Coffee has long been known as an excellent way to start your day, but it’s not just the taste that makes it so popular among caffeine lovers. Coffee can improve your mood, help you focus, and increase your endurance by boosting your metabolism. For all these reasons and more, many people think of coffee as the best part of waking up in the morning. But most people don’t realize how coffee affects their bodies after drinking it. Here are some of the best ways to benefit from this beloved beverage while minimizing the negatives to your health.
What is Caffeine?
Most people know that caffeine is a stimulant, but they may not realize its importance to their daily health. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that 400 milligrams or less of caffeine per day should be safe for most healthy adults; however, those who are sensitive to caffeine should talk with their doctor before they drink caffeinated beverages. Aside from having obvious effects like increased energy and a boost in alertness, caffeinated beverages such as coffee can also help reduce stress, lower the risk for type 2 diabetes and fight cancer. Check out these other surprising effects of caffeine on your body
How Much Is Too Much?
One thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to caffeine is that, like other food and beverages, it’s a choice—the right amount for one person might be too much for another. That being said, American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) guidelines recommend that adults consume no more than 400 milligrams (mg) per day.
What Are the Positive Effects?
The primary benefit coffee offers is a small dose of caffeine, which can increase alertness and focus. Because caffeine can be addictive, many coffee drinkers prefer decaf coffees. But even decafs have a trace amount of caffeine, around 2 to 4 milligrams per serving.
The positive effects don’t stop there: A cup or two has been shown to boost metabolism by 3-11 percent for several hours after consumption. Regularly drinking one or two cups of coffee by no later than 2pm will make it easier to sleep at night. It’s also good for heart health and can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease.
As far as caffeinated drinks go, coffee usually has the least caffeine content out of all other types of beverages. That being said, some types have an increased caffeine level, such as instant coffees and energy drinks. However, some instant coffees have no caffeine content whatsoever. All things considered, it seems safe to say that moderate intake (less than 200mg) appears to be associated with a number of health benefits, including lower risks for cardiovascular diseases like stroke and coronary artery disease as well as type II diabetes mellitus (DM), Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and certain cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
How Can I Reduce Negative Effects?
Many people enjoy drinking coffee but still worry about any adverse effects it may have. As long as you drink it in moderation and have a healthy lifestyle, there isn’t much to worry about. You should watch your caffeine intake, however, since too much can cause many problems such as insomnia, anxiety, and digestive issues. To reduce these adverse effects, we would recommend mixing up your types of coffee beans to avoid getting used to a specific kind that may have more caffeine than others. Using light roasts tends to have less caffeine than dark roasts, so you can also take note of what type is being brewed when ordering out or at cafes.
5 Tips to Maximize Positive Effects
The effects of caffeine have been extensively studied, and there are some steps you can take to maximize your experience. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you’re likely already discovering these tips by observing how caffeine affects your body. But if not, try following these tips next time you crave a caffeine fix. You might be surprised at how they improve your experience!
- Don’t underestimate calories: Caffeine contains close to zero nutritional value. Be mindful of what else you eat when consuming caffeine to avoid missing out on any essential nutrients.
- Drink decaf: Decaf coffee contains close to zero caffeine but still has many benefits that come from antioxidants and chlorogenic acid.
- Take advantage of caffeine-free days: Even though caffeine may feel like an addiction, it doesn’t need to be an everyday thing. Try taking one day off per week where you abstain from all sources of caffeine, including tea, chocolate, and sodas. You will find that during this caffeine-free day, you sleep better and feel more energized without the side effects of caffeine withdrawal.
- Space out your intake: To help prevent dependence, consume less than 300mg of caffeine per day – about half a cup of brewed coffee or two cups (16 ounces) of black tea.
- Make sure to get enough sleep: Poor quality sleep can lead to physical dependence on caffeine because it disrupts the natural hormone cycles needed for restful slumber. Withdrawal symptoms often include headache, irritability, and fatigue. So please make sure to get enough sleep so that you don’t rely on caffeinated beverages for energy!
While caffeine is best known for its ability to boost energy, research shows that it also has a number of other health benefits and helps maintain healthy cognitive function. When you drink coffee or any caffeinated beverage, be sure to practice moderation. While it may be part of a healthy lifestyle, too much caffeine can cause unpleasant side effects.