lou blogMany Americans start drinking coffees in the morning as a way to kick start them into their day. A jolt of hot coffee can give temporary effects of sharpness and alertness as the caffeine has a stimulating effect on the brain and increases heart rate. Another beverage that we forget to consider a caffeinated substance is the all to common cola soft drink. Nowadays these beverages are more accessible than ever and people are consuming them in an unhealthy frequency. Especially this time of year when there’s too much to do in so little time and you’ll be craving that caffeine kick its important to know the truth about caffeine consumption.

Coffee contains about 83 milligrams of caffeine per serving while cola can contain 40 to 72 milligrams of caffeine per serving along with the additional 9 to 10 grams of sugar. Diet colas also contain artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and aspartame that may lead to medical complications. There have been various studies conducted by medical experts linking caffeine with heart disease, birth defects, cancer and digestive disorders. That’ll make you think twice about your mid-afternoon Starbucks run!

Caffeine stimulates the secretion of acid in the stomach, which is dangerous to those who suffer from ulcers of other forms of gastric distress. Coffee is also notorious for causing heartburn because of its high content of tannic, acetic, nicotinic, formic and citric acids. Caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream almost instantly, the drinker feels the effects within a half hour of consumption, influencing the central nervous system and resulting in the “coffee jitters.” Headaches and anxiety are also results of caffeine intake, so while you might be drinking coffee to get rid of a headache, you may just be drinking your way to another one later.

In consideration of the risks, people should be conscious to cut out excessive amounts of caffeine. Replace your morning coffee with a decaffeinated coffee or even a hot tea; another great alternative is a flavorful unsweetened juice, packed with vitamins and sure to satisfy thirst. It is also important to remember the very basic liquid we need to survive, water. To keep healthy try to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day, this will improve blood flow, flush out toxins and keep you hydrated.

During the holiday season when coffee and caffeinated soft drinks will be plentiful try to be conscientious of your intake to keep you at your healthiest this holiday season and put you in good habits for the new year!