Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A vote for caffeine

Caffeine often gets a bad wrap. I rarely hear anyone extol the virtues of caffeine. The common perception that caffeine is bad for us is caused by the same principle that we accept for many other things, like alcohol, speeding, and sugar (Oh, don't get me started on that one).

Does caffeine have any virtues? Oh, yes indeedy, it does!

For starters, did you know that the caffeine in coffee acts completely differently in your body than the caffeine in tea? The caffeine in coffee works on your pulmonary and circulatory systems (that's lungs and blood vessels), while the caffeine in tea works on your nervous system.

Now, before you get on your high horses and respond with comments about caffeine-laden soft drinks being bad for the kiddies, and the adverse effects of too much caffeine, I am talking moderation here. Three or four cups of coffee or tea per day is not a recipe for ill-health, neither is there any likelihood that you will become a frenetic dervish, unable to sit still for a minute.

It seems that Aunty Mabel's assertion that she needed a cuppa to calm her nerves really does have some scientific basis; and apparently, it's common knowledge amongst doctors that caffeine assists many asthmatics to breath a little easier. My doctor also told me that caffeine is sometimes used to treat migraine headaches.

Now, if you are a coffee addict, or you can't get to sleep without a cup of tea in the evening, then nothing I am saying here will surprise you. However, if you are a closet coffee drinker, or you struggle with guilt every time you drink either of these elixirs, then rest easy, you are actually doing your body no harm at all.

(No, this is not an April Fool's joke)

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