We love coffee; as humans, we consume around 2 billion cups of tasty liquid per day. That is a huge amount, but why do we love it so much and is coffee good or bad for us, and should we be avoiding it altogether?
There are so many conflicting stories about coffee; I decided to investigate what coffee is all about and what we should be doing with it.
Coffee can affect our mental health, too, especially if you are trying to cut it down; it can lead to a low mood that lasts several days.
And with shops popping up all over the place that offers us various concoctions involving the coffee bean, anyone would think there was no problem with it. But what is actually in it that makes some of us crave it first thing upon waking?
What is in Coffee?
We all know coffee contains caffeine, but any more than that, you have to research, but I have done this for you and here is what I found.
- Caffeine – acts as a stimulant too much has negative reactions, it can be addictive.
- Tannin – anti-bacterial and antiseptic but too much has negative effects.
- Thiamine – is a B vitamin and helps turn carbohydrates into energy.
- Xanthine – a substance found in caffeine and the human body.
- Spemidine – there is thought this could prevent cancer, it is found in plants.
- Guaiacol – naturally occuring organic compound.
- Citric Acid – normally found in citrus fruit acts as a stabiliser.
- Chlorogenic Acid – has been found to help with diabetes in animals.
- Acetaldehyde – can cause effects of a hangover and rapid heartbeat.
- Spermine – is good for cellular metabolism.
- Putrescine – apparently smells like death.
- Scopoletin – it has antifungal properties and found in some plants.
As you can see, coffee contains a lot, and some of it is good for us and others bad for us in higher doses, so we are still in the middle of knowing if coffee is good or bad for us.
The main culprit for the negativity of coffee is caffeine, we don’t need it, plain and simple, and too much of it is harmful.
Let’s see what effects coffee has on the body
According to various research articles, there are many effects coffee can have on the human body, from heart palpitations to jitteriness. However, it is also noted some people who are intolerant of coffee may experience nausea and sweats. Some people even vomit.
Too much coffee, exceeding 4 cups or mugs per day, has been attributed to heart disease in one study, but other studies such as the one below say it can help the body.
In one research paper from the Harvard School of Public Health, they state:
A large body of evidence suggests that consumption of caffeinated coffee does not increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancers. In fact, consumption of 3 to 5 standard cups of coffee daily has been consistently associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases.Harvard T.H. Chan
Once again, like the coffee itself, there is conflicting evidence regarding the benefits and the disadvantages of drinking coffee.
No wonder it confuses.
It seems to be the less you consume, the better you will be in the long term; for wellness sakes, it appears that limiting your intake of coffee is more beneficial to you than staying at a level of four or five cups per day.
In my opinion, based upon the chemicals involved in the consumption of coffee, you are best off avoiding drinking it. But then that leaves you open to the withdrawal effects of coffee; how do you combat this?
Withdrawal Effects of Coffee
It is staggering that the symptoms of withdrawing from coffee intake can last for up to nine days, and if you are a hefty drinker of the stuff, you could be looking at two weeks for the effects to subside.
Even if you only drink two to three cups per day, you may experience the following:
- Low Energy
- Loss of Concentration
- Depressed Mood
- Flu-like Symptoms
That is just from stopping coffee; anyone would think you were coming off of drugs, but coffee is a drug of sorts as it is used by people as a stimulant, and some people can’t even think until they have had their fix.
How to Cope With Withdrawal Effects from Coffee
There are a few options to help with this; the first is paracetamol for the headaches and the flu-like pain, but avoid the ones with caffeine in.
Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water and fruit teas, avoid normal tea, as this contains caffeine, and the main cause of the withdrawal effects will be caffeine.
If your headache is terrible, apply an ice pack to help soothe it. This will alter the blood flow or at the very least numb the painful area. You can also apply to the back of your neck the same way as some migraine sufferers do.
Make sure you rest up, don’t give up caffeinated coffee when you have a busy week scheduled, as you will feel worse for wear and will succumb to the allure of the pick me up. Ideally, give up on coffee when you are less busy and can take the odd nap to sleep your way through it.
Give up coffee; there is minimal benefit to be gained, you can still drink decaffeinated versions if you like the taste, but overall your body can give you all the stimulation you need. Once you have pushed caffeinated coffee to the side, you will feel much better, and it opens up a whole new world of caffeine-free drinks; just don’t swap caffeine for sugar; choose drinks like chamomile tea or peppermint; they are tasty once you get used to them.
Peace & Blessings