Drink Up? Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee
You’ve probably heard both sides of the coffee debate before. People drink it for its feel-good effects, yet some are wary of what it does to their stomach or how much caffeine is in a single cup. So which camp do you fall into?
Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee
Do you refuse to drink coffee because you’re convinced that there’s no way it can be healthy? Or do you enjoy every opportunity to grab a cup of joe on your morning commute or with friends after work?
So, let’s take a look at what all the fuss is about. As with most things in life, we need to consider the pros and cons of coffee drinking before making any decisions.
The good news? There’s no right or wrong answer. It comes down to your lifestyle and how you like it.
Coffee: The Good
Coffee has numerous benefits for our health, and we’re not just talking about the caffeine buzz. For starters, drinking coffee helps your heart. The antioxidants can lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease or stroke by up to 20%.
Coffee also contains magnesium which aids muscle function and keeps you regular (which is a common running joke among coffee drinkers).
Additionally, caffeine has also been shown to affect your skin, teeth, and hair positively. It can help reduce acne because it contains antibacterial properties that kill bacteria in our pores which causes breakouts. Coffee is a natural exfoliant, so caffeine encourages cell turnover, making your skin look radiant and free of dead cells.
When it comes to weight management, there’s also good news. Some studies show that drinking coffee can help us lose weight by increasing our metabolism and helping to curb appetite!
Moreover, it’s been shown that drinking coffee can help boost athletic performance, which means if you love working out or playing sports, this is definitely for you.
A lot of people enjoy their daily cup (or three) because it provides them with a caffeine boost to improve focus, stay alert, and concentrate better on tasks at hand. Coffee may even be beneficial for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Finally, the last benefit of drinking coffee involves your mental health. Caffeine has actually proven to be an effective treatment for depression and other mood disorders. This may be because it releases dopamine in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and relaxed.
However, this is commonly used as a last resort due to caffeine’s side effects and the availability of many more effective medications for depression and anxiety.
Coffee: The Bad
While the benefits of coffee are pretty hard to argue with, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies! If you don’t drink coffee in moderation (which we’ll talk about later), there’s a good chance that your body is going to feel like it’s been hit by a bus.
For starters, if you have trouble sleeping or suffer from insomnia, coffee would be the last thing you should drink at night because it contains caffeine which naturally stimulates your nervous system and can make it difficult to fall asleep.
It doesn’t help that drinking coffee in the evening disrupts our circadian rhythm (our body clock), leading to sleep problems.
Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant, so it can cause you to feel jittery and nervous. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure levels. Too much of this will lead to panic attacks or anxiety. If you feel like your coffee intake isn’t healthy for you because it’s messing with your emotions, try stopping your intake for a few days to see if it helps.
It is also very acidic, so if you already have an overly-acidic diet from drinking too much soda or fruit juice, it’s more likely going to cause damage to your teeth and bones over time.
Additionally, too much caffeine can cause you to feel dehydrated. This is because it stimulates your kidneys and increases the secretion of urine, so even though you’re drinking a lot of water, that doesn’t mean your body won’t be losing fluids anyway.
Another downside is that too much coffee may also disrupt your sleep patterns. Caffeine takes about six hours to be eliminated from your system, so if you drink it close to bedtime, there’s a good chance that you’re not going to get enough sleep. This will make you feel groggy and tired the following day, which is a recipe for disaster.
Finally, caffeine can also lead to headaches by causing vasoconstriction (which is when the blood vessels in your head tighten up and increase pressure).
To avoid this, try reducing your intake of caffeine until you’re able to drink it without feeling any negative side effects.
At the end of the day, there are both pros and cons of drinking coffee. It all boils down to how your body reacts and to your individualized needs. If you’re drinking coffee because it helps your anxiety, boosts your weight loss goals, and gives you an energy boost to workout – we say keep doing what works for you.
If, on the other hand, too much caffeine has made its way into your everyday routine and is causing unpleasant side effects (like anxiety or depression), then maybe consider cutting down to see how it affects you.
Regardless of your coffee intake, make sure to practice moderation. You should aim for no more than 400mg per day which is usually about four cups.
If you have a sensitive stomach, this may be an issue so try cutting down on the amount or frequency at which you drink it to help ease some discomfort.