Who would have imagined how one dark little bean, crushed, heated and mixed with hot milk and sugar could create such a world-wide addiction.
Coffee is by far the most commonly used form of caffeine consumption across the land under with adults form 17-90 years old averaging between 100-200 mg per day.
The question which lingers on many minds is “is coffee good for me”?
Many say that a cup of coffee a day is good for blood pressure, is this true? Others complain that it makes them feel anxious and more stressed than not having it.
The only way of really knowing if coffee is good for you or not is to feel how your body responds to it. The reason being is that we are all different however; here are sum fun facts about the science of how coffee and caffeine does affect your body and health.
On consumption of that morning coffee, humans very quickly see a boost in energy, focus and concentration which can be beneficial for heavy work loads, dead lines and performance physically and mentally.
Caffeine is also one of the worlds most commonly used ergogenic aids (or sports supplements) and has been proven to aid in sports performance for decades.
Whether being used for cognitive or physical support, all usage of this enhancer has its side affects and hence, we need to know what they are in order to make the educated decision on whether to use it and if so, how much.
Leading researchers say that ‘any more than four cups of coffee per day can lead to complications’ and side affects such as:
- Migraine and headaches
- Frequent urination
- Faster heartbeat
- Upset stomach
- Muscle tremours
Read more on signs and symptoms here
So if you experience some of these signs and symptoms, it is your bodies way of telling you to cut it down or cut it out.
Too much caffeine can also disrupt sleep cycles causing not only problems with getting to sleep, but also issues with quality of sleep.
It is well known that disturbed sleep cycles are one of the biggest contributions to our worldwide epidemic of stress-related disorders and diseases. Therefore if caffeine is contributing to sleep issues, this is a warning sign to minimise or eliminate usage.
In terms of weight retention, too much caffeine and coffee can also be a problem. On the contrary, if used with the correct dosage and timing, it can give an improved performance and can result in burning more calories.
The problem arises when caffeine is used in excess through out the entire day as well as a ‘pre-workout’. With this regularity in consumption, the body becomes overloaded with a constant leach of the stress hormone cortisol into the system.
Cortisol can be beneficial for short periods as it contributes to increased energy, focus and alertness however, chronic secretion leads to weight gain (especially around the abdominal area) and inflammation which is the pre-curser for all chronic disease.
In conclusion, the answer to the question about coffee having health benefits is unique to every person. For the majority of society we already have enough stress to deal with so adding coffee can simply be adding more fuel to the fire.
Coffee substitutes such a chai tea, exercise and deep breathing can perhaps be a healthier and less consequential way to increase physical and mental energy.