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What Seniors Should Know About Caffeine

By Denise Roskamp

What Seniors Should Know About Caffeine

Did you know that drinking caffeine can lower the risk for Alzheimer’s Disease? For many years it has been thought that consuming caffeine has a negative impact on one’s health, but in recent years it’s now becoming clear that drinking coffee in moderate amounts is indeed linked to lower risk of Alzheimer’s. As with anything else in the medical research community, we’re never quite sure what to believe as they bounce back and forth with their findings.

Let’s look at some of the most recent studies concerning drinking caffeine so you can feel better informed!

What research is showing when it comes to aging well and drinking caffeine:

• Caffeine can lower inflammation. We are learning constantly about inflammation and the role it plays in our aging process. Research is showing that consuming coffee or other beverages with caffeine prohibits certain genes connected to the development of inflammation. What a great excuse to enjoy that morning coffee!

• Inhibits Alzheimer’s Disease. Moderate intake of caffeine helps shield your cognitive health. An average of three cups of coffee per day can significantly lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. In fact, research is now showing that these risks can be lowered by more than 65% when compared to non-coffee drinkers!

• Heart Health. In this area, there is a lot of disagreement and not a lot of clarity. Although we are often told that drinking coffee is not good for your heart, the truth is we just don’t know. The research is not conclusive enough to make a hardcore statement about heart health and caffeine.

Be mindful of the source from which you get your caffeine.

This just means that some sources are better than others. Coffee or tea is the most common way to consume caffeine. They are perfectly safe, although we would recommend steering clear of energy drinks or soda. The sugar in those drinks would far outweigh the benefits of caffeine. You can even get caffeine from chocolate, although you should only eat dark chocolate, which has a lower sugar content.

Here are the facts about soda and sugar:

A 12 ounce can of a soft drink contains nearly 40 grams of sugar! The equivalent of that translates to 10 teaspoons! According to the American Heart Association, we should not be consuming more than 9 teaspoons of sugar daily. As you can see, once can of soda would put you over that limit for the day. Consuming too much sugar seriously elevates your risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, and obesity.

Energy drinks are another major source of caffeine and they are promoted to us as a healthy way to perk up and boost our performance throughout the day. However, what you might not know is that one energy drink is the same as drinking about five cups of coffee! Although it is mainly young people who consume these drinks, that much caffeine can be problematic and cause heart palpitations, sweating and feeling jittery. The bottom line here is that caffeine in moderation can be a good thing! Just be careful where you get your caffeine and don’t consume things that have a high sugar content, or the caffeine benefits won’t be worth it.

For more information on caffeine consumption among seniors, please contact us today!

Home Helpers of MetroWest is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, 24-hour live-in care, personal care, companion care, respite care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in ConcordFraminghamLincolnMarlboroughNatickSouthboroughSudbury, WaylandWellesley, and Weston, Massachusetts. 

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