Is coffee with its caffeine healthy or unhealthy to drink? Depends on who is drinking and how much they’re consuming in a given day. And in case anyone is totally out of touch, Americans drink a lot of coffee and ultimately consume a lot of caffeine each day. On the coffee front alone, American adults average about 2.7-3 cups every 24 hours, which rounds out to about 400 cups a day. This, of course, doesn’t account for other sources of caffeine like soda, energy drinks, and tea. So how much is too much? Doctors generally recommend limiting caffeine intake to 300-400 milligrams a day, which means three to four cups daily. That sounds easy enough for most of us. But those milligrams can also be found in six to eight cups of green tea and seven to 10 cans of soda. All this means is that it’s easy to exceed the recommended intake level. Of course, caffeine and coffee aren’t all bad. They have their benefits too—and WellWell is here to lay them both out. Read on.
No one should be surprised that the caffeine in coffee stimulates the central nervous system, which fights fatigue and increases energy levels. This occurs because caffeine blocks the receptors of a neurotransmitter called adenosine, allowing neurotransmitters to help regulate energy levels.
Alzheimer’s is a powerful and growing disease, but the caffeine contained to just two daily cups of coffee may help lower the risk of developing dementia. One study even suggested that women 65 and older who drank two to three cups of coffee witnessed a significantly less at risk of developing dementia than those who didn’t drink as much.
Strength, stamina and endurance are all enhanced through caffeine intake. One research project even claimed that it is particularly effective in building muscle and power in the upper body.
Harvard’s School of Public Health reported that individuals who grabbed two to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily cut their suicide risk by 45 percent. The possible reason is caffeine’s ability to stimulate and ultimately improve a person’s mood.
May Fight Cancer
Coffee consumption may not support the prevention of breast and colon cancer, it may also lower the risk of recurrence in survivors. Other studies also note it may also help reduce the chance of developing cancers of the oral cavity and skin.
Drinking three or more cups of coffee daily can increase the risk of spinal bone loss in postmenopausal women, especially if they’re not getting enough calcium in their diet.
Young adults already suffering from mild hypertension who then dove into at least four cups of coffee daily face a four-fold increase in their risk of a heart attack. Even drinking less coffee increases the risk for these individuals.
Just 2 grams of caffeine gets the heart stimulated and blood vessels dilated, which can then cause bronchial relaxation in the lungs and increased breathing. The end result of these changes are increased irritability, restlessness, insomnia and agitation.
Drinking coffee increases blood flow to the kidneys, adversely affecting their ability to reabsorb salt and water. This leads to a rise of urine in the bladder. In addition to more frequent trips to the bathroom, it also means the body is losing important nutrients such as thiamin, B12, calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphate, chloride and potassium.
Sure, limited coffee probably isn’t going to do your gut much harm. But be aware that coffee is loaded with gut-irritating additives so the more coffee that’s consumed, the worse a belly may feel, potentially worsening symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
What’s your take on the benefits and drawbacks of coffee and caffeine? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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