What Is Caffeine Microdosing? A Doctor Shares Benefits, Effects
While too much caffeine can cause negative side effects like anxiousness or a rapid heartbeat, there is a lot of evidence in scientific literature regarding caffeine, its health benefits, and its potential as a microdosing agent.
In addition to increasing energy and improving cognition, there is also some research that indicates it may impact inflammatory conditions and auto-immunity. Other literature suggests that natural caffeine sources like coffee may help prevent pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Caffeine has also been researched since the 1970s as a performance-enhancing substance, for athletes and military, but often at moderate to high doses. However, what we are finding now is that low doses can be safer and better for the body: it can help improves alertness, mood, and cognition during and after physical exercises; but with few (if any) side effects. In fact, a recent review suggested that low doses of caffeine, as low as 3 mg, can be just as effective as higher doses.
What’s more, scientists at Harvard did a randomized, double-blind placebo controlled study where 16 male subjects microdosed caffeine for, and were sequestered for 29 days. They were also deprived of time cues so they could simulate the extended wakefulness that doctors, military, and emergency services first responders often experience. What the researchers found was that those who took the low-dose caffeine supplement performed better on cognitive tests and had less accidental sleep onsets. The results suggest that microdosing caffeine can be especially helpful in circumstances where an individual must wait for the opportunity for a good night of restorative sleep (think: essential workers).
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