There have literally been thousands of studies investigating the health and wellbeing effects of drinking coffee over the past few decades. Lately more and more are reporting significant health benefits from drinking a regular cup if Joe. However, possible gains should weighed up against the potentially bitter effects of the drink:
Why Coffee is Bad
1. Babyccino – Who Wants An Anxious Baby?
The National Health Service says it’s safe for pregnant women to drink a moderate amount of coffee (no more than 2 cups of coffee per day), but warns that it’s still not clear if higher intakes could increase risk of complications. If you consider the effect that coffee has on blood pressure its probably best to listen to this advise. High blood pressure markers are big no no for mums to be.
2. Doing The Jitterbug – Caffeine Tension
Some people are more sensitive to caffein than others, in these cases it can cause irritability or anxiety, so how does this happen? Well on a micro biological level, lets not go too deep… caffeine binds to adenosine receptors on nerve cells, leaving no room for adenosine to get in this causes nerve cell activity speeds up, blood vessels constrict and sometimes people get irritable jitters. If you are regularly to be found around the Nespresso machine in the office you’ll likely develop tolerance to its effects and the jitters will subside. But that also means that eventually you’ll need a regular caffeine fix just to reach your baseline level of alertness. The knock in effect of knocking black all that black stuff is that your body will adapt by producing more adenosine receptors, making you more sensitive to the effects of adenosine. So if you don’t have your daily cup, you’ll may develop withdrawal symptoms like extreme fatigue and headaches ouch!
3. Another Bad Nights Sleep? You’ve Had Beanough!
If keep finding yourself waking up feeling like you had a rubbish nights sleep if might be time to change what you drink rather than your mattress. Some studies have shown that even having one regular serving of coffee within six hours of bed time can reduce time asleep by at least one hour. The effects on quality of sleep may be worse.
Why Coffee is Good
1. Steady Blood Sugar Levels
Some studies have linked frequent coffee consumption with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Scientists suspect that compounds found in coffee—cholorogenic acid and quinides—may increase cells’ sensitivity to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar. The flip side of this is that most of us like a slab of cake with our cuppa, or at least one of those chewy biscotti’s.
2. Déjà brew – Beating Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Drinking Coffee regularly may help reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease, studies suggest. How does this work? Some of the antioxidants found in coffee may prevent damage to brain cells and boost the effects of neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function, say experts. Early studies have noted that as coffee (or tea) intake rises, incidence of glioma, a form of brain cancer, tends to drop. Some researchers speculate that compounds in the brews could activate a DNA-repairing protein in cells—possibly preventing the DNA damage that can lead to cells becoming cancerous.
3. A Hearty Cup
Some research indicates that moderate coffee drinkers (1 to 3 cups/day) have lower rates of stroke than non-coffee-drinkers; coffee’s antioxidants may help reduce inflammation’s damaging effects on arteries. Some researchers speculate that the compounds might boost activation of nitric oxide, a substance that widens blood vessels (lowering blood pressure). However like your mum used to tell you (well mine did anyway) all thing in moderations): a 5-cup or more daily habit is associated with higher heart disease risks. Researchers believe excessive caffeine may sabotage the antioxidants’ effects.
What do you think? Please let us know in the comments!
If you think you are drinking too much coffee, but are struggling to ween yourself off, feel free to get in touch. We offer digital mindfulness courses, which can help you to change / form new habits. We also offer private consultations via video call.