Health Impacts of Caffeine Consumption - an ode to coffee lovers

“Coffee saves lives… just ask my co-workers”

 

Many people when trying to lose weight will avoid caffeine, however there is minimal conclusive research to support this drastic decision.

 

As a self-proclaimed coffee addict, the idea of getting through the day without a single cup of coffee seems outrageous and frankly sacrilegious. What is more, anyone having to endure my company prior to my first mug of morning marvel is at risk of meeting my irritable and irrational wrath, so in a sense I’m doing a favour for the greater good of the community. However, if my caffeine consumption is going to become detrimental to my health then I must become more informed on the matter.

 

So, before you commit to a caffeine slow down, perhaps first you should get the low down?

 

The first thing to remember is that a lot of research you find on the internet can be incredibly biased and lacking in empirical evidence… Pot calling the kettle black? If you pardon the pun. However, this article aims to give an informative and balanced argument to the effects of caffeine consumption.

 

  • Sleep Deprivation

For many, the appeal of caffeine is its stimulant effect, but if you’re hyped up on caffeine then your quality of sleep is reduced. Whilst 8 hours of sleep is the recommendation, it’s about quality, not quantity. This becomes a catch 22 as your lack of solid sleep leaves you tired the next day, increasing your need for a caffeine boost. Also, tiredness is a killer for cravings! When you’re feeling low on energy your brain naturally craves addictive sugars and fats to give you a boost.

 

Therefore, avoiding coffee and other stimulants after 2pm will improve your quality of sleep that night, leaving you less reliant on your caffeine the following day, preventing tiresome sweet cravings.

 

  • Dehydration

 

Coffee has a diuretic effect, and can in fact lead to dehydration. In terms of your health, dehydration can lead to reduced functionality of both your muscles and brain. Moreover, dehydration tricks your mind into believing you’re hungry and can induce cravings and dangerous snacking.

However, this diuretic effect can also improve digestion and bowel movements to prevent constipation. Therefore, for every cup of coffee you have, make sure you counteract it with a big glass of water to avoid any negative side effects.

 

  • Heart Rate

 

Excessive caffeine can lead to increased blood pressure and heart rate, as well as an irregular heart rate. However, when consumed in moderation it can actually prevent against cardiovascular catastrophes such as heart attacks.

 

  • Mental and Cognitive Health

 

Research suggests that excessive caffeine consumption can lead to nervousness, anxiety and panic attacks.

Conversely, it can improve your mental functionality through improving focusing abilities and attention.

 

  • Long term Health

 

In excess can cause high cholesterol, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Nonetheless, it can help prevent parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, gout and even diabetes.

 

All in all, as with most things it is all about moderation. The medical community agrees that consuming up to 400 mg of caffeine per day (roughly 3 cups of coffee), has been found to be pretty much harmless. This is what doctors refer to when they talk about drinking coffee “in moderation.” Therefore, maintaining good health does not require you to give up caffeine, but simply limit it.

 

I hope that this article has helped to rationalise your coffee consumption and, if you’re anything like me, learn that you do not have a problem with coffee, you have a problem without it.

 

Written with Love, Passion, and a heck of a lot of coffee,

Katy

#TeamASU.

2017-11-13T11:39:48+00:00
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