This article comprises information about coffee and its effects on the health of individuals of all age groups.
The word ‘coffee’ leaves most of us with a smiling face. After all, it is the world’s favorite beverage. For many of us, a day without coffee is a day wasted. It boosts us with energy and enthusiasm to face the hard challenges and be victorious. Coffee is a liquid refreshment prepared by infusing or brewing roasted coffee beans or powder. Earlier, coffee was looked down as a beverage full of detrimental effects on health. But, lately, studies have claimed it to be a boon to the human race.
Coffee contains caffeine, a natural tonic that imparts wakefulness to the brain, which enhances memory; improves mood, reaction times, and other rational functions. It also helps in better performance in physical activities. Coffee is also a treasure of many floral substances and antioxidants beneficial to health. In addition, it comprises nutrients like vitamin B complex, potassium, and riboflavin. However, coffee is a complex compound with specific adverse effects, mainly due to its high caffeine content.
The various advantages of coffee are listed below:
Increases Life Span: Coffee in appropriate amounts increases life span, particularly in women, and decreases mortality due to cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, and kidney diseases. It has been proved that among coffee drinkers, the death rate is 25 % less than nondrinkers.
Improves Processing of Sugars: The coffee drinkers have a better operating ability for glucose and other sugars and are less sensitive to insulin, making them less prone to developing type-2 diabetes.
Better Cardiac Functioning: Having a cup or two of coffee helps the weakened heart pump enough blood to the body and reduces the risk of cardiac failure, especially in old individuals.
Symptomatic Relief in Parkinsonism: Caffeine provides symptomatic relief in neuromuscular coordination, like in those who have Parkinson’s disease. It also decreases the chances of developing such a disease.
Enhances Liver Functions: All types of coffee aid in the functioning of the liver and protect it. Coffee drinkers better retain the normal liver enzyme levels than nondrinkers.
Provide Stronger DNA: Dark coffee makes the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) strands stronger and prevents breakage. Though breaking of the DNA strands is a natural process, it can cause cancer or tumors if the body does not repair the broken strands.
Decreases the Risk of Cancers: Coffee in all its varieties reduces the risk of developing colorectal cancer, specifically in women. It also decreases the probability of having prostate cancer in men and endometrial cancer in women. Coffee also protects against developing basal cell carcinoma.
Lowers the Chances of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: Caffeine in average quantities lowers the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, especially in older women.
Less Probability of Having a Stroke: Women regularly taking at least a cup of coffee are less likely to have a stroke and die because of it.
Enhances Physical Performance: A cup of black coffee raises adrenaline levels in the blood, which improves physical performance by 11 % to 12 %, so many people prefer to grab a cup of black coffee at least an hour before their activity.
Aids in Weight Loss: Coffee is a source of magnesium and potassium, which assist the human body in utilizing insulin, maintaining normal glucose levels, and decreasing sugar cravings. All these collectively help in losing some extra pounds and getting into shape.
Burns Body Fat: Caffeine uses body fat as sustenance for exercise and reduces the fat accumulation in the body.
Provides General Protection: Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and provides overall protection to the body against free radicals responsible for causing great damage to the body.
Elevates Mood and Confronts Depression: Coffee increases the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline that help in boosting mood, fighting depression, and decreasing suicidal tendencies.
Improves Focus and Concentration: An optimal caffeine intake increases mental alertness and helps focus better.
Besides a plethora of health benefits, coffee possesses some disadvantages to health. The demerits and their precautions are as follows:
Do Not Overdrink: Consumption of coffee should be limited to four cups a day, each measuring about 80 to 100 mg of caffeine. Experts have advised taking only up to 400 mg of caffeine per day.
Slashing the Intake in Pregnancy: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended the dosage of caffeine up to 200 mg in a day, that is, two cups for pregnant women. The increased intake may cause harm to the developing fetus.
Avoid Having the Coffee Late: Coffee should be drunk by the afternoon as it remains in the body longer than usual. Consuming it later in the evening or after having dinner should be avoided, as it can lead to a sleepless night.
Look Out for Coffee Additives: Coffee is often added with whipped cream, flavored syrups, sugar, etc., which are mainly unhealthy. Coffee with such additives should not be consumed frequently, or other healthy add-ons can be used.
Give Coffee a Miss in Hypertensive Patients: Coffee has high caffeine content, raising blood pressure temporarily, so it should be avoided in hypertensive patients.
Choosing Filtered Coffee: Cafestol and kahweol are present in beans of coffee which may elevate the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels mildly in the body. However, filtered coffee is considered devoid of these ingredients as they get trapped in the filter. But, other types of cooked coffee do contain them.
Keep the Coffee Away from Children: Coffee intake may increase enuresis in children aged 5 to 7 years. Yet, this has not been confirmed by research.
