leaves and yerba mate.
But while there can be negative side effects—insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, increased heart rate and stomach irritation, among them—for most people, studies show that drinking 2–3 cups (16–24 ounces) per day is perfectly safe.* In fact, in addition to its proven “morning management” skills, your morning cup of coffee or tea may have additional super powers…read on to learn the surprising truth about caffeine.
Caffeine makes you feel good.
Let’s start with an unsurprising truth: whether you need two cups of black coffee to function every day or it’s not a Sunday without that Caramel Macchiato, caffeine simply makes people feel good. Part of this is ritual; as habitual coffee and tea drinkers know, the daily experience of steaming, steeping and savoring is a key factor.
But the connection is also chemical; caffeine is known to elevate mood, increase alertness, improve energy and enhance well being. In fact, one study suggests that women who drink at least four cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed, while another found that habitual caffeine consumers were 53% less likely to commit suicide.
Caffeine can help prevent disease.
Coffee and other caffeinated beverages have been linked to lower risk of a number of different health problems, giving you even more reasons to fill that steaming mug every morning. Numerous studies have linked coffee consumption to a lower risk of Type II Diabetes—one study showing a reduction as high as 67%.
Others have suggested that caffeine drinkers are up to 65% less likely to get Alzheimer’s Disease, and up to 60% less likely to get Parkinson’s Disease. Caffeine is linked to a risk reduction for some cancers, as well; up to 40% for liver cancer, and about 15% for colorectal cancer.
Caffeine drinkers live longer.
Latte lovers, rejoice: contradicting previous studies that suggested caffeine drinkers were at risk for early death, a 2015 study conducted by Circulation found that moderate coffee consumption (under four 8-ounce cups per day) could actually help you live longer.
The newer study found that coffee drinkers were associated with an 8–15% lower risk of death overall. These statistics are even more surprising when one takes into account the fact that regular coffee drinkers have a higher likelihood of also being smokers.
One final bonus caffeine benefit...
Thanks to Carepoynt’s network of local and national wellness partners, there’s one more caffeine benefit for you to enjoy! You can earn and redeem Poynts for purchases with our coffee and tea partners—including Starbucks, Adagio Teas, Coffee Wholesale USA, Coffee.org, Gourmesso and Mighty Leaf Tea. Check in often to learn about new earning and redeeming opportunities…then drink up!
*Exceptions: women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, people who already suffer from any of the nervous afflictions mentioned and people with known sensitivities to caffeine and other stimulants.