Caffeine is found in the beans and leaves that coffee and tea are made from, which means coffee and tea contain high amounts of caffeine even after they have been refined and made into a delicious hot beverage.
Caffeine is popular for its stimulant properties which has an effect on the brain and the nervous system; these are often perceived as positive effects which form the basis for daily tea and coffee consumption. However, caffeine may have negative effects which most people are unaware of which includes inference with the absorption, and the loss, of vital micronutrients.
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals which are essential for basic bodily functions. Most micronutrients cannot be produced by the body and need to be consumed through foods, drinks and supplements. Many people choose to take multi-vitamin tablets first thing in the morning in order to ensure that they are getting all of the micronutrients the body requires. However, consuming these tablets with a hot cup of tea or coffee could negate the positive effects of the supplements.
Caffeine causes frequent urination; a lot of vitamins and minerals are flushed out of the system through urination and, when urination is occurring at a more frequent rate than usual, micronutrients are flushed from the system before they have a chance to benefit the body.
Calcium, which is responsible for nervous system functions and the growth and maintenance of strong bones and teeth; magnesium, which is responsible for converting the food we eat into energy for the body; potassium, which is essential for maintaining the cells of the body; and sodium, which maintains the level of water in the body, are some of the vital minerals which are lost through frequent urination.
It is evident that these micronutrients are of crucial importance and the consumption of too much tea and coffee can result in detrimental health defects.
Caffeine also inhibits the absorption of vitamins A and B; but the most important micronutrient which caffeine has the biggest effect on is iron. Caffeine inhibits the absorption of iron by up to 73 percent. Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body and is essential for our survival. Iron plays an important role in the maintenance of muscles and allows the immune system to function at its optimum level.
Caffeine is responsible for the loss of important vitamins and minerals through urination, inhibits the absorption of many micronutrients and is also known to inhibit the absorption of good bacteria from yoghurt. Many people consume their multivitamins and yoghurt in the morning with their breakfast which is traditionally accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee for the caffeine kick to conquer the day.
However, the morning cup of Joe and multi-vitamin routine could be doing more harm than good and it is time for people to re-evaluate the optimum time for drinking tea or coffee and taking supplements in order to ensure they are receiving all of the micronutrients the body requires.