According to statista.com, coffee is one of the most popular beverages amongst us. Nearly half of young adults age 18 to 24 drink coffee. Those over 60 are more likely to drink the delectable beverage. This age group tends to drink roughly three times as many cups a day.
Coffee comes with a bit of controversy and mystery. There are health experts that claim coffee is beneficial to your health and those that claim it is not.
Most of these claims relate to the caffeine content in the coffee. So what is the truth about caffeine? Is it good or bad for us? Well, the answer is both.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of caffeine.
It makes us more alert
Let’s take a look at the most apparent benefit people experience from drinking coffee, stimulation. It can give us a surge of energy, making us feel more alert and awake in the short term. Caffeine has been shown to improve response time and accuracy. So there is something to people saying, I can’t think straight until I’ve had a cup of coffee.
It puts us in a better mood
Beyond making us more alert, caffeine can lift our mood, flooding us with good feelings. This positive effect on our mood is what gets most people hooked on caffeinated drinks.
May improve memory
While more studies are necessary, caffeine has been shown to improve long term memory. Moderate caffeine consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of developing Dementia and Alzheimers. For example, in Finland, where coffee consumption is highest in the world, people have the lowest risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Disruption of sleep patterns
When we drink caffeinated beverages late in the day, it can interfere with us getting a good night’s sleep. This can make us feel sleepy the next day, which then can encourage us to reach for more caffeine.
Production of stress hormones
Caffeine encourages our adrenal glands to produce the stress hormone adrenaline and cortisone. Cortisol release can contribute to both tiredness, irritability and sleep problems.
Researchers have found a link between caffeine and inflammation. Caffeine has a tendency to raise blood pressure (due to those stress hormones), which can increase your risk of developing heart disease.
How caffeine will affect your heart health will have much to do with genetic factors and how much you drink. Consumption in moderation and monitoring how different amounts of caffeine makes you feel can be very helpful.
If you would like to explore this further, please get in touch. I offer a free 20 min call or zoom session. I am seeing my clients online and in-person in my office in Hove.