Coffee is one of the most loved beverages across the globe. Millions of people drink coffee every morning.
Some only drink one cup of coffee in a day while others drink several cups. Many people drink coffee to get a quick energy boost in the morning.
Others drink it to help them focus during work sessions or late-night studies. Regardless, coffee has a delicious taste and aroma.
The main active ingredient in coffee is known as caffeine. Caffeine is the most popularly consumed psychoactive substance globally.
Research shows that consuming caffeine offers numerous health benefits. Also, research shows that coffee is the largest source of dietary caffeine.
Thus, drinking coffee will definitely offer you the numerous benefits that come with caffeine. However, research also shows that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees have similar health benefits.
As such, coffee has more ingredients that offer health benefits other than caffeine.
Since caffeine is a stimulant, it may have adverse effects, especially when consumed excessively or for individuals who are sensitive to caffeine.
Thus, you can only enjoy the benefits of coffee when taking it moderately. Regardless, here’re the main pros and cons of coffee that’ll assist you to know whether coffee is the right beverage for you.
Pros of Coffee
- Promotes a healthy mind
Most beverages affect the brain. Coffee isn’t any different. Coffee has antioxidant properties that keep brain cells healthy by preventing damage to the cells. The antioxidant properties in coffee also boost the effect of neurotransmitters in the brain. Consequently, there’s enhanced cognitive function.
Research shows that consuming coffee reduces the likelihood of developing glioma, which is a type of cancerous tumor in the brain. Some studies suggest that the compounds present in coffee activate a protein that repairs DNA, thereby preventing DNA damage. DNA damage is linked to the development of cancerous cells.
Research findings show that moderate but regular coffee consumption can reduce the likelihood of developing certain brain diseases like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. These health benefits are linked to the antioxidants found in coffee.
- Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes
Several studies link regular coffee consumption (at least 4 cups daily) to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Research findings indicate that drinking 4 to 6 cups of java daily can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes by about 30 to 35 percent. If that’s too much coffee for you, switch to decaf coffee as it has been shown to offer a similar effect despite having a low caffeine content.
It’s suggested that the antioxidant properties of coffee, which include quinides and chlorogenic acid, assist in boosting the sensitivity of body cells to insulin. As a result, there’s improved blood sugar regulation. Decaf coffee is suggested to be better at reducing the risk of diabetes than caffeinated coffee. The reason behind this suggestion is that caffeine appears to slow down the sensitivity of body cells to insulin.
- Improves cognition
Several studies link coffee consumption to improved cognitive function. Research findings indicate that individuals who consume coffee before starting their day show better performance at various cognitive tasks when compared to individuals who don’t drink coffee. Also, individuals who take coffee have a better ability to learn and memorize new information than those who don’t. Combining coffee with sugary snacks also boosts memory and attention.
- Lowers the risk of heart disease
Some studies link moderate coffee consumption (1-3 cups per day) to a reduced likelihood of developing stroke when compared to individuals who don’t drink coffee. The antioxidants in coffee assist in quelling the inflammation that damages the arteries.
Some studies suggest that some compounds in coffee boost the activation of molecules known as nitric oxide. Nitric oxide widens the blood vessels. As a result, your body will experience reduced blood pressure. However, consuming more than 5 cups of coffee daily can increase the risk of heart disease. The reason behind this is that excessive caffeine intake can sabotage the beneficial effects of antioxidants.
- Lowers the risk of liver diseases
While there’s limited research on the effect of coffee on liver diseases, it’s suggested that taking more coffee lowers the likelihood of developing liver cirrhosis. After analyzing several studies, it’s shown that taking 2 cups of coffee daily lowers the likelihood of developing liver cancer by 43 percent. The reason behind this is that the caffeine, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid in coffee inhibit cancerous cells and prevents liver inflammation.
- May assist in weight loss
Research shows that coffee stimulates the bowels. Also, coffee has natural diuretic properties. As a result, drinking coffee assists in regulating the digestion cycle.
Today, many people take chemical fat-burning pills. However, such chemical pills may have adverse effects on the body. Since coffee boosts metabolism, it burns calories more quickly. Also, coffee is a natural product. Thus, it assists in safe weight loss.
- Reduces the likelihood of depression
Besides enhancing mental health, consuming coffee is also beneficial in that it reduces the risk of depression. Research shows that drinking 2-3 cups of coffee daily reduces the risk of depression by 15 percent while drinking at least 4 cups of coffee daily reduces the risk of depression by 20 percent.
