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Caffeine For Seniors.

Now that we're amazing and mature, the world seems to be full of people who feel the need to give us advice on what we should or shouldn't be doing, should or shouldn't be eating or what we should or shouldn't be drinking (and a load of other "helpful advice").

 

Sheesh! Does it ever stop?!

3 minute read.

When it comes to coffee, there is so much conflicting advice online it's easy to get confused about what we should or shouldn't be doing.

So, let's clear it all up and simplify the facts from known and trusted medical sources.

Just below, we'll jump straight into answering the most common questions being asked about coffee by people who are amazing and mature.

We'll check what the medical pro's are saying then convert that into plain & simple English.

Let's get straight to it.

Seniors enjoying coffee.

At What Age Should You Stop Drinking Coffee?

There isn't an age when you should stop drinking coffee. But ...
From around the age of 65 onward, your body can take around 33% longer to eliminate caffeine from your system. If you have a coffee at say 4pm, it'll still be in your system around 10pm. This is a common cause of insomnia in many senior citizens, without them even realising it. 
Around 3 or 4 cups a day is considered fine. If you struggle to fall asleep at night, try not to have a coffee after 4 or 5pm. It might actually help.
Senior Couple enjoying a cup fo coffee.

Just Reduce Your Caffeine.

Enjoy your coffee? It might do you a lot of good to try a different kind of coffee.

Ever heard of Liberica? It's one of the 3 coffee beam types. Not only is it considered as the nicest tasting of the 3 beans, it naturally has a much lower level of caffeine than the others.

You might love it! And less caffeine.

Is Coffee Bad For Seniors?

Caffeine has it's positive benefits for senior citizens but it also has some negative affects on the body.
Let's quickly summarise what these are:
Positive.       (When consumed in moderation).
  • Regular caffeine consumption can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s,  Parkinsons Disease and stroke. (Medical study here).
  • Regular consumption of caffeine can help improve cognitive function (concentration, figuring things out etc - things like that). (PubMed.gov)
  • Investigations are underway to establish whether caffeine has a positive affect on the reduction of occurrence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). (Info here).
Negative.
Caffeine tends to start having a negative affect on the body when too much of it is being ingested. (More than what your body can safely process). Typical symptoms caused by too much caffeine include;
  • Anxiety - Too much caffeine will stimulate the body's nervous system a bit too much and cause a state of 'anxiety' to occur.
  • Insomnia - Caffeine "blocks" Adenosine, which is one of the body's natural chemicals that helps us fall asleep. 
  • Digestive System Issues - Excessive amounts of caffeine cause a hormone called Gastrin to be released in the stomach, this speeds up activity in the colon. Also, caffeine has been found to stimulate the contractions of your digestive tract, causing food to move through more quickly.
  • High Blood Pressure - In some people, caffeine can increase blood pressure which is caused by caffeine's stimulating affect on the body's nervous system.
  • Rapid Heart Rate or Palpitations - Some people can be affected by this. Again, due to caffeine's stimulating affect on the body's nervous system, it can affect your heart beat rhythm.
  • Frequent Urination and Urgent Need - Caffeine has a stimulating affect on our bladder and urinary system. This can cause frequent visits to the bathroom and also can increase the urgency of the need to urinate.
These symptoms can occur regardless of age. When we reach our senior years, our body's ability to process caffeine becomes less than what it was, which means these symptoms can occur more easily for people who are mature in years.
(Usually around 65 years and older).
If you want to, you can find more detailed info at HealthLine.com
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All good Things in Moderation.

If you keep your caffeine to no more than 4 cups of coffee per day and you don't drink any after 4 or 5pm, you should be perfectly fine.
Monitor how you feel. If you feel ok, then you're ok.
If you notice any of the above symptoms or other negative symptoms, you really should speak to your doctor or medical professional. It could be something that's easily resolved.
Older msn drinking coffee.

How Much Caffeine is Too Much?

Safe caffeine amounts are based on body weight. (How much our bodies can safely process without stressing).
From around the age of 65 onward, the general (medical) rule to calculate the safe amount for your body is to reduce the amount of caffeine by 33% (or 1 third).
We've done that for you in the table below. Just find your approximate body weight and see what your safe daily caffeine amount is.
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These numbers are to give you an idea of how much caffeine you can consume each day without it stressing your body.
If you consume a bit more, don't worry about it.
Just try not to do so on a regular basis.
Be mindful of how you feel after drinking your coffee. If you feel just fine, then you're just fine.
If you don't feel just fine, just ask your doctor about it. It's probably something that can be easily fixed.
Some women are affected by caffeine, some are not.
A medical study published on PubMed.gov involving just over 2500 women concluded that frequent ingestion of caffeine  contributed to "greater vasomotor symptom bother".
In plain English, this means they discovered that caffeine aggravated hot flushes and night sweats, making them a little more intense than what they normally would be.

Can I Drink Coffee After My Menopause?

Another study published on MayoClinic.org also concluded the same results. This study also stated that they did not observe any of these symptoms in the pre-menopause or peri-menopausal stages. (Peri = just before the menopause actually begins).

But ...

It's important to note that not all women are affected by caffeine in this way. What these studies are stating is that it is fairly common for some women to experience these symptoms when ingesting caffeine on a regular basis.

You be the Judge.

Monitor how you feel. If you're drinking coffee (caffeine) regularly and you're feeling ok, then you're ok.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms  you may need to consider that your caffeine consumption might be making things a bit worse than what they normally would be.

It's always best to consult your doctor or medical professional and tell them what your experiencing and roughly how much coffee/caffeine you drink. It's possible they may advise you to reduce your caffeine intake as much as you can, or maybe to stop ingesting caffeine altogether.

Try a Different Coffee Maybe?

It's important to note that it's not the coffee that might be the problem, it's the caffeine. So...

If you're looking to reduce your caffeine intake ;

  • Look for the "Low Caffeine" logo on the coffee packaging or label. You can find these in most large grocery places and online (Amazon etc).

  • Ever heard of Liberica? There are 3 kinds of coffee beam, Liberica, Arabica and Robusta. Liberica naturally has the lowest levels of caffeine in the bean, so it might be worth trying  this out (It's also considered to be the nicest tasting of the 3 beans). Not many places sell Liberica coffee, but it is easy to find online (Amazon etc).

If you're looking to eliminate your caffeine intake;

Luckily these days there are actually some decent decaffeinated coffees available. If you're looking to try a decaff', we highly recommend looking for a good quality organic coffee.

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Just look for one of these logos on the coffee label. It's the sign of quality and that there are no nasty chemicals involved in the decaff' process. Maybe you'll need to try a few different brands to find what you like. If you're being negatively affected by caffeine, It'll be worth it.

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Just to Re-cap...

  1. Just keep an eye on how you feel after drinking your coffee.

  2. Try to keep it at 4 cups per day or less.

  3. If you do notice some symptoms you're not sure about, just speak to you doctor or medical professional.

  4. If you need to switch your coffee to a low-caff or de-caff,  just look online & see what you can find (Amazon is usually the best)..

Thanks For Reading.

That really is all we need to do to keep on enjoying our coffee for many more years to come.

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