Let’s be honest: when you sipped your first cup of coffee last morning, you have not been doing that because you diligently weighed all pros and cons of drinking coffee. You just love the way it enjoyably kick-starts your day. From the other side, if you do not stand even how it smells – there will be not enough evidence in the world to persuade you to start consuming it regularly.
As it’s delicious aroma, coffee itself is a very complicated subject to study. This article aims to give you extra benefits of coffee drinking (comforting to know, for all java lovers) and, to be objective, show potential pitfalls of excess coffee consumption.
“That first cup of coffee in the morning is happiness” (one of your best friends, we bet)
Before we proceed with the results of recent researches on whether coffee is healthy or harmful, let’s keep in mind that different people have different tolerance levels to caffeine; so listen to your body to play it safe when it is about quantity. If you feel irritated, have sleeping problems, or feel stressed and uncomfortable, then, probably you’re drinking too much coffee. “The sky’s the limit” principle doesn’t work here.
7 Science-Based Benefits of Coffee
1. Coffee Boosts Your Mood (Surprise!)
Actually, we take it for granted: a cup of coffee can turn a morning frown into a smile. It is interesting to know that coffee boosts dopamine production in the brain and lowers a risk of depression. So, not only caffeine stimulates the central nervous system but also acts as a mild antidepressant by boosting production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. Latest researches show the lower risk of depression among coffee drinkers.
2. Coffee lowers the risk of suicide
Researchers from Harvard discovered that people who regularly consumed a reasonable amount of coffee (2-3 cups a day), were 55 percent less likely to commit suicide than nondrinkers.
3. Coffee helps keep your brain healthier for longer
Every other person in the world starts her/his day with a cup of coffee: no wonder so many researches have been provided recently. So, researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami found that people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer’s disease two to four years later than others with lower caffeine. Other recent researches suggest that coffee consumption can appreciably reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and liver cancer.
4. Coffee improves your memory
In a recent study, people who moderately consumed coffee (up to 200 milligrams of caffeine) after viewing certain images were better able to recall them 24 hours later than participants who didn’t have caffeine. That is because caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter adenosine, so it can’t inhibit another neurotransmitter called norepinephrine, which plays a crucial role in helping you retrieve a memory, the researchers say.
5. Coffee helps you combat fatigue
Obviously, a cup of coffee can improve your attention and focusing abilities, especially if you are sleep-deprived or experiencing jet lag. Just the smell of coffee alone can de-stress you the morning and help you wake-up. Researchers at the Seoul National University examined the brains of rats who were stressed with sleep deprivation and discovered that those who were exposed to coffee aromas experienced changes in brain proteins tied to that stress. While it’s not proven to help specifically with stress in general, it will contribute to combating the irksome symptoms of fatigue.
6. It can help you to burn fat
Caffeine suppresses the appetite, raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acid. Add to this, coffee can mildly enhance exercise performance and helps you to get the most from your regular workouts.
7. Coffee helps you live longer
Studies show that consuming 2-3 cups of coffee daily decreases the risk of overall death due to any reason, what doctors and scientists refer to as “all-cause mortality.”
7 Negative Effects of Coffee
1. Coffee increases anxiety
The caffeine in coffee increases stress hormones. The stress response elicits cortisol and increases insulin, which in its turn, increases inflammation, and this makes you feel not well.
2. Coffee disrupts sleep patterns
Too much caffeine could lead to restless sleep, and a cup of espresso after dinner could be followed by more insomnia.
3. Coffee can cause stomach problems
The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heartburn, GERD, and dysbiosis; especially, when a cup of espresso is all you have for a breakfast.
4. Coffee provokes addiction
That’s for sure! Addiction is often an issue with coffee drinkers and makes it really difficult to rely on the body’s natural source of energy. It’s a fun experiment to provide yourself a break from the coffee intake and see what it feels like to live your life on your own fuel. It could be not very easy, but in some time you will see how authentically energized you feel.
5. Coffee causes dehydration
It is important to stay hydrated – you know that already. So it is worth to know that another adverse effect of caffeine is dehydration. Caffeine acts as a natural diuretic, as well as energy drinks. So even if you consume a high volume of liquid, with these beverages, you can still feel dehydration.
6. Coffee may provoke you to get extra weight
In fact, it is not about coffee itself: it is about associative addictions trend with coffee – warm, frothy sweet cream, and sugar, and those huge Starbucks mugs!
7. Coffee can provoke liver damage
Coffee components can interfere with normal drug metabolism and detoxification in the liver, making it difficult to regulate the normal detoxification process in the liver.
Summary of Coffee Pros and Cons
Coffee consumption is often associated with addiction, drugs, and unhealthy lifestyle. That’s the truth even when drinking coffee often goes along with cigarette smoking, and with a lifestyle that’s not very health conscious. Sometimes, people who drink lots of coffee tend to exercise less and have a less healthful diet. But regarding effects on mortality or risk of chronic diseases, researches don’t see any negative effects of consuming up to 2-3 cups of coffee a day.
We believe it’s an important message because these findings suggest that if you love coffee and think about quitting it in order to improve your health, it’s better to focus on other lifestyle factors, such as increasing your physical activity, quitting smoking, or eating more fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.