The source of controversy over coffee is it’s most studied (though not necessary largest) element, caffeine. Caffeine, generally considered to be the most widely used drug in America and Europe is an often powerful central nervous system stimulant that, in some people, can cause modest increases in blood pressure and heart rate, arrhythmia, anxiety and sleeplessness.
A normal person can cope with 300 milligrams of coffee a day- that’s about three cups of coffee. However, response to caffeine can be as individual as a fingerprint.
The beauty of coffee is that, unlike many other caffeinated beverages, it has a way of tipping off the body when enough is enough. If you’ve walked into a Starbucks or a meeting you’ll notice a lot of half-drunk cups lying around. At a subliminal level, there’s an automatic stop with coffee. You don’t even have to think about it.
But a lot of people have been worrying about their coffee drinking since some research studies have linked coffee drinking to heart disease, cancer and even birth defects.
Below are some answers to some questions of the most troubling questions you may have about coffee.
1. Will coffee make you nervous and irritable?
It can. The most common side effects are nervousness and insomnia. Whether or not you experience them depends largely on how much caffeine you are taking in and your individual susceptibility. According to Dr. Kroger Ph.D professor of food science at Pennsylvania of Food technologist, “people should learn to observe their bodies the way they do their cars” because your body will tell you what you can and can’t handle.
You may be drinking too much if you’re unusually nervous, restless or battling with insomnia. You could also be overdosing if you’re experiencing heart palpitations, diarrhea, heartburn or headaches. For some, coffee acts as diuretic so you may have increased urine output.
2. Will coffee keep you up at night?
Your metabolism–specifically how quickly your system eliminates caffeine-may determine whether coffee keeps you up at night. Researchers have found that people who said coffee kept them up consumed less coffee-explained by their bad reaction to it-and eliminated it more slowly from their systems than people who claimed coffee didn’t affect their sleep. Individual metabolism dictates whether coffee will rob your of a good night’s sleep or not.
3. Why do I drink coffee?
It may be the taste or the buzz it gives you. In a Swiss study, volunteers who drunk the equivalent of one cup of coffee admitted to feeling full of ideas with greater vigor alertness and energy.
Other researchers have found that coffee can increase reading speed without increasing errors, improved the capacity for sustained intellectual effort and lead to less aggressive behavior. There is even some indication that coffee increases aerobic capacity, which can give an athlete more staying power. However, it’s important to understand that what coffee gives coffee may take away.
Some folks experience a post stimulation letdown that can make them as tired and lethargic as they are alert and energetic. One problem you can face if you treat coffee as more than simply a satisfying beverage is that you’ll start to reach for more than you can handle just to prolong the kick.
Coffee can be mildly addicting. Any coffee drinker who has given it up cold turkey can tell you about the withdrawal headaches and the bouts of weakness and lethargy which though quite real, aren’t permanent or dangerous
4. Are there any long term health effects from drinking coffee?
Early studies linked caffeine with heart disease and cancer, bust since then most of those findings have been disputed. Most medical experts believe there is no clear evidence supporting them. But moderation is the key. There is some indication that heavy coffee consumption when accompanied by other diet and life style factors may increase cholesterol levels.
5. Are there any special health problems coffee may aggravate?
If you have ulcers or experienced heartburn or gastrointestinal problems, such as esophageal reflux, after drinking coffee you may want to limit your coffee intake or switch to decaffeinated.
Coffee seems to promote gastric secretion. People with hypertension or heat disease who experience an increase in blood pressure or heart arrhythmia when drinking coffee should follow their common sense and switch to decaffeinated coffee or a less stimulating beverage. Coffee can cause modest increases in heart rate and blood pressure and in large amounts-more than 9 cups a day-is associated with arrhythmia.
Another group of people who ought to exercise caution are those with anemia as coffee inhibits the absorption of iron. As well as people who experience panic attacks, such as agoraphobics. Researchers at Yale University found that caffeine produces a more pronounced reaction in people who have panic episodes than in normal, healthy people.
6. How does coffee affect my nutrition?
There is some evidence that coffee can inhibit the absorption of both iron and the B vitamin thiamine. In the case of thiamine, it doesn’t appear to be caffeine that’s the culprit but chlorogenic acid, another coffee ingredient, which is not shed during the decaffeinating process.
7. How can I enjoy coffee without worrying?
Although moderation is the key to coffee comfort, for some the most logical solution is to switch to decaffeinated coffee. Many people can’t tell the difference between decaffeinated and the real thing. But if you can, you might want to stick to either instant or percolated coffee which depending on how strong you make it can contain less caffeine on average tan drip coffee.
Adelaide Kwaning is a ghost writer who writes on a number of different topics regarding health. To read another great article on healthy living visit http://healthmad.com/weight-loss/how-to-eat-more-and-weigh-less/