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Scientists have debated caffeine’s health impacts for years. In the past, the medical community advised limiting caffeine intake because they believed it negatively impacted overall health. Then, research came along that seemed to indicate coffee consumption—drinking fully caffeinated portions in moderate amounts—resulted in lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
The conflicting reports left many of us unsure of what to believe. We thought it might help if we shared some of the most recent studies about aging and caffeine. You can review this information with your primary care physician to see what additional advice they might have to offer.
What Researchers Say About Aging, Health, and Caffeine
Here’s what you should consider when it comes to caffeine and aging well:
What is the Source of the Caffeine?
Our final suggestionis to be mindful of the source of caffeine you are consuming. Is it coming from coffee or tea? Or is it from a source like soda or energy drinks? The latter two often come with additional health risks that can override any benefits caffeine might offer.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 12-ounce can of soda averages 39 grams of sugar. That equates to more than 9 teaspoons of sugar. The American Heart Association says that adult men should limit their daily sugar consumption to no more than 9 teaspoons per day, and women to just 6. Sugar intake that exceeds those guidelines puts people at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Energy drinks are promoted as an easy way to improve alertness and physical endurance. People of all ages, including teens, often consume them in large quantities. But it’s important to know that one 24-ounce energy drink contains as much caffeine as four to five cups of coffee. People who consume more than one energy drink in a day may encounter side effects such as profuse sweating, heart palpitations, digestive issues, and problems with heart rhythm.
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If you’d like to stay on top of the latest research regarding aging, dementia, caregiving, and planning for senior care, bookmark our blog and stop back. The Sunrise Blog is updated throughout the week to make it easier for older adults and family caregivers to access the most current resources and information.