Coffee. Friend or foe?
With the exception of an odd few, there are two types of people when it comes to coffee; the people who don’t drink it, and the people who shouldn’t be approached until they have drunk it.
Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages across the globe and its star ingredient is that delightful little stimulant, caffeine. Caffeine generally gives the body a little pep in its step with increased alertness and energy that consumers use to kickstart their days.
But one question plaguing the minds of the health-conscious is “is coffee good or bad for me?”
Let’s look at both sides of this coin.
Some negative side effects of coffee
It can trigger anxiety.
If you’re a naturally anxious person or have had problems with anxiety in the past, increasing your brain’s activity level and body’s alertness to external stimuli isn’t recommended. The caffeine levels in coffee can trigger and increase anxiety as well as increase blood pressure and your heart rate, making the body work overtime. Stick to moderated levels of coffee if this sounds like you!
It can cause insomnia.
Overconsumption of coffee can wreak havoc on your body’s natural sleep cycles and energy levels, sometimes resulting in insomnia. Sufferers tend to try to compensate their lack of energy with more coffee, creating a vicious cycle of over-stimulation and fatigue. Be mindful of overdoing it and recognise when it’s causing problems!
It can tamper with your digestion.
If you’re an IBS or acid reflux sufferer, coffee most likely isn’t your friend. Coffee is a highly acidic substance that increases your stomach acid levels which can travel up your oesophagus and cause heartburn and reflux. It can also trigger movement in your digestive system and cause diarrhoea for people with already sensitive bowels.
Some benefits of coffee
It’s linked to reducing the risk of some serious diseases.
Studies have shown that when consumed in moderation, coffee can be associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, some types of cancer such as endometrial and prostate, Parkinson’s disease, and developing type 2 diabetes, amongst others.
It can lead to a longer life.
There are an increasing number of studies that suggest coffee drinkers have a longer lifespan due to a reduction in the risk of dying from significant health complications such as stroke, infections, heart disease, and respiratory disease. This may be due to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties courtesy of its polyphenols and other inflammation-reducing ingredients.
The smell and taste of a fresh brew to a coffee drinker is like heaven to the senses.
Knowing your body’s limits with coffee is the key to making the most out of its benefits and avoiding the unwanted side-effects!