The Truth About CoffeeFebruary 3, 2023
In a battle for the ages, coffee has been revered as a gift from the gods and bashed as the sole reason why specific generations are entirely burned out—so what is the truth about coffee? Is this natural stimulant good or bad for your overall health, productivity, and well-being? Read on to form your own opinion about the beloved and famous beverage.
To Caffeine or Not to Caffeine?
Even though having a cup of joe in the morning is in some instances more popular than breakfast, coffee is by definition a drug. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance globally, and it also isn't regulated like other drugs such as alcohol. However, some studies suggest that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee carry the same health benefits. These findings suggest that caffeine is most likely not the specific component of coffee that gives us any health advantages.
On the other hand, caffeine increases activity in the brain and releases other neurotransmitters like dopamine, leading to feelings of alertness and increased energy. Along with energy effects, drinking caffeine can also influence our metabolism. However, it is best to not drink coffee or caffeinated beverages daily for the most long-term effects on metabolism, as this can cause tolerance and lower its effectiveness.
Coffee Is Not Just Caffeine
You might consider coffee the secret to your flawless productivity routine; however, caffeine is one of many components in the average cup. Coffee is full of antioxidants, vitamin B2, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. In the typical westernized diet, we receive more of our daily recommended antioxidant intake from coffee than fruits and vegetables combined!
Coffee and Its Effects on Disease
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease are unfortunately a reality for millions of people worldwide. However, there are significant medical studies that show how coffee drinkers have a 32-65% lowered risk of developing these diseases.
Along with these common illnesses, habitual coffee drinkers also lower their risk of type 2 diabetes by a staggering 27-67%! In addition to disease of the body, coffee also reduces the risk for illnesses of the mind and spirit. Coffee drinkers carry a much-lowered risk of suicide and depression. Those who warm up to coffee have up to a 53% lowered risk of suicide.
Caffeine Addiction and Link to Anxiety
As we know, coffee is a drug by definition. Any drug is addictive and can lead to negative behaviors if overdone. Heavy coffee drinkers are more prone to adverse effects on mood and stress levels if they become too overstimulated. As with anything in life, moderation is key. If you can learn to control the amount of coffee you consume, you will lower your chance of anxiety, stress, and disrupted sleep patterns. Nothing is perfect—this goes for coffee as well!
Even though coffee's energizing effects, antioxidants, and other health benefits can be a force for good, we must always ensure that we exercise our caffeine intake in moderation. A little coffee goes a long way for both the short and long term. Enjoy your joe responsibly!