Coffee is one of those things that are constantly being questioned. You have probably read on one hand articles claiming the huge benefits of drinking coffee and on the other hand articles claiming there are health risks associated with the consumption of this drink.
While we can all agree that the abuse of virtually any food or drink can have negative effects on our health, it’s useful to understand why coffee is such a controversial drink.
What are the benefits of drinking coffee?
While coffee was demonized for a while not long ago, recent studies seem to have found health benefits associated with a coffee intake that can lead you to live longer.
We all know that coffee can help us focus and be more productive and that is because coffee is a stimulant and it increases our brain activity by releasing neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine.
Furthermore, coffee contains several nutrients and antioxidants which are beneficial for overall health.
A Harvard study even found out that there is a positive association between coffee consumption and depression.
All of these studies indicate that consuming coffee can have major health benefits. But are there any negative effects to be aware of?
What are the risks associated with coffee consumption?
Due to the caffeine content, coffee can temporarily raise blood pressure and make you nervous and agitated. It also stimulates the production of adrenaline, putting us in a “fight or flight” mode. If you already suffer from high blood pressure, coffee can aggravate the condition and even lead to panic attacks.
We already know that coffee can also disrupt sleep and affect the quality of our sleep. While having a coffee for an energy boost can feel helpful, it can impact our ability to fall asleep and because it’s a diuretic, it may cause us to wake up several times during the night.
Finally, coffee can be addictive and you may have withdrawal symptoms if you are missing your usual cup. These symptoms can include headaches, exhaustion, brain fog, and irritability that can last for a few days after your last coffee.
Should you drink coffee?
Keeping in mind benefits and side effects, we can say that coffee is overall a good addition to your diet unless you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions. Pregnant women should also limit caffeine consumption.
To make sure you make the most of the benefits while avoiding the side effects, it’s indicated to keep your consumption moderate and in the first part of the day. Consuming moderate amounts will help avoid high blood pressure and anxiety while drinking your last coffee early in the afternoon can help make sure you get good quality sleep.
Finally, make sure you don’t take too much sugar with your coffee. This is extremely important if you get your coffee out at cafés and franchises that add syrups and lots of sugar to the coffee.