- Boosts skin health
Coffee is rich in potent antioxidants that help the body to remove toxins. In turn, drinking coffee will help your skin to glow. Also, the anti-inflammatory benefits of coffee can assist in reducing acne and other breakouts on the skin. Besides, you can use fine coffee grounds as a gentle, natural exfoliator.
- Increases endurance when working out
The stimulating effects of caffeine affect the nervous system. Thus, it gives the mind the perception of decreased effort while making it more alert. That’s why weight loss experts recommend taking 2 cups of java before a workout session.
Research shows that caffeine prolongs fatigue. As a result, the body gets the feeling of increased endurance. Thus, anyone working out without eating to cut weight can burn more fat by drinking coffee rather than eating a meal in the morning.
Cons of Coffee
- May cause anxiety or irritability
It’s often challenging for many people to find the right amount of coffee to drink per day. Regardless, the amount of caffeine intake depends on the size of the serving and the brewing method used. Caffeine intake boosts cell activity. It also constricts blood vessels. As a result, it causes anxiety, jitters, and irritability. Anyone sensitive to caffeine may experience anxiety and irritability even when taking smaller coffee servings.
- Can cause insomnia
One of the main disadvantages of drinking coffee is that it can cause insomnia, especially when drinking it excessively. You should avoid drinking coffee 6 hours before sleeping. The reason behind this recommendation is that coffee takes approximately 6 hours to leave the body system. If you must take coffee before bedtime, consider drinking decaf coffee since it’ll offer similar benefits as regular coffee without the risk of causing insomnia.
- May cause digestive issues
Drinking coffee may contribute to the development of intestinal bowel syndrome. As a result, you may want to avoid drinking coffee if you’re suffering from a digestive problem. For instance, consuming coffee may flare up hidden or existing symptoms such as a burning feeling or bloating in your stomach.
Also, coffee increases muscular activity in the colon. Anyone who is diagnosed with intestinal bowel syndrome or any other digestive condition shouldn’t take more than three cups of coffee daily.
- May cause allergic reactions
Some individuals are more sensitive to caffeine than others. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you can experience allergic reactions and show symptoms such as hives and pain. If you’re highly sensitive to caffeine, avoid drinking coffee. Even decaf coffee contains a little amount of caffeine.
- May increase the level of cholesterol
Many coffee drinkers prefer taking filtered coffee. Others like French press coffee. However drinking unfiltered or boiled coffee, like Turkish or French press coffee, contains a higher amount of cafestol. Cafestol is a compound that’s known to increase the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. As a result, it’s recommended to drink filtered coffee such as drip coffee.
By using coffee paper filters, the brew gets strained such that some cholesterol won’t get into your cup of coffee. That way, you’ll limit your cholesterol intake.
- May cause hypertension
If you don’t take coffee regularly or you’re already suffering from hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, then you’re likely to experience an increase in blood pressure a few hours after drinking coffee. If you’re suffering from hypertension, it’s recommended to limit your coffee consumption to one cup of coffee per day.
- Can cause dehydration
Generally, it’s safe to drink 2-4 cups of coffee daily without experience any side effects. However, this depends on the amount of caffeine in the coffee. However, consuming caffeine excessively, at least 500 milligrams of caffeine daily, can cause dehydration. You may also experience dizziness as a result of dehydration.
- May increase the likelihood of miscarriage
Although it’s safe for pregnant women to drink coffee moderately, excessive consumption of caffeine while pregnant may increase the risk of miscarriage. As such, pregnant women are advised to keep their caffeine intake to a maximum of 200 milligrams per day (equivalent of 2 coffee servings). Also, caffeine can get into the breast milk of nursing mothers. Thus, nursing mothers should reduce their coffee intake in case they notice irritability or restlessness in their babies.
- Can lead to caffeine withdrawal symptoms
Since caffeine works as a stimulant, you may get addicted to caffeine. If you’re trying to cut down or quit coffee consumption, you can experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms. For instance, you can experience lethargy and painful headaches once the body tries to adjust to reduced caffeine levels. Fortunately, you can avoid addiction to caffeine by consuming coffee moderately.
Coffee offers numerous benefits when consumed moderately. However, excessive consumption of caffeine may have adverse effects. Also, coffee may not be the best beverage for individuals who are sensitive to caffeine. When brewing coffee, avoid making it too strong to enjoy most of its benefits. If you must brew strong coffee, then drink smaller servings since consuming excessive caffeine may cause several negative effects. Also, you can switch to decaf coffee to reduce your caffeine intake while still enjoying the benefits of drinking coffee.