This article appeared in Men's Style magazine, 2006.
By Lauren King
With easy access drive-through coffee shops and the proliferation of energy drinks, caffeine is currently experiencing a burst of popularity. But as we all know, the better things in life are rarely good for you.
Melbourne Sports Dietitian Clare Wood advises that, despite a small list of benefits such as antioxidants and enhanced alertness our daily caffeine hit is not all high times. Restlessness, nausea, sleep difficulties, upset stomach, increased urine production causing dehydration, and cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) are all potential effects of short black abuse. The good news? Mrs Wood has a few alternative methods to battle drowsiness.
- Have a substantial breakfast to enhance concentration and attention span in the morning.
- Get up from your desk at times during the day and move briskly to aid blood movement and the fight against fatigue.
- Run or walk at lunch time to improve energy levels in the afternoon.
- Opt for low Glycaemic Index (GI) foods for several proceeding hours of sustained energy.
- Have a mid morning or mid afternoon snack to lift blood sugar levels between meals – ultimately carbohydrate rich foods such as yoghurt and fruit.
- Avoid an afternoon slump by steering clear of large, high fat meals at lunch - time.
Arguably, there is no conclusive evidence to implicate caffeine consumption as being significantly harmful to health. However, if you have exceeded the recommended caffeine intake of 500mg per day (the average cup of instant coffee contains between 80 and 100mg per cup) try reaching for the fruit bowl or, better still, your runners rather than the kettle – there is a good chance you’ll feel better for it.
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