Many of us would be hard pressed to find fault with drinking coffee. The beverage that drives our sleepiness and lethargy away and gets us through our workday is sacred to us. In addition, many studies claim that caffeine consumption is linked to lower incidences of diseases, including cardiovascular, liver and neurological conditions. However, the question remains: is coffee really that good for you?
On the other hand, there are also studies that establish a link between regularly drinking coffee and the negative impact it may have on our health. In this article, we will take a look at some of these harmful effects.
Contrary to the belief that coffee could lengthen our lives, a study published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings concludes that drinking in excess of four cups of coffee a day can shorten it. The key finding of this study, which took over two decades to complete with data gathered from 43,727 participants, is that moderation is key. The negative effects on the health of the participants were mainly observed in those that exceeded four cups a day, with recorded 2512 deaths over a period of 17 years, while those that drank less appeared to not experience any negative health effects.
Hence, if you must have a cup of coffee, make sure that you keep it to two cups a day, just to be on the safe side.
High Blood Pressure
If you already suffer from high blood pressure or if the condition runs in your family, then it’s wise to stay away from coffee. A study carried out by the Mayo Clinic has concluded that caffeine plays a role in causing and exacerbating aortic stiffness, which as the name implies, is a loss in elasticity of the upper walls of the heart.
While caffeine itself may help a person lose weight by boosting metabolism and helping to suppress appetites, our tendency to consume coffee with cream and sugar can negate these effects. With commercial chains on the rise, sugar addiction is being fed to us through coffee. Beverages like caramel lattes, frappes, chocolate brews, and bubbly coffees keep us coming back for more every day.
Therefore, if coffee is a necessity but you also want to lose weight, we recommend switching to old- fashioned plain black. While the bitter taste may take some getting used to, it’ll certainly help reduce your dependency on sugar.
Having trouble sleeping? Then perhaps it’s time to try cutting out coffee. A sleep laboratory study that spanned thirteen nights and 18 healthy participants showed that caffeinated coffee produced symptoms of sleep disturbance. If you’re continuously not getting enough sleep at night, it can lead to a whole host of health problems including:
- Hypertension – Due to lack of sleep, your heart won’t get the rest it needs and therefore will have to work harder.
- Cardiovascular disease – This is mainly due to hypertension resulting from insomnia.
- Weight gain – A good night’s sleep helps to keep the hormones responsible for hunger in control and maintain a healthy metabolic rate. Insomnia, on the other hand, has the opposite effect.
- Poor Immune System – There’s a reason why insomniacs are more susceptible to health problems. Research has shown that sleep deprivation causes a type of white blood cells known as T cells to decline in quantity. The result is that our body has a harder time eliminating harmful, disease-causing microbes, causing us to get sick more easily.
An Unhealthy Gut
Research has concluded that caffeine increases the production of hydrochloric acid in our stomach. Normally, these acidic conditions help in the digestion of protein present in our food. However, when our stomach is consistently stimulated to pump more acid, there will be less leftover to digest proteins properly. Half-digested protein is detrimental to the health of our gut, leading to numerous conditions such as gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome.
If you’re already suffering from conditions like heartburn and acid reflux, then it is wise to stay away from coffee. If you must consume it, we highly recommend switching to the decaffeinated variety.
Some people use caffeine as a laxative when they’re feeling constipated. While this can be a convenient solution, it is not without consequences. Caffeine stimulates your stomach to deliver food that is not completely digested to your small intestines. This is known as Gastric emptying. The result is that fewer nutrients are derived from the food and furthermore, undigested protein can lead to inflammation of the gut lining.
Is coffee bad for you?
While coffee is said to bring us many health benefits, several studies have also found the opposite to be true. The key difference is how many cups you drink a day. In this article, we focus on the different ways that the consumption of coffee negatively impacts our health by causing hypertension, insomnia, gastric emptying, weight gain and more.