Is caffeine a problem?
Caffeine is a plant-derived chemical that stimulates your brain and nervous system. Have too much, especially if you're already stressed, and you may feel even more uptight.
A mild intake, say 2—3 cups of coffee per day, may help alertness, especially after lunch, and there is no firm evidence that moderate intakes (4—5 cups of instant or 2—3 cups of brewed coffee) are harmful for healthy people.
But some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, and if you are on medication, or have a health problem, your doctor may advise you to drink less.
You also get caffeine in tea, cola and energy drinks (one can of cola has a similar caffeine content to a cup of tea, and many energy drinks have at least three times as much), cocoa and chocolate (smaller amounts). Many cold and flu remedies and other pain relief medications often contain caffeine as well — check the labels.
Caffeine is also a diuretic (i.e. it makes you pass water), so don't rely just on tea or coffee for your recommended 8 glasses of fluid each day.
Page created on December 21st, 2009
Page updated on January 16th, 2010