What would mornings be like without a sip of that rejuvenating nectar we call coffee?
Coffee is a morning ritual, a workplace boost, and a mainstay of American society.
The U.S. consumes more coffee than any other nation, including Brazil. However, residents are not the biggest per capita consumers: That honor goes to Finland.
Just a whiff of coffee can wake you up, no sipping needed.
Why Drink Coffee?
Few people need a reason to drink coffee, but here are a few:
- Coffee not only improves energy levels, it makes you smarter. Several studies show it improves memory, mood, vigilance, reaction times and general cognitive function thanks to caffeine.
- Coffee increases the metabolic rate and burns fat. Caffeine not only signals fat cells to break down, it stimulates production of epinephrine, which does the same. It can increase your metabolic rate by up to 11%. However, caffeine tolerance and age lessen these effects.
- Caffeine improves athletic performance by an average of 12%. It does this by increasing adrenaline levels (via epinephrine) and makes fat cells more available for fuel.
- Coffee has nutrients our body needs, such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin. One cup of our favorite brew provides the following percentages of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)—riboflavin, 11%; pantothenic acid, 6%; manganese and potassium, 3%; magnesium, thiamin, and niacin, 2%; folate and phosphorus, 1%.
- Coffee provides more antioxidants than any other food source consumed worldwide. Java contains large amounts of hydrocinnamic acids, polyphenols and other antioxidants. Interestingly enough, the world gets 79% of its antioxidants from beverages, not food.
- 3 to 5 cups of coffee can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Researchers believe caffeine prevents brain inflammation to do it.
- Coffee lowers the risk of getting Parkinson’s disease by up to 60%. Interestingly enough, one study indicated that tea drinkers also experienced a reduction in risk, so caffeine may not be the cause.
- Coffee may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 67%.
- Coffee may protect you from cirrhosis of the liver, but you have to drink about 4 cups a day to experience an 80% drop in risk. You get lower levels of protection from lower consumption. Tea and cola drinkers did not experience the same effects.
- Drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day may prevent depression and suicide, according to two studies. Sorry, guys, the studies only included women.
- Coffee may protect against liver and colorectal cancer, according to several studies.
- Coffee may lower the risk of heart disease by preventing clogged arteries. 3 to 5 cups a day did the trick in one study.
- Java junkies who drank more than 4 cups of coffee every day had a 29% lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis than people who said they never drank coffee.
Why Coffee Isn’t for Everyone
In honor of Caffeine Awareness Month in March, we’ve got to give you the negative aspects of consuming coffee.
- Caffeine can kill you. You’d have to drink up to 100 cups of coffee very quickly to do that though. On the other hand, just a few cups can give you the java jitters.
- Caffeine is a drug, and it changes your brain chemistry. After a while, regular users build up a tolerance. Tolerance means you don’t get quite the boost from drinking that cup of morning joe as you did in the past. You can prevent that by treating your cup of coffee as medicine and only drinking it when you need a boost.
- You can become addicted to caffeine in as little as 14 days. Addiction means you feel groggy, cranky, lethargic or headachy without some caffeine in your system at the usual time. You may even get constipated, suffer from heart rhythm abnormalities or be plagued by flu-like symptoms, such as a stuffy nose, muscle cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. Luckily, even if you go cold turkey, the symptoms only last for about 3 days.
- Too much coffee or caffeine sensitivity can cause you to experience what is commonly called the java jitters—restlessness, anxiety, dizziness, upset stomach, irritability, insomnia, fast heartbeat, and tremors.
- Coffee acidity may cause digestive discomfort, indigestion, heartburn, reflux, and imbalances in your gut intestinal flora.
- Coffee drinkers excrete higher levels of calcium, magnesium and potassium, which may cause an imbalance.
- Because caffeine is a drug, it may cause adverse drug interactions with prescription medication that, depending on the medication, may lead to bleeding, infection, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and more.
- The caffeine in coffee may raise your blood pressure. Although the increase isn’t significant for a healthy person, it may be dangerous for a person who already has a problem with high blood pressure.
- Caffeine makes it difficult to fall asleep. If you must consume caffeine, do it 6 hours before attempting to sleep.
- Coffee brewed without a filter may affect your cholesterol, because coffee oils contain cafestol and kahweol. Brew made with a French press is among the worst.
- Coffee stains your teeth.
The Esquiline encourages living well, with a focus on physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual wellness. To learn more about The Esquiline, give us a call at 800-533-6279 or complete our online form here.