It’s good for our bank accounts and our health to exercise, eat right and generally stay healthy so our monthly Health Insurance Premiums can be somewhere south of our mortgage payments!  Some Health Plans are even offering ways to lower the deductible on High Deductible Health Plan by staying healthy and not having to be hospitalized.  Senior plans may offer discounts to gyms in order to make it convenient for members to exercise and socialize with other seniors.  Diet and exercise play a huge role in our well being.  Drinking coffee has, through the years, either been good for you or not so good.  Personally, I don’t think a few cups of coffee will make you ineligible for individual health plans.  Still, it is informative to learn about the newest thoughts about a cup of Joe.

The website Zest Now, asks what do we really know about caffeine.  “Caffeine has been proven to affect the body’s metabolism, especially stimulating the central nervous system, which is why most people use it as artificial energy.  Caffeine is a mild stimulant that can increase alertness, but the results are short lived- which brings people back for more.  Caffeine is a diuretic which increases your urinary output (hello, frequent potty breaks) but is shown to add to total water intake similar to non-caffeinated beverages if consumed throughout the day.”

Zest Now also goes on to say that “excessive caffeine consumption (500-600 mg or 4-7 cups of coffee) can affect anxiety, headaches, irritability, and nausea.  Everyone has different sensitivities to caffeine.  One person can drink coffee all day long and be fine, while one cup for someone else could make them more jumpy than a wanted felon on a pogo stick.”

There are several factors that affect your sensitivity to caffeine.  They are your body mass.  The smaller you are the more you will feel the effects of coffee.  The more often you drink coffee the less sensitive you become to it.  And, psychologically, if you are already stressed out, chances are you will be even more so.

Now here is scary info on caffeine.  Again, from Zest Now.  “Caffeine is not only found in beverages, but it occurs in over 1,000 over the counter drugs.  Excedrin Extra Strength, an over-the-counter pain reliever, contains 130 mg of caffeine per 2 tablets-that’s almost half of your recommended caffeine intake for the day.  You may remember the dietary supplement Ephedra, which was banned for increasing one’s risk of heart attack, stroke, seizures and death.”

Zest Now also has some tips if you would like to wean yourself off caffeine.You should alternate between caffeinated and decaffeinated drinks.  Drink plenty of water.  Use fat free milk.  Finally, when drinking soda, fill your cup with 3/4 regular soda and 1/4 caffeine free soda.  Cheers!

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