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There’s nothing better than a warm cup of coffee in the morning to kickstart your day. Sometimes, an afternoon coffee is also nice to have as an energy refresher. But how much coffee should you really be drinking?
You’ve probably been cautioned before about drinking the popular beverage due to the side effects, such as caffeine withdrawal and insomnia (which we’ll explain more about later). But even though there are downsides to drinking coffee, there are also a number of coffee health benefits you can enjoy. In this article, we’ll talk about some pros and cons of coffee that all coffee drinkers should know about. So grab a cup of your favorite coffee and let’s dive in!
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, then you’ve probably thought about questions like “Is coffee good for you?” or “Is coffee healthy?” before. Let’s face it, we tend to ask ourselves these types of questions when we really love something. But before we get into the cons of caffeine, let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of coffee:
Drinking coffee in moderation (1 to 5 cups daily) may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, as well as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because coffee contains antioxidants that may be able to prevent damage to brain cells and improve the performance of neurotransmitters in cognitive function. In fact, studies have shown that people who drink coffee have up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, which is known to be a leading cause of dementia.
And, regardless of how you brew your coffee (whether you use a French Press, an aeropress, or a simple pour over coffee brewer), many essential nutrients that coffee beans contain end up in your cup of joe:
One of the most well-known benefits of drinking coffee is its ability to help improve alertness and reduce fatigue — which is why this beverage is such a lifesaver in the morning. In fact, consuming at least 75 mg of caffeine (about one small cup of coffee) may be enough to increase your attention and alertness, reduce tiredness, and boost mental performance.
If you’re long due for a trip to the bathroom, don’t worry. Coffee is known to help stimulate bowel movements. Just make sure you drink a moderate amount, or you might find yourself taking frequent bathroom breaks throughout the day.
Next on our list of coffee health benefits is the reduced risk of diseases (thanks to the antioxidants found in coffee beans). Some studies have shown that regular moderate amounts of coffee (about 3-5 cups a day) may reduce the risk of certain diseases and cancers such as:
Ever wondered why caffeine is often found in fat-burning supplements? This is because it’s a natural substance that has been proven to help increase metabolic rate and burn fat. This means that calories can be burned quicker after drinking a nice cup of joe!
While there are a range of health benefits of coffee, there are also some cons of caffeine that you should keep in mind.
Since caffeine constricts blood vessels and speeds up cell activity, people usually feel “buzzed” after drinking coffee. However, for some people (especially those who are more sensitive to caffeine), coffee can also trigger anxiety, irritability, and nervousness. So if you want to avoid the jitters, try to drink your coffee in moderation!
One of the most obvious negatives of drinking coffee is insomnia and difficulty sleeping. As you’ve probably heard before, caffeine can mess with your sleep schedule since it releases adrenaline and keeps you alert. Because of this, it’s recommended that you consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is roughly 4 cups of coffee. And, try not to have any coffee after 6 PM, since it usually takes about 6 hours for caffeine to completely leave your system.
Caffeine dependence usually develops because your tolerance of it can increase over time, which means you need to drink even more coffee to feel the same effects. As a result, you may experience withdrawal symptoms (e.g. headaches, fatigue, and mood swings) if you cut down on your coffee consumption; this is why moderation is key!
In the short term, coffee can also increase blood pressure. Like we mentioned before, the more coffee you drink, the more tolerance you build up. With all the adrenaline going through your body, your heart rate goes up, which means your blood pressure can increase too. So if you already have high blood pressure or experience hypertension, try to reduce or eliminate your coffee intake.
Now that you know some of the pros and cons of coffee, let’s take a look at some common questions and expand your knowledge of it!
As much as we wish for our favorite foods and beverages to aid in weight loss, drinking coffee alone won’t burn belly fat. However, it is known to help boost your metabolism which allows you to burn more calories.
In some ways, coffee may be bad for your skin. Since coffee can dehydrate your body, it also deprives your skin of water when you consume the beverage, leaving it dry and flaky. In addition, adding dairy and processed products to your cup of joe (e.g. white sugar and syrup) can cause acne and breakouts.
Yes! As we previously mentioned, coffee beans contain antioxidants and many essential nutrients including riboflavin (vitamin B2), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and niacin (vitamin B3).
Lighter roasted coffee beans tend to be healthier due to their high antioxidant content.
However, you should also note that brewing methods and water temperature also play important roles in terms of health content. To brew the healthiest cup of coffee, try an espresso machine or pour over coffee brewer and use a water temperature between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction.
So, is coffee good for you? Or is it the exact opposite? Considering the pros and cons of coffee, it’s hard to say a definite answer. But like any other food and beverage you consume, the important thing to remember is that moderation is key. As long as you drink a reasonable amount of your favorite brew, there should be nothing to worry about!
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