Coffee and Your Health – Dr Maureen Ona-Igbru 

Caffeine is the active chemical (or you may call it drug) that is contained in coffee that we drink. So anytime you see the word caffeine or caffeinated drink in this article, please note that it is coffee we are referring to.

Caffeinated Drinks and Sleep:Caffeine is a type of drug that promotes alertness. These drugs are called stimulants. Caffeine acts as an adenosine receptor antagonist. Adenosine is a substance in your body that promotes sleepiness. Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptor to keep you from feeling sleepy.

You hear it all the time, when it comes to sleep: Don’t drink caffeine too late in the day. It’s among the most common sleep tips and it’s a good one. Caffeine, with its stimulant effects, is disruptive to good sleep. And these days, with the popularity of energy drinks and other caffeine-laden beverages and snacks, it’s not difficult to wind up consuming caffeine throughout the day, even if you’ve set your coffee cup aside. The negative health consequences of too much caffeine also extend beyond sleep problems. Research shows that caffeine may contribute to cardiovascular problems. A recent large-scale study also suggests that heavy caffeine consumption more than 4 8-ounce cups of coffee per day on a daily basis is linked to higher mortality rates in men and women.

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.
Although caffeine is safe to consume in moderation, it is not recommended for children. It may negatively affect a child’s nutrition by replacing nutrient-dense foods such as milk. A child may also eat less because caffeine acts as an appetite suppressant. Caffeine can be safely eliminated from a child’s diet since there is no nutritional requirement for it.

Caffeine can cause insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, stomach irritation, nausea and vomiting, increased heart rate and respiration, and other side effects.
Moderate use of caffeine is better for our health, to prevent sleep disturbance, depression and others health issues.

The above write up is published on our site courtesy of Dr. Maureen Ona-Igbru.

Dr Maureen is a medical doctor with many years in practice and has an undying passion for dissemination of health knowledge to the public. One striking feature that cuts across all her articles is the ability to present a complex medical condition in an easy to understand manner for the readers.

N.B. Illustrations added by site admin 

Further Readings: 

Coffee and Prostate Cancer:

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