Caffeine – Perk Up, but Be Mindfuladmin
Most of mankind needs a stimulant to start the day, and then once or more in between to sustain energy levels. The most commonly used beverage for this is either tea or coffee, which is a staple the world over irrespective of other culinary peculiarities. Many can skip a meal but cannot do without their humble cuppa. It is also common knowledge that the ingredient in tea or coffee imparting the stimulating effect is caffeine. However, for something that is so widely consumed the knowledge about caffeine is unfortunately abysmally low.
Caffeine is a CNS stimulant largely used for mental alertness, headache, athletic performance and memory improvement though there are other largely unverified uses such as in asthma, ADHD, low BP and depression. Caffeine products in high concentrations or purity can have severe deleterious effects including fatality. For its therapeutic effect though, caffeine is US FDA approved in combination with assorted pain killers and other drugs for a host of ailments within the prescribed concentrations. It is also known to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes though not cure it. It can improve short term memory and alleviate post-surgical headaches due to anesthesia.
The market is flooded with caffeine laced products promising much without highlighting the consequences. 400 mg of caffeine daily is a red line that should not be crossed for the common man. The rough equivalent of this is 4 cups of coffee a day. When consumed over this limit for a long time it can cause insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, increased heart rate and chest pain. It can cause irregular heartbeats and even death when severely abused.
That it increases athletic performance is confirmed and thus a plethora of concoctions are now available attracting gym goers, runners and swimmers. But, think of this, if you are supplementing with caffeine over and above you daily cups of coffee, is there a chance you are slipping into the red zone?
Also, most of these caffeine laced drinks/powders are laden with sugar too. Sugar may give you a short-term energy boost as is with carbs, but the crash is also certain. Sugar as we all know has its own set of negatives which can only compounds the downsides of excess caffeine.
Now though, you have options, even if limited, to select from caffeine free, sugar free energy drinks which promise sustained and pure energy to last you through your regimen without any fear of undesirable consequences. One such is NRoute Pep Up a drink made from the extract of Red Spinach which works on the Nitric Oxide principle. Which raises the VO2 max allowing for more oxygen to the heart and muscles by the resultant vasodilation on consumption.
Think sustained energy, think prolonged endurance, go for caffeine free and sugar free.