Non-alcoholic drinks – Most of them have caffeine! PART 2
Recent observations show that, beside the group B vitamins, the blood homocysteine levels is influenced by some lifestyle factors.
Extensive studies have shown that the smoking and coffee consumption are accompanied by high homocysteine concentrations. And very recently, Grubben and his collaborators published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000; 71: 403-404), the results of their research, made in Holland, showing that the coffee intake rises the blood homocysteine levels, irrespective of smoking.
Caffeine makes us feel alert, because it blocks the adenosine receptors in the brain. Normally, the adenosine covers or weakens the activity of other neurotransmitters. By blocking the adenosine, ie brake, it’s stimulated the brain activity and, directly, the dopamine production. Cocaine, alcohol, nicotine and heroin also increases the dopamine levels. Clearly, the caffeine has some similar properties to those of drugs, and those who consumes it are not aware of the extent to which their behavior is controlled by it. When they don’t get their dose, sevrage phenomena appear, abstinence. Especially children are very vulnerable to phenomena of abstinence when they stop receiving the drinks they were used to.
Non-acoholic industry exploates the caffeine property to create dependency, which they add it for this purpose and not to improve the taste. John Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA researchers have found that only 2 of 25 Coke adult consumers can distinguish between caffeine taste varieties and the varieties of decaf. This new evidence strongly contradicts the manufacturers claim that they add the caffeine only for the taste. In reality it aims to create Addiction!
The effect on the nervous system can be seen in the spider too, which, after a dose of caffeine is no longer able to do a regular canvas, but just a caricature. In humans, caffeine increases the cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides in the blood, produces extrasystoles, insomnia and increases the water secretion through the kidneys, contributing to body dehydration and the sensation of fatigue.
Caffeine goes through the placenta and affects the fetal growth, inhibiting the phosphodiesterase, the enzyme responsible for dissolving the adenosine cyclic monophosphate (cyclic AMP). Without being disolved, the adenosine cyclic monophosphate increases in the blood, and high levels of cyclic AMP can interfere with the cell division or may precipitate the uterine vasoconstriction mediated by catecholamines.
Caffeine metabolism rate in pregnant women is 3 or slower, resulting in an accumulation of caffeine in the mother and the fetus body.
Finally, the caffeine increases the cell susceptibility to lack of oxygen, by blocking the adenosine specific receptors.
With all the understanding we have toward those who have become coffee addicted, i must say that is not a drink that worth the money you pay for it.
The only perfect drink is water. Why? If you are not dehydrated, 70% of your body weight is water, and the kidneys filter about 180 liters of water per day. Without water, no cell can live and can not perform any of the many processes that are made in the body. The human body is composed of a huge number of tiny factories dependent on water, containing billion units very diversified, but all water dependent. To maintain this wonderful system, and therefore life, you need 10-12 glasses of water daily. Two to four of them you get from foods, the rest of eight or more, you must consume, even if you are not thirsty.
Of course, the water requirements vary depending on the body weight, physical effort and the environment temperature. The recommendation to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily refers to people of normal weight – men between 60 and 70kg, Women between 50 and 55 kg, which submitt a reduced physical work, in an environment with a normal temperature.
For those who still could not leave other beverages, nutritionists recommend to drink a glass of water after alcohol or coffee, to offset their desiccant effect.