Another day has begun – your arm stretches out to stop the incessant buzz of the alarm clock, you drag yourself out of bed (oh yes, you are still groggy with sleep), and proceed to switch on the coffee maker.  As you finish your morning ablutions, the scintillating aroma of freshly made coffee fills your senses, and you yearn to take your first sip of the day.  Within minutes, you are fully awake, alert, and ready to face the world. 

This scene is played out across millions of households around the world, every day.  What is it about these little brown beans that get’s one going?  Why do you suddenly feel alive and energetic after your coffee?  Is that cup of coffee good for you, or is it bad?  Have you ever wondered what happens to your physical and mental state when you drink too much Java?

Instant Effects of Coffee

Within 15 minutes of finishing your cup of coffee, your blood pressure goes up by 10 to 15 percent.

The presence of caffeine and steroids in your blood stimulates your bladder and bowels, along with increasing your gastric secretions by 10 to 15 percent.  This in turn allows you to digest your food faster.  Do know that caffeine makes your body produce more adrenaline, thus boosting your overall physical performance.  It also stimulates your brain cells to make you more alert mentally. Yet another effect of coffee intake is that it causes your pupils to dilate, thereby leading to sharper vision, and for a longer period of time.

Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee

Just like everything else, there are advantages and disadvantages of drinking coffee.  Oft praised to high heavens, and also mocked down to the lowest levels, there are numerous myths surrounding the benefits and drawbacks linked to this beverage.  Decades of research on the pros and cons of coffee consumption (and its effects) have thrown good light on this subject.  However, this research is nowhere near finished and the jury is still out on the final judgment.  Read on to find out the little that we know about the pros and cons of consuming coffee – the beverage that has found favor with over 100 million consumers in the US alone.

Caffeine and YOU: Instant Boost?

Coffee contains caffeine – the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance globally.  The intake of caffeine increases adrenaline levels in the body, leading to a boost in your physical performance.  After being absorbed in your bloodstream, it moves to your brain where it blocks Adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This leads to the release of other neurotransmitters that fire more neurons.  The result is an improvement in various functions of the brain like mood swings, overall energy levels, memory, vigilance, and other general cognitive functions.

Increases BMR—Body Metabolic Rate

Caffeine is also responsible for boosting your BMR by 3 to 11 percent. It brings about an increase in the burning of body fat, by as much as 10 percent.  The release of adrenaline due to caffeine intake stimulates the nervous system, causes it to send signals to the fat cells to break down body fat, and releases fat into the bloodstream – where it becomes available as fuel for the body to use.

Power Packed with Nutrients to Decrease Risk of Ailments

Coffee contains various nutrients like Potassium, Magnesium, Riboflavin, Niacin and Pantothenic Acid.  Research has shown that coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.  Studies have shown that drinking coffee may help in decreasing the risk of developing prostate cancer and endometrial cancer too.

What’s Bad about Coffee?

However, everything’s not good about coffee. Regular intake of coffee, made with ripped or ruined beans, can lead to headaches, sickness and an overall bad feeling.  Caffeine in high doses; around 10-13 grams, will certainly kill you.  The good news is that to accumulate such high levels of caffeine in your system;you would need to drink about 80-100 cups of coffee at a time, which is nearly impossible.

Babies are highly sensitive to caffeine and there is not enough data on its effect on the fetus. This should give you very good reason to steer clear of its addiction if you are pregnant.  Caffeine is also responsible for causing restlessness and insomnia.  According to your DNA, the recommended amount of caffeine that is good for you is averages around 400 milligrams.  That converts to about 4 cups of coffee, across 24 hours.  Coffee beans also contain Kahweol and Cafestol that are responsible for raising your overall LDL cholesterol levels.  So, it goes without saying that those with high cholesterol should avoid drinking it at all.

Now that we are aware of the good, bad and the ugly of coffee drinking – take a pause; and think about how your body reacts to that beverage. If it is all good for you – then what are you waiting for? Go ahead, wake up and smell your caffeine!

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