08 July, 2011
Caffeine & Magnesium
Caffeine is widely consumed in coffee and tea because it provides an energy boost and makes you feel good. When consumed in moderation, caffeine has beneficial effects that include increased blood flow and respiration, which makes it attractive to athletes. Caffeine can have a negative impact on your body because it stimulates the kidneys and intestines and causes your body to eliminate magnesium. Long-term use of caffeine may lead to a magnesium deficiency.
Caffeine is a natural substance that is found in many plants, and it is most commonly found in your diet in coffee, tea and chocolate. Caffeine has a stimulating effect on the nervous system and makes you feel alert. It is considered to be a psychoactive drug because it influences your state of mind, as well as making physical changes in your body. Caffeine can boost your mood, decrease feelings of fatigue and make you more attentive, which is why it’s often the preferred drink of students. Caffeine is mildly addictive and can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and irritability.
Magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in your body, and nearly half the magnesium in your body is found in your bones. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions and supports a wide variety of your body’s functions, including regulating your heartbeat and maintaining your blood pressure. Magnesium helps your body’s cells to produce energy and contributes to the production of proteins. Among other things, magnesium is thought to be valuable in the prevention and control of health disorders such as hypertension and diabetes.
When you consume caffeine, it temporarily acts like a diuretic, which means that you may be flushing magnesium and calcium out of your body every time you drink a caffeinated beverage. A 1994 study conducted at Washington State University showed that magnesium and calcium excretion was increased for six hours after test subjects consumed caffeine. Researchers caution that if you regularly consume caffeine, either in food or as a part of an over-the-counter diuretic, your body may be deficient in the minerals magnesium and calcium, which puts you at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Magnesium deficiency can show up as anxiety and irritability, low blood pressure and poor nail growth, and it can even lead to abnormal heartbeat.
Magnesium is found primarily in vegetables, including dark green vegetables such as spinach, chard and kale; cereal grains, including barley, oats, wheat and rice; fruits such as bananas and raisins; and peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts. Magnesium is also in milk and other dairy products and can be found in some seafood. Caffeine is found in more than 60 types of plants. It’s found in both Arabica and Robusta types of coffee, which are grown around the world. Tea, known botanically as Camellia sinensis, contains caffeine. In Mexico, caffeine is present in the cocoa bean, which is processed for making chocolate. In Africa, the kola nut is used for its stimulating caffeine. In addition to natural sources of caffeine, the ingredient is also added to soft drinks and energy drinks, as well as in novel applications such as caffeinated candy and chewing gum.
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