Often the advice about how much coffee should we drink is confusing, so nutritionists have helpfully weighted up the health benefits and risks for us, based on the latest research.
Coffee can literally give our brain a boost, by improving the concentration, as well as providing antioxidants to help our body fight disease. Swedish scientists found out that drinking a moderate amount of coffee can reduce the risk of a stroke, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease. or other cardiovascular diseases. What constitutes a ‘moderate’ amount will differ from one person to the next – guidelines suggest that 3 to 5 cups a day is an acceptable amount. However, some people may be less sensitive than others and your intake within the guideline should be based on personal reference and tolerance for caffeine.
Too much coffee can cause trembles, sleeping problems or stress. Coffee is highly addictive, and makes you reach for more all the time.
When to drink coffee
It is popular to drink coffee as soon as you get out of bed, but the best time is few hours after getting up. This is connected to the levels of cortisol in our body – chemical signals that tell you it is time to wake up and move, if we drink coffee as soon as we wake up, it prevents the producing of cortisol. It makes us rely on the energy from the caffeine, which makes a negative effect on our circadian rhythm.
Coffee and health concerns
It is really important to drink coffee in moderation if we have health concerns. For example, if we drink coffee on an empty stomach more hydrochloric acid is produced, our body uses this acid to digest food. When the production excess it can lower the natural levels of the acid, which can lead to undigested protein linked to IBS and bloating. Similarly if you suffer from ulcers, gastritis or Crohn’s disease, it is advised to avoid coffee as it can irritate the stomach.
Lastly there have been links between coffee and sex hormones, in particular for some women suffering from Poly-cystic Ovary syndrome. While this link isn’t entirely understood it is advised to woman with PCOS to cut back or eliminate coffee from their diets entirely.
You can make your cup of coffee healthier, if you stop drinking it few hours before bed time, as it will prevent sleep disturbance. Secondly, you shouldn’t overload it with sugar, instead use natural sweetener like honey. Cinnamon can be great addition..
The smell of coffee alone can have positive effect on people. Caffeine has a reputation among researchers as a vitality and happiness booster. It fights against depression and contributes to making us feel happier.
Better sport performance
If you drink coffee before workout, the exercise feels easier, and it gives you, the opportunity to perform better.
Prevents muscle ache
According to the University of Georgia, coffee reduces the soreness of the muscles. Caffeine can provide better pain relief than other pain killers, so you should definitely have a cup or two, before you hit the gym.
In a study where 445000 men and women were tested, it was found out that those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day, had lower risk of developing skin cancer.
If you drink two cups of coffee a day, your memory can be improved, and the cognitive performance increased. Coffee contains caffeine, which when ingested makes the brain neurons work faster. It was also discovered in a Swedish study that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, due to the high levels of antioxidants.