Is Coffee Good or Bad For Our Nutrition?
Whether you’re a fan of drinking coffee for its flavor or it is part of your morning wake-up routine, the usual coffee cup comes with a lot of disputed opinions. Is it good for you? or is it detrimental to your health?
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First of all, the most well-known ingredient of coffee is caffeine. It is an alkali-like compound with apparent physical effects on our bodies, which, apart from coffee, is also consumed in other forms such as pills, energy drinks or tea.
For you to have the bigger picture, let’s discuss some of the common facts about caffeine and let you decide if you should stick to your daily coffee mug, reduce the caffeine intake or give it up completely.
Caffeine boosts energy and improves mood
If there is one thing that everyone knows about caffeine, it’s that it works as a stimulant and makes us feel more alert and energized by entering our bloodstream and quickly reaching our brains. In turn, the brain stimulates the release of adrenaline thus reducing fatigue, making us more reactive and able to perform our tasks for a longer period of time.
And do you know that great sensation of feeling good and satisfied? Caffeine does that to you when it increases the dopamine level in your brain and activates the pleasure centers.
Promoting weight loss
Apart from its stimulant properties, word on the street is caffeine also has appetite suppressant characteristics. Caffeine stimulates the process of thermogenesis, which means burning calories to convert into energy. In other words, if your goal is to lose weight, a little bit of caffeine can provide the energy you need to boost your performance during workout.
However, you should be aware that caffeine is not a magical substance and in the long term, it has not been proven to have direct significant results. Its diuretic effects may help you shed some water weight but that does not mean you should start gulping down on coffee to reach your summer body.
Needless to say, fancy caffeine drinks with lots of sugar are definitely not a good idea.
Caffeine may cause insomnia
Generally, it takes about 4 to 6 hours for caffeine to be metabolized by our bodies and around 75% of it is eliminated in this timeframe. This, however, also depends on each individual’s genetics and chemistry.
For some, a cup of coffee is enough to help them function for hours while for others, it has little to no effect and they need to increase the dosage.
However, if you are on the jittery side and struggle with all-nighters but can’t give up your caffeine intake, specialists recommend that you have your last cup of coffee or caffeinated products around noon or, in any case, not too close to bedtime.
Caffeine may be addictive
Although for some, it may sound like a slight exaggeration, caffeine is nevertheless a drug with possible effects on several systems in our bodies. And while there is some truth in the fact that it can be addictive, it generally causes a minor dependence that can be easily overcome.
Stopping your caffeine intake after a period of regular use might cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches or drowsiness, to name a few. Nevertheless, these only last for a few days and cannot be compared to those of gateway drugs, like many like to exaggerate.
If you are a regular user of caffeine or you just discovered it and don’t know if it is good for you or not, you should know that its effects may vary from one person to another, depending on age, lifestyle, and overall health.
According to more and more studies, caffeine seems to be more beneficial than detrimental with noticeable effects on mood and brain functions, boosting metabolism, enhancing performance and stimulating bowel movements. The recommended caffeine intake is between 200 mg to 400 mg per day, which is generally considered safe.
It’s also worth mentioning that overconsumption may generate negative effects such as trouble sleeping, tremors or high blood pressure.
All in all, moderation is the key to everything. – and caffeine is no exception.