Why ditching caffeine is good news for your brain and that toned stomach you’re after

Addicted to caffeine? Why dropping it for your diet may have the health benefit of losing weight

We all know what a can of fizzy drink can do to an otherwise sane and sedate child, but it turns out that a sugar rush isn’t the only reason to steer clear of the sugary beverages.

New research has found that caffeine-laden drinks, including tea, coffee and energy drinks, could be stopping children’s brains from developing.

Have you thought about ditching the caffeine? [Fotolia] Scientists in Zurich believe that during adolescence, key brain functions happen during deep sleep including the extension and reduction of synapses – developing neurological pathways for adult life.

An excess of caffeine prevents teens from reaching this deep sleep stage, which could lead to anxiety, drug use and even personality disorders.

The recommended daily allowance of caffeine for an adult is 400mg, the same as three or four cups of coffee or four cans of energy drink, compared to just 75mg for a 10-year-old. 

A child need only consume the adult allowance of the stimulant to make a difference in their sleep cycle and thus leave them at risk of missing out on crucial brain development.

Why ditching caffeine is good for your brain [Fotolia] As well as this, a new diet is doing the rounds claiming ditching coffee and tea can help you shift your bloated belly.

‘The Decaf Diet” by Eugene Wells identifies the ‘coffee belly’ as a symptom of long-term caffeine consumption, recommending to ditch the stimulant if we want to achieve that most sought after of states – a flat stomach.

[Cutting down on caffeine helped me conceive]

[Celebrity weight loss/gains and diet pictures]

Ditching the coffee could help you get a flat stomach [Fotolia] Some nutritionists state that women in particular should drink no more than two cups of tea or coffee a day but watch out for those withdrawal symptoms.

Those brave few who decide to give up caffeine complain of splitting headaches, nausea and (ironically) insomnia.

So weigh up your options before eschewing all espressos but it can’t hurt to cut down on those calorific vanilla lattes. Oh okay, just one…

Are you a caffeine addict? Tell us on Twitter now.

[Common foods that should carry a health warning - GALLERY]

[Caffeine: does it need a serious health warning?]

New research has suggested that just one fizzy drink a day ups your risk of diabetes by 22 per cent. Exchange it for sparkling water or diluted fruit juice.
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Rex Features
Fri, Apr 26, 2013 17:00 BST