We all love the tiny break from our work or our studies for a little rest. While some of you light a cigarette, some of you might have a cup of tea. But for me, my tiny breaks always end with a warm cup of coffee. The smell of the roasted coffee beans, the scent filling the whole room makes me light-headed (in a good way). I have been a coffee lover for almost 5 years now. If I have to be honest I have been an addict for a while. While the amount of coffee I intake varies from day to day it made me wonder: how much coffee is too much??
While I was doing my homework (research) on caffeine intake I discovered some interesting facts. So if you are a coffee lover like I am and the feeling of guilt overpowers you every time you hold a cup, then I have great news for you. Coffee is not that bad. Let me rephrase it: coffee in the right amount is good for your health. Here are some of the benefits you get from having just the right amount of coffee.
Coffee that contains caffeine acts as a natural stimulant. It increases neural transmission by blocking adenosine.
Coffee enhances mental performance
• Improves alertness and vigilance
A study shows 32 mg of coffee which is half a cup of coffee is enough to increase the alertness of the human brain.
A test conducted by the European food safety Authority concluded that 75 mg of coffee which is 1 cup of coffee increases selective attention and sustains attention.
This is why whenever we have coffee our mind is more awake and we can focus on our task more efficiently.
• Coffee improves memory power and recall capacity
A study that had been conducted showed students who had caffeine beforehand were able to memorize better. I quote ‘Caffeine appears to intensify the strength of connection among the list of words and critical lures, thereby enhancing both true and false memory.’
There was an interesting study conducted by JOHSHOPKINS in 2014. 160 students were selected and they were made to learn words and memorize. After then students were given caffeinated coffee to some students and decaffeinated to the others. The test was conducted after 24 hours. They concluded that students with caffeinated coffee were able to memorize the words better. They also said 200mg of coffee which is 2 regular cups, is needed to see the effect. Who knew a cup of coffee helps you with your memorizing capacity as well.
Coffee can improve mood
Well, I am always happier when I get to have a good cup of coffee. I might be a little biased because of the love I have for coffee. But, it’s not just me who thinks so. A study from Harvard studied 50739 US women (avg age 63) who were free from any depressive symptoms followed for 10 years. During 10 years, 2607 incident cases of depression were identified. It was found women having 1 cup of coffee/week had a risk of depression 0.85. While women having 2-3cups/day had a risk of depression reduced to 0.8. Hence it was concluded ‘Depression risk decreases with increasing caffeinated coffee consumption.’
If you are thinking that there were a lot of benefits a cup of coffee has to offer well you would be astonished to know there are even more. Coffee doesn’t only helps in mental improvement it also has perks on physical health.
Coffee increases the ability to exercise for a longer period. A study showed people given caffeinated coffee could exercise for 90.2 min while people with decaffeinated coffee could exercise only for 75.5 min. Coffee can reduce the perception of tiredness during exercise. So next time you are too tired to work out or you have sore muscles after you work out, you know what to do. Grab a cup of coffee!
In the long run, coffee reduces the chances of Parkinson’s disease by 32%. If you don’t know what Parkinson’s disease is, it neurodegenerative disorder and the most common movement disorder. Basically, it is the loss of muscle control which leads to trembling of limbs and head at rest.
Coffee consumption in mid-life reduces the chances of having Alzheimer's disease in the elderly by 65%.
If you are staggered by the perks of having coffee in your daily routine and are thinking of having gallons of coffee hold on there for a moment. Too much coffee can cause damage to your health. Here are some of the drawbacks of coffee:
More than 1000mg of coffee per day can lead you nervousness, jitteriness, and anxiety
Although coffee helps you to stay more alert, immoderate amount of coffee can disturb the quality sleep.
• Digestive issues
Caffeine may worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
• Caffeine consumption is likely to increase blood pressure, cause irritability and headaches
• It may lead to dizziness, muscle tremor, weakness and fatigue
• Overdose of caffeine causes irregular heart rate, seizures, confusion or delirium
• It increases the risk of heart attacks among young adults.
So, coffee is not poisonous unless taken in a redundant amount. It has been said 2 cups of coffee before 2 pm is beneficial. Watch out before having 4-5 cups of coffee from now on. Also, don’t be scared to enjoy a cup of coffee now and then. A cup of coffee a day keeps the doctor away!!