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The Highs and Lows of Caffeine
In our overworked and sleep-deprived society caffeine has become a quick fix for many people. It wakes up the brain, improves concentration and can make us feel temporarily more alert, even happier. But, if you’re using caffeine as an energy crutch, it may be time to take a closer look at the amount you’re choosing to take in each day and also where caffeine is “sneaking in.” If your caffeine habit totals more than 500 to 600 milligrams per day, you should be cutting back. This is particularly important if you’re bothered by headaches, sleep issues or anxiety. Like most things in life, moderation is key and by being aware you’ll be able to enjoy Shield from disease. Reputable studies have shown that
moderate coffee consumption may actually provide some protection against coronary disease, Parkinson’s disease, Caffeine has been plagued with a bad reputation in the type 2 diabetes, colon and liver cancer and gallstones. past and has been linked to high blood pressure, Green tea and coffee are also loaded with antioxidants, cholesterol and heart problems, especially in connection to smoking—i.e. lots of people associated having a smoke break with drinking coffee. Once smoking is removed from the equation, however, research shows that there are lots of potential “perks” to caffeine. Moderate caffeine For most people moderate amounts of caffeine aren’t harmful. But, heavy caffeine use—more than three cups a Brain boost. Caffeine improves your alertness and
reaction time by stimulating the central nervous system. Insomnia. For some, drinking caffeinated beverages can
This makes you feel more alert, relaxed and helps you make it harder to fall asleep and affect sleep quality. This can create an unwelcome cycle of masking sleep deprivation with caffeine, which will continue to impact Pick-me-up. Caffeine can have a positive effect on your
your sleep and other areas of your life. To break this cycle, mood, causing increased happiness, energy and try to reduce the amount of caffeine you take in a day and sociability. These effects depend on the amount of caffeine stop drinking beverages with caffeine at least six hours before going to bed. When you’re tired just try catching a
Stamina source.
Research reveals that caffeine may
nap or going to bed earlier instead of reaching for more actually improve your athletic ability. As a natural stimulant, caffeine helps with your endurance and acts as a mild pain reliever so you may feel less sore after your workout. Dependency. Caffeine is addictive so if you try to stop
Non-cola pop. Colas are well-known for their caffeine
drinking coffee, tea, energy drinks or colas, you may suffer content, but less suspecting, sweeter sodas also pack a withdrawal symptoms including bad headaches, muscles caffeine punch. Because of the sugar content in these aches, anxiety and irritability. Keep your addiction to a beverages though, they’re probably wise to drink only minimum by slowly weaning yourself off your beverage of choice and working towards a more modest daily intake. Chocolate. Caffeine is found natural y in cocoa beans so
Fertility problems. Although research is inconclusive in
all chocolate contains caffeine, but the darker the this area, research suggests that more than 300 milligrams chocolate, the higher the amount. Your average dark of caffeine a day increases a woman’s risk of conception chocolate bar has 31 milligrams of caffeine, which is problems, miscarriages and low weight babies. Doctors almost as much as a can of cola. Chocolate ice cream has recommend that women who are pregnant or planning to much less with usually only 3 milligrams. become pregnant should either eliminate or cut down on For caffeine lovers out there, you will be pleased to know that caffeine can make you a better athlete, chase away Osteoporosis. Caffeine can cause your body to excrete
the blues and provide some protection from serious health calcium and this loss over time may start to affect your concerns. But, this doesn’t mean that it’s bottoms up: the bones. If you must have your caffeine, bone up on calcium secret behind all of this is moderation. The next time your by adding extra milk to each cup of coffee or tea to offset energy drops and you start making your third trip to the drink machine at work or the coffee shop down the street, think about eating a fresh piece of fruit or getting some Other caffeine concerns include: heartburn, anxiety and exercise—both of which are great ways to get that energy stomach problems. These effects depend on the individual boost you’re looking for without going into caffeine and usually accompany heavy caffeine use. Some medications may also be affected by caffeine so be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re on medication
Although we are all well aware of the usual caffeine
suspects like coffee, tea and many energy drinks, it can
actually pop up in some pretty unexpected places. Look
out for:
Pain relievers. Caffeine is used in many pain medicine
because it helps the body absorb the drugs quickly,
bringing fast pain relief. A little caffeine can beat that
headache, but if you take more than the labels suggest you
are getting more than you need. Two common pain relief
tablets can contain as much as 130 milligrams of caffeine,
which is the same as an espresso shot—so stick to the
recommended amounts.
This content is meant for informational purposes and may not represent the views of individual organizations. Please call your EAP or consult with a professional for further guidance.


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