Coffee: Friend or Foe?

The whole world loves to drink coffee. Everyone is looking for their caffeine fix to get them through their busy day. I must be one of the very few that hates the taste of coffee. I have always been more of a tea drinker. So is coffee really that bad for you? There are so many articles out their stating that coffee is either good for your health or it is the absolute evil. Personally I believe that moderation is key. 1-2 cups a day won’t kill you however too much coffee can cause side effects.

Caffeine is a stimulant and most people will sit at their desks all day working or studying drinking coffee to keep them alert, sharp and focused. While coffee does make you more alert one must also remember that overdosing yourself with coffee can also cause anxiety, heart palpitations and may give you the shakes. When I used to study I used to drink lots of tea and at one point I felt quite anxious and had to stop.

Drinking too much coffee increases cortisol which is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands which is released in response to a person being afraid or stressed. In a ‘fight or flight’ situation in the old days the cortisol would be utilised as the person either fought or ran for their lives.  Today we sit at our desk drinking coffee to keep going producing more cortisol and not exercising to get rid of it. Cortisol levels are high in the mornings and lower at night. It regulates blood pressure, helps the body to utilise glucose for energy. It sends a message to the liver to release stored glycogen to fuel the muscles and the brain. However too much stored in the body can result in weight gain, depression, mental illness, impaired memory and brain function.

Too much caffeine can dehydrate both the body and skin giving a dull complexion. It is therefore important to always drink plenty of water through out the day and hydrate before your cup of coffee.  Also it is best to drink coffee black with no sugar or milk as this decreases calories and makes it healthier.

Coffee contains a group of compounds called polyphenols that are antioxidants  that reduce the risk of strokes,heart attacks and lower blood pressure. However as mentioned before you should not consume more than 1-2 cups a day.

I hope you have found the above tips useful.

 

 

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