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The UPSIDE of Caffeine

At least six studies have shown that people who drink coffee on a regular basis are up to 80% less likely to develop Parkinson's Disease, with three studies showing the more they drink, the lower the risk. Other research has shown that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of colon and liver cancer by some 25%, slash the risk of skin cancer by some 40%, drop the risk of liver cirrhosis by 22%, and lower the risk of gallstones by nearly half.
Coffee might even offset some of the damage caused by other vices. Some research indicates that people who smoke and are heavy drinkers have less heart disease and liver damage when they regularly consume large amounts of coffee compared to those who don't.
 
There's also some evidence that coffee may help manage asthma and even control attacks when medication is unavailable, stop a headache, boost mood, and even prevent cavities.
 
And of course, caffeine is widely used for its stimulating and alertness properties, as well as its ability to enhance athletic performance.
 
Note: not all of the benefits associated with drinking coffee or tea can necessarily be attributed to caffeine. In many cases, they might be specific to the antioxidants found in those beverages (see below).
 
Herewith some recommendations for getting your ‘kick’:
 
- Natural caffeine is preferable to "added" caffeine. Natural caffeine comes packaged with a number of powerful antioxidants such as:
  Chocolate: flavonoids, procyanidins, epicatechin, cocoa phenols.
- Tea: epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin. Not to mention theanine, which is not an antioxidant, but rather, a profoundly beneficial   amino acid.
- Coffee: chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and melanoidins.
- A ‘safe’ recommendation of caffeine intake is about 100 mg a day. That still allows for 3 cups of green tea a day. The exception to this guideline is that if 
you take your caffeine bound to fibre, as in guarana (not guarana extract), the caffeine releases over time rather than in powerful bursts, which allows you to consume more without the negative side effects.
- Don't use caffeine as part of a daily ritual such as "every morning" to start the day. Use it selectively, if possible, to get a boost only when needed. And take at least two days off each week -- totally caffeine free -- to allow all caffeine to clear from your body on a weekly basis.
- And as much as possible avoid consuming caffeine while pregnant.