Under the microscope, caffeine is a crystalline substance found in many foods and drinks. It is a powerful stimulant that can give you a lift in energy by inducing metabolic reactions that are beneficial. It enhances mental alertness, improves physical responses and reduces the risk of certain serious illnesses. Energy drinks are specially formulated to provide a boost in mental and physical performance.They’re one of the most efficient sources of caffeine available.
Increased Mental Alertness
Caffeine helps to improve your mental focus and concentration. It has been shown that caffeine boosts the effects of certain neurotransmitters. It also blocks the effects of adenosine which is the chemical in your brain that tells you it’s time to go to sleep. By tricking your brain chemistry into thinking that it is time to be awake and improving the transmission rate of active signals, caffeine cause your mind to function in a heightened state. It simulates your natural fight or flight responses to improve your ability to react and improvise under stress.
Caffeine helps to speed up your body’s natural metabolism. It causes the release of adrenaline and increases your heart rate. With a faster rate of blood flow, the cells in your body have better access to existing nutrients. The liver releases more sugar into the blood stream which also increases the amount of available energy. For better muscle response, your body begins burning more of its stored fat instead of carbohydrates. This helps to increase your available energy for lifting and athletic performance.
Longer Term Health Benefits
Caffeine is an antioxidant. It contains polyphenols that reduce free radicals in the blood stream. It limits the effects of aging and helps to extend the life of healthy cells. Consistent use of caffeine over the long run can improve skin health and increase healthy blood flow. Some recent studies suggest that regular caffeine users are also at a lower risk for serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.
How Much Should I Drink?
Most experts agree that too much caffeine can be harmful and it should be consumed responsibly. More and 400 milligrams a day is beyond the recommended daily allowance. The most popular brands of energy drinks are an excellent source of healthy levels of caffeine:
- Redbull – 80 per can, 9.5 mg per ounce
- Monster – 160 per can, 10 mg per ounce
- Rock star – 180 per can, 10 mg per ounce
- Nos – 160 per can, 8.3 mg per ounce
- Up Time – 100 per can, 11.8 mg per ounce
- AMP – 142 per can, 8.9 mg per ounce
- Full Throttle – 160 per can, 10 mg per ounce
By way of comparison, consider that a 16 ounce Starbuck’s coffee contains 330 milligrams of caffeine which is over 20 mg per ounce. Most energy drinks do not have this high of a level of caffeine, but they do provide additional nutritional benefits.