I have always been a coffee lover and regularly enjoy at least 3 cups a day when I am working and a couple at weekends. I can live without it, but then again, I enjoy drinking it so why should I have to? There are always stories in the media about whether coffee is good or bad for you with an abundance of conflicting stories clearly contradicting each other. So, I thought I would do my own research and look into whether there is any truth in either argument. Here is my definitive conclusion on the effects of coffee.
Coffee gives you more brain power
It has long been recognized that coffee keeps you awake because of the high levels of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that not only stops you from dropping off at awkward times, but it actually blocks some of the negative neurotransmitters to the brain. This in turn will make you more alert and improve your overall effectiveness. This I believe to be true but it can affect sleep and make you feel drowsy the next day if you drink too late at night.
Coffee helps you exercise – but make sure you drink water too!
I have found this to be true myself. After I’ve had a couple of coffees and then been in the gym around 2 hours later, I’ve definitely found it easier to do a big run or lift weights. This is again due to the amount of caffeine. Caffeine raises metabolism and makes you feel ready for a complete workout. What you shouldn’t do is neglect the need for water. It is important you drink plenty of water during a workout and before to negate the other effects on your body of caffeine. What you have to remember is the coffee will make you urinate a lot more so make sure you are replacing essential vitamins, minerals and fluids.
Coffee and the Liver – good or bad?
When it comes to coffee’s effects on the liver there are so many conflicting reports it is really hard to decipher the exact truth. One argument is that coffee is extremely good for the Liver as it can lower cirrhosis by up to 80% and there have even been studies linking coffee and the reduction of liver cancer. On the counter side of the argument studies have suggested coffee will interfere with the absorption of some drugs and antibiotics. Therefore, if you already have liver problems and are taking medication for it, coffee could make symptoms worse rather than better!
What is contained in Coffee?
Well apart from caffeine which is all anyone talks about, there are a number of nutrients and antioxidants in a regular cup of coffee. Some research have suggested that coffee has more nutrients in it than fruits and vegetables but there are also traces of vitamins such as B5, B2, Potassium and Manganese. That’s the good side. On the bad side coffee is very acidic in nature which is not good for digestion and heart burn. What you also have to be aware of are the stress hormones that are contained in coffee. This can lead to hypertension and has been linked to high blood pressure.
From all of the research I found, most accept that drinking coffee in moderation is perfectly fine and can have very beneficial effects. Drinking large quantities (more than 4 cups a day) can have some damaging effects on the body. Drinking at certain times of day, like late afternoon and evening can also affect your sleep patterns which lead to other health complications. Proving cause and effect with any of these studies is complicated but there is no doubt coffee is a contributing factor in good and bad effects on the body.