Prepared By Nutritionist Jade
Coffee is a popular beverage enjoyed by many people worldwide, and it is commonly known for its effect in improving alertness and concentration. What other benefits can we gain from moderate consumption of coffee? Let us look at some:
- Antioxidant properties: Coffee contains numerous antioxidants that help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, certain cancers, and neurodegenerative disorders.
- Weight management: Caffeine has been shown to boost metabolic rate and enhance fat oxidation, making it a common ingredient in many weight-loss supplements. However, the effects may be modest, and lifestyle factors play a more significant role in weight management.
- Improved physical performance: Caffeine can enhance physical performance by stimulating the nervous system, increasing adrenaline release, and improving muscle contraction. It may help delay fatigue and improve endurance during exercise.
Do note that excessive intake or adding high-calorie additives like sugar and cream may have negative health effects. Additionally, individual responses to coffee can vary, and some people may be more sensitive to its effects. Consider some of the negative effects if taken in excessive amounts:
- Sleep disturbances: As coffee contains caffeine, consuming coffee too close to bedtime or in excessive amounts can lead to difficulty falling asleep and disrupted sleep patterns.
- Heart palpitations: Caffeine can temporarily raise heart rate and blood pressure, particularly in individuals who are sensitive to its effects. This can be a concern for those with existing cardiovascular conditions or high blood pressure.
- Gastrointestinal issues: Coffee can stimulate the production of stomach acid, which may lead to acid reflux, heartburn, or gastrointestinal discomfort, particularly in individuals with a sensitive stomach or those prone to digestive issues.
- Dehydration: Coffee has a diuretic effect, meaning it can increase urine production and potentially contribute to dehydration, especially if consumed in large quantities without adequate hydration from other sources.
The bottom line is to drink in moderation, about 1 to 3 cups a day or take decaffeinated coffee if you are sensitive to caffeine. Do hydrate yourselves with plenty of water!
Butt, M. S., & Sultan, M. T. (2011). Coffee and its consumption: benefits and risks. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 51(4), 363-373.
Poole, R., et. al. (2017). Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes. bmj, 359.