What’s the one thing all our morning routines all have in common? If you said jogging, good for you, but you’d be wrong. The answer is a big cup of coffee to start the day! It’s second nature, to brew a pot and enjoy a cup or two of java each day to really get moving. And we all know why that is — caffeine.
Caffeine is that wonderful little ingredient that provides energy to take on the day’s challenges, while giving us a sense of joy. But is that really what it does? We could say the same exact thing about sugar, and we know that’s bad for us.
So, what is it about caffeine that’s different? Luckily, HealthDigest offers some insight on caffeine and sugar, and what the real difference might be.
Caffeine, when examined scientifically, is a natural stimulant that affects our central nervous system. The most common misconception about caffeine is that it provides energy when it doesn’t. It blocks adenosine, the naturally produced chemical that relaxes us and makes us feel tired, from flowing to our brains. So, we don’t actually have more energy, we just feel more alert.
It’s also known to increase adrenaline, dopamine, and norepinephrine (the hormone that increases alertness and arousal).
The positive health effects of caffeine primarily deal with the brain. In proper moderation, it can help regulate depression, promote protection against Alzheimer’s, and help us decrease body fat.
The negative effects include an accelerated heart rate, high blood pressure, headaches, and heightened levels of anxiety.
So far, it sounds like caffeine and sugar are pretty much the same. The real difference lies in their digestive process. Sugar can actually help store energy in the body, unlike the other with just prevents drowsiness.
However, as it stands, caffeine may be slightly better for you. Processed sugar can lead to obesity, as well as hypertension and heart disease. Additionally, processed sugar can upset our digestion, speeding up the process in an unhealthy way.
Natural sugar and caffeine have similar positive and negative effects, what matters is moderation and how we consume them. The Council for Retirement Security wants every senior to have the healthiest retirement possible, but what’s retirement without the little things like a good cup of coffee in the morning?