From casual get-togethers to warm family conversations, business meetings and friendly
chats, coffee is a beverage enjoyed at a variety of occasions by people all across
the globe. Not to forget the pleasure of the morning boost we get from our cherished
cup of coffee.
But like everything you enjoy, you may begin to wonder about the effects that coffee
has on our health. So based on the latest research, we bring to you 8 answers to
the questions you might have on coffee:
While enjoying a cup of coffee maybe described as a habit and coffee is known to
act as a stimulant; this should not be confused with it being addictive.
Unlike other forms of addiction, coffee drinkers do not need to increase the amount
they drink over time. Neither do they experience problems if they drink less than
they are used to. Some people may experience mild withdrawal-like symptoms, such
as headaches when coffee is suddenly removed from their diet. On the other hand,
people who gradually reduce their caffeine intake over a couple of days tend not
to experience these symptoms.
That entirely depends on sensitivity to the effect of coffee. There are some who
consume caffeinated drinks during the evening and have no problem falling asleep.
While others who drink coffee before bed find it difficult to fall asleep because
of the mild stimulation it offers.
If you are particularly sensitive to the stimulating effects of caffeine, simply
avoid drinking coffee 4 hours before bedtime or switch to decaffeinated coffee during
Heartburn is experienced when acid from the stomach passes back into the food pipe
causing irritation and pain. This is called acid reflux.We have been told for years
that coffee, acidic fruit as well as spicy foods can aggravate acid reflux and should
therefore be avoided in our daily diet. However, recent research has shown that
only two behavioural changes can reduce symptoms of acid reflux – eating less and
elevating your head while sleeping.
Coffee and many other foods increase acid secretion in the stomach, but this does
not necessarily cause heartburn; although for some people it might. What is recommended
is to be aware of the foods that cause this and avoid it.
Caffeine has a mild diuretic effect; which means it slightly increases the frequency
of urination. However, recent evidence indicates that the increased frequency does
not affect the total amount of water lost. This is because the diuretic effect of
coffee is compensated by the water in it. So, a moderate intake of coffee has no
effect on long term hydration and actually counts in the daily fluid intake.
Just remember, for proper hydration you need to drink at least 8 glasses of water
A cup of coffee may slightly increase your blood pressure temporarily. But it returns
to normal levels within 2 hours after drinking it. Hence, drinking coffee in moderation
does not increase the risk of developing blood pressure in normal people.
But it may increase blood pressure in some people who already have a history of
high blood pressure. However, even though there have been previous studies, there
is still no clear answer about the association between coffee consumption and hypertension.
Although the amount of calcium in urine increases slightly after drinking coffee,
the net effect on calcium levels is negligible. This is because calcium excretion
decreases later during the day. Studies show that in moderation, drinking coffee
has no effect on bone health. In order to ensure strong and healthy bones, you should
make sure your diet contains adequate calcium, approximately, 1000 mg a day for
women aged 19-50 years.
New research shows that coffee might help relieve headache symptoms. Caffeine constricts
blood vessels and helps counter the painful effect of blood vessel dilatation in
the head, which is the main cause of a headache.
You can now put your mind at ease as recent research indicates that a moderate consumption
of caffeine (two cups a day) for pregnant women is safe. If you want more, opt for
decaf instead. It is always advisable to consult your doctor for any inquiries you
may have during your pregnancy.
Now that you have all the answers to your coffee queries, it is also good to know
that new evidence indicates that the antioxidant-rich properties of coffee can play
a protective role for the body. To enjoy the benefits of drinking coffee, just remember
to keep your intake in moderate amounts of 300mg caffeine / day, which is equivalent
to 3-4 cups.