Monday, July 1, 2013

Health Tip - From

Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal runs a mobile clinic which allows us to conduct medicals onsite. The following health tip is brought to you by   

How much coffee should I drink?

Don’t we all like a nice cup of coffee to start the day with?  How much caffeine should be just enough for our health?  There is no conclusive evidence to show that caffeine intake is significantly harmful to our health, but there is still some negative effects associated with it.  Here are some health facts on the positive and the negative of caffeine intake.

  • Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant and can have some positive effects on the human body.
  • An improvement in sporting performance
  • Increased alertness
  • Reduction in fatigue
  • Potentially lifting a person’s mood
  • Coffee and tea also contain some antioxidants which have positive effects on heart health

Increased amounts of caffeine lead to dependency due to increased tolerance and hence the need for greater amounts to gain the same stimulatory benefits.
Heavy users who have to go without can experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.
Too much caffeine can produce:
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Upset stomach
  • Increased urine production causing dehydration
  • Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
  • Also associated with elevated blood pressure in sensitive persons
How much is just the “right” amount of caffeine for a day?
The recommendation for safe drinking levels is 500mg per day, less for those with heart conditions, elevated blood pressure, and pregnant women. The average cup of instant coffee contains between 80 and 100mg/cup. The stronger the coffee the more caffeine it contains. Tea usually has less caffeine than this, except if it is very strongly brewed

Miekie Viljoen 
Occupational Nurse | Mobile Clinic


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