Caffeine May Aid Weight, Joint Health

Many people are leaning heavily on caffeine this week to adjust to daylight savings time. While the light evenings are lovely, getting up in the dark is rough!

It’s essential not to overdo it. Too much caffeine can cause problems beyond jitteriness. The daily limit is supposed to be 400 milligrams. If you drink more than that, you are likely to feel irritable and anxious, and 1,200 milligrams can cause intoxication that can potentially lead to serious side effects, kidney damage, seizures or even death.  

However, in smaller amounts, caffeine can be beneficial. A study found that it can help with metabolism, appetite and exercise. That can help prevent obesity. Lower BMI can prevent joint diseases.

The long-term study found that caffeine use may prevent weight gain and reduce the risk of joint inflammation and degeneration. Researchers examined 9,876 people’s genetics to rule out those factors. They then separated the participants into subgroups based on the type of caffeinated drinks they consumed to ensure that there weren’t other benefits of a specific drink swaying the results. They compared coffee drinkers to coffee drinkers to avoid confusing the data with someone drinking soda or tea.

The researchers aren’t sure why caffeine appears to help. But they believe it could be from any of four main reasons.

Firstly, caffeine is known to stimulate the central nervous system, which can increase metabolism and promote the breakdown of fat cells. This increased metabolic rate can potentially aid in weight management and reduce the risk of obesity,” said Dr. Steven Fiore, a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon.  

He also said that caffeine helps both performance and endurance during exercise. That aids both joint health and weight management.

Regarding joint health, Dr. Flore said, “Inflammation plays a significant role in the progression of joint diseases, and caffeine’s ability to modulate inflammatory pathways may provide protective effects against joint degeneration and pain.”

Finally, Registered Dietician Reda Elmardi brought up the way caffeine impacts appetite. “Consuming caffeine has been linked to reduced feelings of hunger and increased feelings of fullness. This can lead to a decrease in calorie intake, which can be helpful in preventing weight gain and obesity.”

Nine out of 10 adults in the U.S. drink caffeinated beverages. They say they expect to feel more alert, less stressed, better able to perform and have a better mood. In a survey, not enough people mentioned their weight to have it register as a reason to drink it. However, this study shows that it might be an added benefit.

If you don’t already drink caffeine or are unsure if it is safe, you should speak to a doctor before adding it to your diet. Changing your health routine can have unintended consequences, so discussing it with someone who knows your circumstances is essential.

Banner image: Izzy Rivi via Unsplash

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