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Caffeine Anhydrous vs Caffeine – take your pick!

Caffeine Anhydrous vs Caffeine – take your pick!

Caffeine Anhydrous vs Caffeine – take your pick!

/ Health / Sunday, 10 September 2017 21:12

Caffeine a nervous system stimulant that clears drowsiness and gives you an energy boost, is one of the few natural substances in food that is also classified as a drug. For many people, a morning without caffeine means a sluggish start to the day.

Present in various drinkable forms such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks, more solid forms like chocolate and cocoa, and also available as both prescription and non-prescription medications. Caffeine is the boost of choice for numerous people around the world, which begs the question "what does it do to the body?", “is it safe?”, “is any particular source better than another?”, or “are there benefits to receiving caffeine from a blend of different sources versus pure caffeine?”. Well, let’s explore.

 

What the difference?

The word “anhydrous” means “without water.” So basically caffeine anhydrous is simply the processed dry form of caffeine. It is made from the seeds and leaves of coffee plants to produce a highly concentrated caffeine powder. - a simple analogy would be table salt gotten from salt water. Hope that worked?

 

Is it safe?

Just watched a movie that said “nothing is safe, we just stare at the benefits so long we overlook the side effect.” 

With the growing incidence of caffeine intoxication due to use of caffeine anhydrous, people have been advised to avoid caffeine powder - and for good reasons too - Caffeine anhydrous' low cost, high caffeine concentration, high stability, and decent solubility make it the ingredient of choice for brands looking to pack a stimulant punch without breaking the bank.

But as with most supplements, more caffeine doesn't translate to better performances; too much caffeine can increase blood pressure, heart rate, cortisol, and anxiety levels. However, when caffeine is used in moderation, - read again - it provides a slow burn of natural performance-enhancing benefits with little or no side effects. 

The problems with caffeine powder, is not a matter of safety in terms of source or mode of delivery, but in the dosage. Caffeine is generally recognized as safe when consumed in moderate amounts; in large doses it can cause some nasty symptoms. 

 

Symptoms of caffeine overdose

An overdose of caffeine - or any drug for that matter- can be fatal. Caffeine overdose may induce some of these symptoms:

diarrhea

seizures

sleeplessness

pains in the abdominal region

erratic heartbeat

vomiting

muscle tremors 

agitation

confusion

If you have these symptoms, don't wait to see if they'll wear off seek immediate medical care.

 

Benefits of caffeine

Caffeine does pack a handful of beneficial properties:

It improves concentration and keeps fatigue away.

It improves aerobic performance, particularly in endurance sporting activities.

It contains antioxidants that prevent or slow cell damage. 

According to stats, coffee drinkers have a lower risk of gallstones.

 

Caffeine’s downside

Like previously mentioned, caffeine – as a drug - does have downsides too:

Studies have shown that it may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death as an overdose causes erratic heartbeat. 

Some users have reported an increased anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia.

 

Caffeine being diuretic means you have to urinate more often, and can lead to dehydration especially if you’re not drinking enough water to counter the effects or if you’re exercising vigorously.

 

Counter-indications?

Some groups of people are advised to stay away from or limit caffeine use:

 

  • Expectant Mothers : Pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg or less in a day.
  • Nursing mothers: Researches on the effects of caffeine on infants of nursing mothers shows that infants don’t metabolize caffeine too well, and it can stay in their bloodstream longer. Resulting in a restless, irritable baby. Mothers are advised to drink no more than three cups of coffee or five caffeinated beverages a day.
  • Children: The FDA hasn’t issued guidelines for caffeine consumption by children. Canadian guidelines recommend no more than one 12-ounce caffeinated beverage per day for children between the ages of 4 and 6. It is recommended that children and adolescents consume below 100 mg of caffeine per day. 
  • People on certain medications or conditions: Check with your doctor or pharmacist about possible interactions with medications you take, or if you have:
    • heart disease
    • liver disease
    • diabetes

 

Bottom line

Caffeine is an exceptional all-natural performance-enhancing substance that should be taken responsibly and with moderation. If you’re looking to go the all-natural route and don’t mind fluctuating dosage, utilize natural caffeine sources like coffee, tea, and cocoa. Stay safe.

 

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