Coffee is a complicated beverage with benefits and side effects, so it needs to be brewed carefully. It can be enjoyed brimming while keeping the pitfalls in mind. Beware of its detrimental effects and discontinue it if they manifest themselves. Its sensitivity differs from one individual to another, which should also be considered.
Coffee has become an essential need in everyone’s life. Here are some good effects of coffee that you must know:
- It improves mood.
- It helps in processing glucose, thus reducing type 2 diabetes.
- It protects your liver.
- It may prevent heart failure.
- It increases your level of concentration.
- It lowers the risk of cancer.
Coffee is a beverage; almost everyone loves it and consumes more cups a day. However, limited amounts of coffee have positive effects on your body. In addition, coffee contains caffeine that aids in burning your body fat. If you tend to add sugar and other supplements like whipping cream and high-fat milk to your coffee, it may increase weight. To some extent, the coffee with less sugar and fat-free milk aids in burning your calories.
Coffee lovers may take coffee with or without milk according to their mind’s instructions. Intake of coffee aids in releasing a specific substance called polyphenols. These polyphenols are antioxidants and reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases. However, some studies show that adding milk to your coffee does not reduce the effect of polyphenols. In addition, you can add milk to your coffee to improve your sleep during the night, prevent esophageal (food pipe) cancer, and control acidity. If you plan to lose weight, it is advised not to add milk to the coffee.
Tea and coffee are beverages consumed daily by people worldwide to attain specific mental effects. Tea makes you feel relaxed, while the coffee keeps you brisk and focused. Both tea and coffee contain antioxidant properties that help in decreasing the risk of cancer, heart diseases, etc. Mainly green tea is found to have more antioxidants. A few studies show that drinking coffee reduces colon cancer recurrence, while drinking tea may prevent breast and prostate cancer. However, too much of anything may cause harmful effects. So, it is better to consume one or two cups per day.
It is hard for someone who loves coffee to know its harmful effects. But, several studies prove the following bad effects of drinking excess coffee:
- It causes anxiety.
- It increases blood pressure.
- If you consume it in the evening, you have to face sleepless nights.
Third, it affects the baby in the womb if consumed more during pregnancy.
- Finally, extra add-on’s to your coffee like excess sugar, and whipped cream may make your coffee unhealthy.
The love for coffee remains the same for both men and women. However, some false beliefs like drinking coffee may decrease the sperm count in males. But, the fact is that drinking coffee does not affect men’s sperm. Several studies prove that caffeine found in coffee and tea may not impact male fertility. For the proper fertility to occur, the male’s sperm must move fast and reach the women’s reproductive system and fertilize the egg. Infertility may occur in a few due to decreased sperm motility. In addition, some studies show that drinking six to seven cups of coffee per day has increased sperm mobility and thus has a good impact on fertility.
Certain types of coffee and their drinking method may decrease its harmful effects, and those include:
- Prefer hot coffee rather than cold as the antioxidants (polyphenols) are high in hot coffee. However, if you have acidity issues, consuming cold coffee is better.
- Black coffee - Studies show black coffee contains fewer calories and high nutrients (potassium and sodium) that have sound effects.
- Avoid adding more sugar cubes and dairy additives to your coffee, as it may increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, etc.
- Filter coffee traps certain substances that increase the cholesterol levels in the body; therefore, you can avoid filter coffee.
When consumed in moderate amounts (2 to 4 cups) per day, coffee may cause fewer side effects, and overconsumption may increase blood pressure, anxiety, and heart disease and affect the fetus in the mother’s womb. If you want to consume daily, make sure you follow these:
- Avoid adding excess sugar to your coffee.
- Restrict the amount of milk if you plan to lose weight.
- Add milk to your coffee to decrease acidity issues, prevent esophageal cancer, and sleep peacefully at night.
Yes, several studies show that consuming moderate amounts of black coffee has reduced the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The other benefits of black coffee are listed down:
- It boosts your memory.
- It has a diuretic effect and thus cleans your stomach.
- It prevents you from cancer.
- It improves liver health.
Last reviewed at:
28 Apr 2022 - 4 min read
Query: Hi doctor, I am suffering from glomerular kidney disease. I am facing sleepless nights for more than one to two months. Shall I use drugs to get sleep? Read Full »
Query: Hello doctor, I had round and flat black pellets discharged from my colon after coffee enema with gentle massage. I do not have pain or abdominal discomfort, but I occasionally get gassy. The black balls are all perfectly round, flat, and all are exactly the same size and structure. I discharged ab... Read Full »
Query: Hello doctor, I am a 27-year-old male. I have a problem with chronic acid reflux/GERD that often causes my throat pain as well. The problems are off and on i.e sometimes they are not much considerable but sometimes they are highly problematic. Additionally, I have sometimes noticed the problem of co... Read Full »
Most Popular Articles
Do you have a question on Coffee or ?Ask an expert Online