Coffee is one of the most popular beverages around the world. It’s something that most people drink daily. It is the most consumed beverage after water and tea.
Coffee is thought to have many health benefits. In fact, some people take it too far and say that it can be a cure for cancer. However, many believe that drinking coffee can cause harm to your health. They argue that it causes anxiety, heart disease, and even infertility in women.
Let’s look at both sides of the argument and see what the facts have to say about this debate
Coffee can not be labeled healthy or unhealthy. The benefits of drinking coffee depend on the amount you drink, how often you drink, and what type of coffee you drink.
The benefits of drinking coffee are well-known. It is a stimulant, which increases your heart rate and blood pressure and improves mood and concentration levels. However, some studies show that caffeine can be harmful to your health in large doses.
What Are the Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee has been linked to several scientifically proven health benefits. These benefits range from boosting your energy and focus levels to balancing blood sugar levels and protecting against chronic illnesses. Here is a list of known health benefits of coffee:
- Coffee increases focus:
The most common use of coffee is to help you focus on work or on studying. And it has been proven to work wonders when it comes to that. Caffeine intake has been known to improve mental sharpness and increase focus.
- Coffee boosts your mood and energy levels:
Coffee is well-known as a great energy booster, making it the go-to morning drink for most people. It even has a major influence on your mood and has the potential to lift your spirit thanks to the energy-boosting effects of caffeine.
Caffeine is known to be a natural stimulant, with its effects and energy-enhancing properties hitting within an hour. Caffeine can also keep you more alert with improved reaction times. These effects can be noticed even in small quantities.
- Coffee helps fight depression:
Studies have shown that coffee could be directly linked with a lower risk of depression, and can even be loosely linked with a lower risk of suicide. According to a review of multiple studies, one cup of coffee per day is linked to an 8% lower chance of depression.
Furthermore, it’s been proven to decrease suicide risks by 45-53%, depending on how much coffee is consumed. The benefits of coffee are far and wide, especially when it comes to your mental as well as physical health.
- Coffee negates heart diseases:
Some research has shown that drinking coffee can be directly linked to a lower risk of heart disease, heart failure, and strokes.
Data analysis examining the relation between coffee and the risk of heart disease found a 21% reduction in cardiovascular disease in coffee drinkers compared to non-coffee drinkers. The Coffee drinkers in the study consumed around 3 cups a day.
- Coffee protects your liver:
Coffee consumption has been linked with a decreased risk of chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver scarring, and liver cancer. Besides that, caffeine is a powerful instrument that is known to fight against liver diseases such as hepatitis C.
This does not mean that coffee can replace doctor-recommended treatment plans, but it is strongly linked to better results for those suffering from liver illnesses.
Research has shown that the more coffee is consumed, the lower the risk of chronic liver disease. One cup of coffee per day is tied to a 15% lower risk while four cups per day to a 71% lower risk.
Another study found that coffee consumption is directly associated with decreased liver stiffness (a measure healthcare professionals use to evaluate fibrosis, the formation of scar tissues in the liver).
- Coffee lowers the risk of diabetes:
According to a recent meta-analysis, regular coffee drinkers are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes over the long term.
What backs this correlation is coffee’s ability in preserving the function of beta cells in your pancreas, which produce insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.
In addition to that, coffee is rich in antioxidants that affect inflammation, insulin sensitivity, and metabolism. All of these are responsible for the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Coffee enhances physical performance and helps with weight loss:
Coffee has been known to boost endurance and performance when consumed before a workout or a physical activity. This, however, is not true for everyone as it impacts people differently.
Coffee is more than often used as a performance enhancer by athletes to improve their performance and increase their energy levels. Studies reported that coffee consumption before an exercise improved endurance and decreased perceived exertion.
Besides that, a study review reported that regular caffeine consumption slightly improves power output and exercise completion time.
When it comes to weight loss, the potassium and magnesium contained within coffee influence insulin levels which support weight loss. It gets even better! Coffee can help the body break down fat to burn for fuel, and speed up your metabolism.
All these factors can significantly boost your effort to lose weight in record times.
- Coffee reduces strokes, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s:
Some research has shown that coffee can be a major element in protecting against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cognitive decline. It has also been shown that people who drink coffee moderately (between 2 and 4 cups a day) are less likely to suffer from strokes.
There have been several thorough studies looking at the potential link between the reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s later in life and regular coffee consumption.
And while no concrete results have been reached, and more studies are needed, some positive results floated concerning a potential link between coffee and cognitive decline progression amongst the elderly.
Regarding specific Parkinson’s disease studies, a study showed fewer cases of Parkinson’s disease in regular coffee drinkers. These positive effects can be directly linked to the caffeine in your coffee, as the same results were not true with decaffeinated coffee.
- Coffee increases longevity:
Thanks to its nearly endless list of health benefits, researchers suggest that coffee helps extend longevity. All of the beneficial components of coffee, antioxidants, essential nutrients, and disease-fighting properties, support the aim to live a longer, healthier life.
What Are the Drawbacks of Drinking Coffee
While coffee is the magical energy drink that boosts the world and enhances its productivity, with the added health benefits and longevity increase, it does present some drawbacks that can prove to be risky to a select group of people.
The drawbacks of drinking coffee range from digestive issues, anxiety, and poor sleep, to potential heart concerns. However, it is important to note that most of these issues are both rare and avoidable.
- Coffee aggravates stomach issues:
This is one of the most commonly discussed side effects of coffee. The relatively high acidity of coffee is known to disrupt the stomach and may even cause some digestive conditions.
This issue can be avoided. Either by drinking coffee after or along with food, not on an empty stomach. Or, you can try a low-roast coffee that can be less acidic than conventional types.
- Coffee may cause anxiety:
In some odd cases, and for a small percentage of the population, excess consumption of caffeine may cause feelings of anxiety. The so-called “caffeine jitters” have the chance of turning into a more severe anxiety issue for some individuals.
To mitigate these risks, if you have serious anxiety issues, it is usually best to be moderate when drinking coffee. Keep your consumption down to around a cup per day, and keep an eye on how it impacts your mood.
- Coffee can disturb the peace of your sleep:
Coffee consumption can impact the quality of your sleep, but only if consumed within a few hours before bedtime. As caffeine absorption later in the day negatively impacts sleep quality.
It is recommended to stop any coffee drinking at least 6 hours before sleep for optimal rest at night. If you feel like you still need another cup later in the evening, you can try decaf coffee.
How Much Coffee is Too Much
Despite the benefits of coffee greatly overshadowing the negatives, there should be a limit to how much coffee you should be drinking. If you drink more than three to four cups per day, you may be at risk of experiencing some of the negative side effects of coffee, such as insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness.
Around 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the equivalent of four cups of brewed coffee. However, the actual caffeine content in beverages varies widely, depending on the coffee brew and type.
Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, so it’s no surprise that people are always trying to find out new health benefits of this popular drink. It does have many good qualities, but it also has some drawbacks.
Coffee can help you live longer and improve your mood, but when consumed too often, or without the right precautions, it can lead to serious side effects.
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