The Effect of Caffeine on Vitamin Absorption
Although it is a substance that most of us consume everyday, caffeine can be a very dangerous drug that can have a detrimental effect on health if taken inappropriately or by those who already suffer from some medical complaints.
What Is Caffeine?Caffeine is a naturally occurring product that is found in beans and leaves of many plants around the world. It is present in many of our everyday foods and drinks, and can also be harvested and sold as a supplementary drug, often used by students, sports people and those with busy and hectic lifestyles.
It acts as a stimulant and alters the function and physiology of the brain and nervous system primarily bit can also interferes with digestion and vitamin absorption.
Sources Of CaffeineSources of caffeine include coffee, tea, chocolate, cola drinks and some medicines available from pharmacists. It is also found in a variety of sports drinks and energy supplements used by many athletes.
How Does It Affect Vitamin Absorption?One of the main side-effects of consuming too much caffeine is a frequent urination. This can cause the body to become quite easily and quickly depleted of some of the nutrient essential for maintaining good health. Minerals that can become depleted very easily include calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphate and potassium.
Calcium is essential for bone development and strength, good teeth, muscle contraction and some nerve functions. Magnesium is needed in order to convert food products into energy and for keeping the teeth, bones and muscles strong. Sodium is needed in moderation to help keep the water content of the body at a healthy level. Potassium is needed for good cell maintenance, especially of the heart muscle.
Caffeine is also thought to inhibit the absorption of iron and some of the A and B vitamins.Iron is an essential part of the diet and needed for red blood cell production and function, for the muscles and as part of the immune system.
Preventing Vitamin And Mineral LossIf you absolutely must drink tea and coffee, add plenty of milk to the drink in order to make up for the amount of calcium absorption that may be lost. Try drinking an extra glass of milk every day also to keep calcium levels healthy.
Try and consume your caffeine between meals, not just before or just after. Give your body the chance to try and absorb some of the goodness from food before caffeine enters the system and prevents this process.
Where possible, restrict the number of soft drinks and amount of chocolate consumed by young children. Children are at the most vulnerable and require a balanced diet full of plenty of vitamins and minerals but this may all be in vain if they are drinking lots of cola and eating lots of chocolate.If necessary, switch your normal brands of drinks and chocolate to caffeine free alternatives.
If it is taken in small amounts, caffeine will not be too damaging to health, but if consumed in great quantities, as many people do by drinking energy drinks or similar, or from drinking too many soft drinks or coffee, it can be detrimental to health both psychologically and physically.
There seems little point in being extremely careful about maintaining a healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables if gallons of cups of coffee are drunk as this will prevent the benefits of the food items from realising their health benefits.