Is Caffeine Healthy?

Caffeine can improve your body composition if you're overweight or obese. But today, we'll tell you all about the benefits for athletes.
Is Caffeine Healthy?

Last update: 13 July, 2020

The scientific literature shows that caffeine is an ergogenic substance and has certain benefits. These include being able to delay the onset of fatigue and improve athletic performance, and it can even improve cognitive activity for a limited period of time. But is caffeine actually healthy?

The health benefits of caffeine have been debated for a long time. Previously, this was mainly due to a lack of knowledge about its long-term effects on the body. Some people also questioned whether the body’s ability to develop a tolerance might make it unsafe.

However, current studies show that it’s totally safe as long as you don’t exceed the recommended doses.

Is caffeine healthy? Neurodegenerative diseases

Scientists have studied the effects of regular consumption of caffeine on the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases. It appears that this substance acts as a form of protection, and is one reason why experts recommend drinking coffee regularly.

However, despite the fact that coffee has certain health benefits and contains antioxidants, it’s possible to get caffeine from other sources too. But be careful; not all caffeinated drinks are healthy in the medium or long term.

Energy drinks contain large doses of caffeine and a large number of simple sugars. These drinks should be avoided since they can increase the risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes.

A cup of espresso surrounded by coffee beans.

Is caffeine healthy? Caffeine and weight loss

Caffeine can also help you lose weight. It’s been shown that regularly consuming caffeine helps increase lipolysis and, therefore, improve body composition, regardless of whether you’re obese or a healthy weight.

It’s one of the few substances, along with creatine and HMB, that’s able to influence your body composition. As a result, it’s normally recommended for low-calorie weight-loss diets.

As if that weren’t enough, it also works as an appetite suppressant. This makes it very useful during an intermittent fasting period. In fact, if you decide to adopt a 16-hour fasting program, it’s a good idea to drink coffee or another caffeinated drink first thing in the morning.

This will make it much easier to make it through the day without eating and enjoy the benefits in terms of weight loss. Of course, if you’re going to try this strategy, you should get professional help from a nutritionist.

Other substances that enhance the effects of caffeine

Some compounds are capable of working together with caffeine to enhance its effects. For example, taurine or guarana can increase the effects of caffeine and increase cognitive ability. This is a combination that’s often found in energy drinks.

However, it’s important to be cautious with these products. It’s always best to opt for the sugar-free varieties, and you should never mix them with alcohol.

Someone making a mixed drink containing caffeine.

So, is caffeine healthy?

Caffeine is one of the few substances with proven ergogenic effects. Many athletes use it due to its ability to improve performance. However, people with a more sedentary lifestyle can also enjoy benefits from regular consumption.

Its ability to suppress appetite and stimulate weight loss and its benefits for the central nervous system are all great reasons to consume it on a regular basis.

Despite these benefits, it’s important to watch your intake. Consuming too much can lead to tolerance, and then the effects will diminish. Normally, abstaining from it for a while can increase your body’s sensitivity once again.

It’s also important to avoid mixing it with alcohol. This can have serious consequences for your health, such as arrhythmias.

Whether you enjoy a coffee or other caffeinated drinks, this can be a really healthy addition to your daily routine. But, as always, if you have any questions, it’s always best to visit your doctor or another professional for the very best advice.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Cappelletti S., Piacentino D., Sani G., Aromatario M., Caffeine: cognitive and physical performance enhancer or psychoactive drug? Curr Neruopharmacol, 2015. 13 (1): 71-88.
  • Kolahdouzan M., Hamadeh MJ., The neuroprotective effects of caffeine in neurodegenerative diseases. CNS Neurosci Ther, 2017. 23 (4): 272-290.
  • Tabrizi R., Saneei P., Lankarani KB., Akbari M., et al., The effects of caffeine intake on weight loss: a systematic review and dos response meta analysis of randomized controlled trials. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2019. 59 (16): 2688-2696.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.