Helps You Lose Weight— Caffeine helps fat cells break down faster, which can lead to greater fat burn and weight loss. Plus, you can use those fat stores broken down by coffee to fuel athletic performance. The combination of energy from fat stores and the boost in performance from caffeine will give you the energy to complete your toughest workouts.
Boosts Physical Performance— Caffeine gives you an adrenaline rush. Adrenaline is the hormone your body produces when confronted with a challenge, initiating that “flight or fight” feeling. With a shot of adrenaline, your body is ready for a physical challenge. The effects of drinking caffeine can last anywhere from thirty minute to two hours, and helps athletes perform harder and longer.
Good for Your Liver— Researchers at Duke Medical School have discovered that drinking caffeine may reduce risk of developing liver disease. The caffeine equivalent of four cups of coffee, or about 800 mg, can prevent and slow the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by reducing fat content in the liver.
Lowers Risk of Parkinson’s— Studies have shown that regular coffee consumption decreases risk of Parkinson’s by 25 percent. Some think that caffeine positively impacts that parts of the brain affected by Parkinson’s.
Lowers Risk of Stroke and Cancer— It’s believed that caffeine lowers the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer. Moderate consumption also lowers risk of stroke over time, although it can actually increase your risk immediately after, especially if you don’t drink caffeine often.
Cuts Risk of Suicide— A Harvard University School of Public Health study shows that those who drink two to three cups of coffee per day are less likely to commit suicide. This could be because caffeine is a stimulant and puts people in a better mood.
Keeps You Focused— Caffeine promotes increased activity in the prefrontal lobe of the brain, the area associated with planning, attention, and concentration. Drinking caffeine can keep you more focused.
Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia— Multiple studies have shown that caffeine consumption decreases cognitive decline. In fact, moderate consumption in middle-aged participants lowered risk of Alzheimer’s by sixty-five percent later in life.
Gives You Energy— The most obvious benefit of caffeine is that it gives you an energy boost. That’s why so many people rely on it first thing in the morning or to get them through an afternoon slump.
Improves Brain Function and Memory— Multiple studies have shown that drinking caffeine can improve your brain function and boost your long-term memory. A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD asked participants to identify objects and gave them either 200 mg of caffeine or a placebo afterwards. The next day, the study participants were shown pictures and asked whether they had seen them the day before. Those who had been given caffeine did better at remembering which pictures they had seen compared to the placebo group. Researchers also conducted the test with 100 mg and 300 mg of caffeine and found that 200 mg offered the best results. That equals about one 12-ounce cup of coffee.
It’s Addictive— Caffeine is actually a drug. Those who drink it regularly will tell you that they develop a dependency and don’t feel quite the same without a cup a day. It might take some efforts and few days of discomfort if you ever try to quit.
Messes With Your Digestive System— The acidity in caffeinated beverages could cause or worsen heartburn and acid reflux. It also tends to move everything along faster, which can be a benefit or a drawback, depending on how you look at it.
Raises Blood Pressure and Cholesterol— Caffeine is a stimulant, and can raise your blood pressure. Coffee also contains cafestol, which raises LDL cholesterol levels.
Increases Anxiety— The boost of energy you get from caffeine is a double-edged sword. It can also increase or worsen anxiety, particularly in people who already suffer from anxiety disorders. Caffeine increases your adrenaline levels, which is what gives you that boost. When you have an adrenaline rush, you feel that “fight or flight” response that prepares you for physical exertion. However, too much adrenaline when you don’t have an outlet can cause you anxiety. It can contribute to heart palpitations, irritability, and even panic attacks. Drinking caffeine also increases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Disrupts Sleep— Caffeine is a stimulant. It gives you energy and provides a boost that gets millions of people through the day. Unfortunately, it can mess with your natural sleep cycle, especially if consumed too late in the day. Experts recommend only drinking caffeine in the morning and switching to water or other non-caffeinated beverages in the afternoon and evening.
How Much Caffeine Can Kill You?— This is obviously an extreme case study, but caffeine can kill you if you consume an extreme amount of it. It would raises your heart rate and alter your body, and could theoretically be lethal. Still, if you’re drinking your caffeine through Coffee or typical Energy Drinks, you’d have to consume more than what’s physically possible. It would take about 10-13 grams of caffeine to kill someone with a low level of tolerance to caffeine, which equates to 80-100 cups of coffee (or cans of Energy Drink) in one go. You would most likely get sick before you could drink that much.
COFFEE VS. ENERGY DRINKS
As you can see, there are more benefits to drinking caffeine than drawbacks. However, you may still be curious about the best way to get your caffeine. Here is a comparison of coffee and energy drinks.
Taste— For most people, a taste test will go to coffee. Energy drinks tend to be overly sugary and sweet. Not to mention they’re usually full of artificial flavors and can be a little sticky. The taste of a good cup of coffee can’t be beat. Even those who don’t necessarily like the flavor of coffee can add a little bit of sugar, milk, or some natural flavorings to make it more interesting.
Aroma— While the taste of coffee versus energy drinks is pretty subjective, the aroma of coffee is definitely better. Energy drinks tend to smell like artificial flavoring. Nothing smells quite as good first thing in the morning as a nice, freshly brewed pot of coffee.
Caffeine Levels— Coffee wins again when it comes to the amount of caffeine when compared side-by-side to leading energy drink brands. One hundred grams of coffee contains about 40 mg of caffeine. Most energy drinks have between 19 and 36 mg of caffeine per 100 grams. What they lack in caffeine they try to make up for with added sugars.
Lasting Energy— You can probably guess which drink is better when it comes to lasting energy. Coffee has more caffeine than energy drinks do, which gives you a bigger boost. Energy drinks are loaded with added sugars. They might give you a temporary boost, but you’ll likely crash much more quickly. Plus, people tend to sip coffee and chug energy drinks.
Health Benefits— Coffee wins out here. While caffeine has its own benefits, there are some that come with coffee alone. First, all the sugar and artificial flavoring in most energy drinks aren’t exactly good for you. A Monster energy drink has 54 grams of sugar—the recommended amount per day is 38 grams for men and 26 grams for women. Additionally, coffee contains potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all of which are essential vitamins and can help you lose weight.
History— As obvious as it can sound, Coffee has about 600 years of history. We know what it does, where it comes from, the benefits and the drawbacks. As far as Energy drinks, other than the fact that some brands have been banned from some countries, little is known about their long term effects on our bodies and overall health.
Think about it: Read the list of ingredients of any Energy drink. Chances are you won't be able to figure out what half of these ingredients are or come from. So... Do you think you should drink it?
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