For many people, coffee is their choice for a morning beverage and is the most popular beverage all over the world. Whether it’s your plain morning black coffee or a fancy iced vanilla latte, coffee can instantly brighten your day and lift your mood. If consumed in moderation, coffee can be healthy for your body.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea and cacao that gives these drinks their ability to keep us awake. Caffeine drinks (soft drinks infused with caffeine) and other caffeine products became popular in the 1980s. But the most common use of caffeine is in coffee.
But is coffee good for health in the long run? Many studies have indicated that the nutrients in coffee may help guard people against some diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Many caffeine products can keep you energised throughout the day because caffeine can fight fatigue. But, caffeine in coffee is especially beneficial because coffee has other nutrients that complement the benefits of caffeine well. Also read Is Caffeine Helpful in Weight Loss?
Benefits of Caffeine
Given below are some of the benefits of caffeine products and caffeine in coffee:
The first benefit of caffeine is the most obvious one. As mentioned earlier, caffeine is a stimulant that helps in fighting fatigue, which happens because the caffeine in coffee or caffeine products blocks the receptors of adenosine, a type of neurotransmitter. Blocking the receptors of adenosine increases the levels of other neurotransmitters in the brain, which helps regulate energy levels and the dopamine in your body.
Another use of caffeine is for weight loss purposes. Caffeine in coffee or caffeine products can also be helpful in your journey to weight loss and prevent weight gain. Caffeine helps in weight loss by suppressing your appetite, reducing your desire to eat, and stimulating thermogenesis, which makes the body generate more heat and energy from digestion. Drinking black coffee for weight loss is an excellent way to lose weight. Black coffee contains less than five calories in each serving, making it an ideal weight loss drink. Another way black coffee for weight loss can be effective is by energising you, which will result in more physical activity for you and hence, you will be able to lose weight.
Caffeine in coffee can help in increasing your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). The Basal Metabolic Rate is the rate at which your body burns calories while you are resting. Increased BMR is another benefit of using coffee for weight loss, as a faster metabolism leads to burning more calories while you are resting. To drink coffee for weight loss, drink four cups of coffee a day.
Good for Liver and Colon
The consumption of caffeine in coffee or caffeine products can also help in reducing the risk of cirrhosis and the rate of disease progression in hepatitis C. Some studies also found that the use of caffeine enemas may help prepare the colon for an endoscopy. Caffeine supports the excretion of bile through the colon wall, which helps prepare the colon for the endoscopy.
Helpful in Type 2 diabetes
Some studies found that increasing caffeine intake by consuming caffeine in coffee more than one cup a day could lower the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Lowering the consumption of caffeine products increased the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Better heart health
Caffeine in coffee can also be beneficial for heart health. Some studies have found that drinking four to five cups of coffee every day can result in a 15% reduced risk of heart disease. Studies also found that drinking coffee regularly can reduce the risk of a stroke by 21%. Another study found that drinking coffee or caffeine products reduced the risk of heart failure.
Increased athletic performance
Many people use caffeine products as performance enhancers and energy drinks. Consuming caffeine in coffee or coffee products before exercising or playing sports helps in improving endurance and in decreasing exertion. Caffeine in coffee and caffeine products also improves physical performance and increases gait speed.
Improve mood and brain function
As mentioned above, caffeine in coffee and caffeine products helps in blocking adenosine, which helps increase dopamine and norepinephrine. This change in the brain messaging is beneficial to your mood and brain function. People who drink caffeine products or coffee regularly usually have better alertness, reaction time and short-term recall. Some studies have also found that people who consume caffeine products regularly have a 45% lower risk of suicide and 13% lower risk of depression.
Other benefits of caffeine
Other benefits of caffeine in coffee include longevity, decreased cancer risk, skin protection, reduced MS risk, gout prevention, and better gut health.
Disadvantages of Caffeine: Reasons Behind Addiction
Now that we have talked about the good uses of caffeine, we should also address the bad things associated with caffeine.
Even though caffeine is good for health, caffeine products, including caffeine in coffee, can be addictive. Caffeine can be addictive because of how it affects our brains. Caffeine produces an alert feeling that makes people crave the drug more. Once you consume caffeine, it is absorbed and dissolved in your blood through the small intestine. Caffeine is water-soluble and fat-soluble, which lets it penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Adenosine and caffeine resemble each other closely, which lets caffeine block adenosine. When adenosine is not used, there is a surplus of adenosine which results in the adrenal glands releasing adrenaline. Other stimulants like dopamine are also released when adenosine is blocked. Due to the release of all these stimulants, alertness in the body is increased, and tiredness is reduced.
When you consume caffeine products regularly, your brain chemistry and physical characteristics change over time, and brain cells grow more adenosine receptors. Brain cells growing more receptors results in a caffeine tolerance, which means that it will take a larger amount of caffeine to work like before.
What are the signs of caffeine addiction?
- A strong urge or desire to avoid cutting down on caffeine use
- Continual use of caffeine despite having physical or mental problems because of it.
- Taking a larger dose of caffeine than was intended, over a longer period.
- Failure in fulfilling a major role obligation at work because of caffeine use.
- Strong cravings for caffeine.
If any three or more of the above points are found in a person, then they might be addicted to caffeine.
Risks Associated with Caffeine
There are many other risks associated with recurrent caffeine use. These risks include:
Even though regular use of caffeine products and caffeine in coffee may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the use of caffeine products by people already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may be a cause of concern. Studies have found that the blood glucose level of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes often increases after consuming caffeine products.
Consuming caffeine in coffee or caffeine products 3-6 hours before bedtime or more than four times a day can cause a significant disruption in sleep. Continued caffeine use just before sleep may also disrupt your sleep cycle. A disrupted sleep cycle can cause a variety of physical and psychological problems.
Caffeine can also cause chronic headaches that may occur daily. It does not matter what kind of headaches you get, but regular caffeine consumption is also associated with chronic headaches. Consumption of caffeine products has also been identified as a trigger for migraine.
Loss of pregnancy
Some studies have pointed out that consuming more than 300 mg of caffeine a day can lead to delayed fetal growth, abnormal fetal heart rhythm, or pregnancy loss. Regular caffeine use can also lead to reduced muscle activity in the fallopian tubes, which may lead to infertility.
Caffeine is good for health, but overuse of caffeine can trigger an anxiety attack in many people. Since caffeine use increases physical activity, it can result in a higher heart rate which can, in turn, result in anxiety. People suffering from general anxiety disorders are usually told to cut down their caffeine consumption to avoid being triggered by an anxiety attack.
Other Risks Associated with Caffeine
Since caffeine results in an increased sense of wakefulness, it can also cause several of the below-mentioned symptoms:
· Disrupted sleep pattern
- Fast or uneven heartbeat
- Jitters or shakes
- High blood pressure
- Upset stomach
- Muscle tremors
Like any other stimulant, regular consumption of caffeine in either coffee or caffeine drinks may have health benefits, but prolonged use can cause a variety of risks. It is, therefore, essential to practice self-control while consuming caffeine products.
If you’re looking for instant coffee which has the goodness of ayurveda and is still equally, if not more, a treat to your taste buds and soul, opt for Auric Gourmet Coffee with Turmeric. It is your perfect bet towards sustaining healthy lifestyle while giving yourself that kick of caffeine!
Authored by: Bhavishya Pahwa
About the Author: Bhavishya Pahwa is a budding writer who has always confided in a pen. He believes that art is a cure-all and that introspection followed by writing can add to the sanity of the world.