The most common sources of caffeine are coffee, tea and sodas.
Coffee – Consuming 3-4 cup of coffee (not a mug, which is equal to 2 cups of coffee) that amounts to more than 300 mg of caffeine intake (and of course if you are not taking caffeine in any other form, like tea, pain killers and sodas and cold drinks) is deleterious to your bones especially in AS (Ankolysing Spondylitis) patients who are prone to get osteoporosis because of the persistent inflammation and immobility of spine. Consuming more than 04 cups of coffee has been found to accelerate the bone loss further.
Caffeine increases the urinary excretion of calcium for at least 3 hrs after consumption. Uncompensated losses of calcium would be a risk factor for development of osteoporosis. Studies suggest that for younger adult women (36 year old female) consuming adequate calcium, moderate caffeine (less than three cups and if not taking caffeine in any other form as mentioned earlier) intakes may have little or no deleterious effects. Increased urinary and intestinal losses may be compensated for by increased intestinal calcium absorption. However, older women do not seem to compensate as adequately as their younger counterparts to maintain their former calcium balance, especially when calcium intakes are below the recommended qualntity. Studies have also documented that drinking more than four cups of coffee each day doubles the risk of hip fracture. Consuming more than 300 mg a day of caffeine would have an adverse effect on bone density.
Tea – A research examined the relation between tea drinking andBMD in older women in Britain, where tea drinking is common. It was found that older women who drank tea had higher BMD measurementsthan did those who did not drink tea. Nutrients found in tea,such as flavonoids, may influence BMD. Tea drinking may protectagainst osteoporosis in older women.
Other Products – I also want to add here as a precaution that other caffeine containing products like sodas, energy drinks, protein bars, and natural weight-loss aids have Guarana as their main ingredient which contains concentrations of naturally occurring caffeine higher than that found in coffee, tea, cacao, and cola. Guarana is sometimes marketed as a natural alternative to caffeine, but still it is caffeine.
Having said this, I would like to emphasize on striking a balance between the products that we consume and the quantities in which we consume them.
- Having a safe amount of caffeine is okay till the time you do not go overboard with it.
- Observe your diet and detect other caffeine containing products that you might be consuming in the day. Balance your caffeine intake by reducing coffee or other products.
- Consuming tea is better than consuming coffee as the caffeine levels are lower is tea and it also contains flavonoids.
- Don’t get fooled by products claiming that the caffeine source is natural, it still contains caffeine.
- Read the label on every food/drink item you purchase or consume.