Coffee is not just one of the world’s most popular beverages, but its stimulant ingredient caffeine is also one of the most researched psychotropic substances.
Regular coffee use has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, malignancies, heart disease and potentially even dementia in later life according to a significant body of scientific evidence.
Caffeine also enhances alertness, focus, and athletic performance. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate consumption is defined as 3 to 5 eight-ounce cups per day or an average of 400 milligrams of caffeine.
“Coffee can be part of a healthy diet,” according to an analysis of 112 meta-analyses of observational studies published in the Annual Review of Nutrition.
Is there anything you should know about coffee?
Yes, there are some unpleasant side effects to regular coffee consumption that you should be aware of.
Sleep deprivation and its consequences
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, caffeine has a half-life of around 5 hours, which means that if you drink a cup of coffee with 100 milligrams of caffeine, you’ll still have 50 milligrams in your system five hours later.
According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, drinking coffee six hours before bedtime lowered sleep time by an hour.
That’s why most sleep specialists advise against consuming caffeine afternoon. The quantity of caffeine left in your bloodstream can reduce the amount of slow-wave and REM sleep you get, which are necessary for physical recovery and memory consolidation. It’s also generally known that poor sleep quality and insufficient sleep duration are linked to weight gain, greater incidence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
According to studies, people with anxiety and panic disorders should avoid consuming caffeinated coffee unless they have developed a tolerance for it.
In one case-controlled study published in Depression & Anxiety, it was discovered that consuming 400 to 480 milligrams of caffeine caused panic attacks in 48 percent of patients with a panic disorder diagnosis.
Increased heart rate, jitters, and blood pressure
The effect of coffee on blood pressure is still under investigation. Some studies suggest that coffee has little impact or that it may even lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and enhancing blood flow, while others demonstrate that too much caffeine might cause anxiety, high blood pressure, and an elevated heart rate in some people. After a few large coffees on an empty stomach, many of you have definitely experienced the “caffeine jitters.”
“Whereas low-dose caffeine effects are wakefulness, a little bit of arousal, and slight euphoria, high-dose effects are anxiety, irritation, and general mental discomfort—a completely different kettle of fish,” says Bertil B. Fredholm, emeritus professor of pharmacology at Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Stroke and heart attack
According to Harvard Health Letter, since coffee consumption raises blood pressure and homocysteine, an amino acid linked to artery damage, there may be an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, especially in persons who don’t drink coffee on a daily basis.
However, most studies correlate moderate coffee drinking to lower risk. The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, on the other hand, was the first to relate the brewing process to heart attacks and longevity.
“Unfiltered coffee contains substances which increase blood cholesterol,” according to study author Dag Thelle.
“Using a filter removes these and makes heart attacks and premature death less likely.”
Diterpenes are oily chemicals found in coffee prepared in a French press, Turkish coffee, and other boiling coffees that haven’t been filtered. According to studies, the most effective filters for trapping cholesterol-raising substances are paper or cotton-nylon filters.
Pregnancy related issues
If you drink even a small amount of caffeine every day while you’re pregnant, it could affect the growth of your baby, says a recent study published in JAMA Open Network.
The study looked at the link between self-reported caffeine use, blood concentrations, and infant body measurements at the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The study discovered that kids born to mothers who drank the caffeine equivalent of around a half cup of coffee per day were smaller and lighter in weight than babies born to women who did not.
Overall, the body of evidence on caffeine’s health effects suggests that most individuals can drink coffee safely and that it may even be beneficial to their health. However, it may be in your best interests to limit your use in some conditions.
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