Thursday, August 9, 2018

Off the Wagon

Well I fell off the wagon.

I am not proud to admit it but I started drinking Diet Coke again.  Just 1/2 of a can when I get up in the morning.

Before last week I did not drink diet coke or have any caffeinated drinks for more than three years. I felt great.  And best of all, I was still able to get up and function in the morning.  See May, 2018 blog "Caffeine Free Life".

I have the willpower to resist drinking Diet Coke but I consciously made the decision to drink it again.  I missed the benefits of caffeine.  For me it makes me happy.  I feel more energetic, my run seems easier and my allergy headaches are reduced.

I was curious to see if these benefits are all in my mind or if there is some scientific basis to the impact caffeine has on me.  I did some research and this is what I found:

Does caffeine effect my mind?
According to several sources there are many effects of caffeine on the brain, including psychological effects.  Caffeine works by blocking the neurotransmitter adenosine's receptors, increasing excitability in the brain.  Caffeine can affect mood and the feeling of well-being.   It is a stimulant drug often used to improve mental processing. 
Medical News Today
Caffeine and Your Mood
Fox News

Does caffeine effect my body?
Caffeine is one of the most common performance enhancing drugs used in sports.  A runner who is able to complete a 10K race in 40 minutes without caffeine could shave off 72 seconds with caffeine.  And a cyclist competing in a one-hour tie trial could drop a minute and a half.
A recent review of studies found that caffeine may improve heart function.  And it can help some medicines work faster.
The Atlantic
Business Insider

Does caffeine help my headache?
Sinus headaches are caused by inflammation in the sinus cavity from the common cold, environmental factors or allergies. The irritated sinus cavity swells due to increased blood flow to the sinus cavity.  Caffeine can aid in relief because it restricts blood flow and causes blood vessels to narrow.  Using 130 mg of caffeine combined with an over-the-counter pain reliever increases the pain reliever's effectiveness around 40 percent, according to the National Headache Foundation.
National Headache Foundation  

I have noticed that if I drink a whole can of diet coke sometimes I get irritable, stressed and can't sleep at night.  I am Hypersensitive to caffeine and my limit is 1/2 of a can.

Normal sensitivity is when someone drinks 2 - 3 cups of coffee per day to improve wakefulness, alertness and productivity and is able to sleep at night.

Some people are Hyposensitive which means consuming a lot of caffeine (more than 3 cups of coffee) has no effect on the person.   Caffeine Sensitivity

If you drink caffeinated beverages make sure you understand your sensitivity and decide whether or not it is beneficial for you.

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