Caffeine is a powerful stimulant. This can be useful when you are tired but too much can be bad for your health. It speeds up heart rate, increases blood pressure and causes anxiety.
For most people up to 300mg a day causes no problems. A cup of instant coffee contains 60mg, a standard latte 85mg but a double espresso can have 180mg.
However, if you have medical conditions that could be linked to caffeine, such as palpitations, an irregular heartbeat or bad PMT, reduce your intake but do it gradually.
Pro: Energy: Caffeine's most obvious benefit is that it can impart increased energy and improve mood. Those who only consume caffeine infrequently get a better boost than those who consume regularly.
Con: The Jitters: Drinking too much caffeine can cause the user to feel nervous and may interfere with sleep. Caffeine, even in smaller doses, can worsen symptoms in those prone to anxiety or panic attacks.
Pro: Memory Boost: The Mayo Clinic reports that various studies have shown that caffeine can temporarily boost performance on memory tasks. Long term, caffeine consumption may help decrease the risk of Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's and other related memory loss problems.
Con: Caffeine Withdrawal. Regularly consuming multiple servings of caffeine per day can lead to dependence. When you discontinue using caffeine, you may experience headache, fatigue and irritability for a day or two.
Pro: Antioxidants: The antioxidants that accompany caffeine in many drinks, such as green tea and coffee, are linked with health benefits. These antioxidants may help reduce inflammation in the body and lessen the risks for cancer and heart diseases.
Con: Digestive Tract Problems: Caffeine can cause or worsen digestive tract problems such as upset stomach and acid reflux.