Coffee, the most widely consumed beverage in the world, is sometimes accused of all evils and sometimes praised for its many virtues. But then, is coffee good for you? Effects, mode of action, precautions, maximum quantity to drink… We tell you everything.
what is caffeine?
Caffeine is the active ingredient in coffee, a substance with important physiological actions since it is responsible for the consequences of coffee on your body. It is quickly absorbed and assimilated and its effects are quickly manifested in the brain. It is eliminated in a few hours at the urinary level. It should be noted that the latter is not only present in coffee, but also in tea, cocoa, kola (nuts) and certain medicines.
Where does the coffee come from?
Coffee is a tropical shrub grown for its fruits called “cherries” containing pulp and green coffee beans. The roasting of the latter will develop the much sought-after and characteristic smell of coffee. There are several varieties of coffee
If coffee has undeniable health benefits, there are a few drawbacks. Indeed, coffee consumption can cause:
an increase in heart rate,
palpitations in sensitive people.
it can potentiate the effect of certain drugs such as aspirin or certain antihistamines. Vigilance is required!
Its association with risk factors such as alcohol or tobacco can have an impact on the occurrence of cancers.
Some studies suggest that the more caffeine consumed, the higher the risk of bladder, colon and rectal cancer.
Excessive coffee consumption is thought to promote conjunctivitis, rhinitis, asthma and atopic dermatitis. It is said to increase cholesterol levels, promote hypertension, and cause eye pressure problems in people at risk of glaucoma. It would increase the risk of coronary heart disease, miscarriages and stillbirths…
Consuming more than 6 cups per day would increase the risk of meningeal bleeding in brain aneurysm carriers.
Finally, coffee has a negative influence on the quality of sleep. Coffee has interesting medical properties. But like all substances, it is better not to abuse them and limit your consumption to 2 or 3 cups a day.
If coffee provides energy, it also prevents you from sleeping. Drinking this drink too late in the day does not allow you to have a restful sleep.
Caffeine delays and reduces the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. It is in charge of regulating chronobiological rhythms and is synthesized during the night. Coffee disrupts this natural rhythm.
Coffee Not a perfect drink
Coffee may increase the risk of fracture in women. But this analysis has yet to be proven, as women would already have a greater predisposition for this type of injury.
During pregnancy, a large quantity of coffee can have negative effects, especially on children.
CAFFEINE, ANXIETY AND INSOMNIA
Caffeine is mainly a stimulant of the central nervous system. It increases mental alertness and helps to stay awake longer. In addition, studies have shown that caffeine consumption causes side effects in some more sensitive people: insomnia, headaches, irritability and nervousness. In particular, it increases the time to fall asleep, reduces the depth of sleep and lowers the threshold for waking up. In other words, caffeine lowers our threshold for perceiving fatigue. A dose of only 100 mg can delay sleep, especially for people who don’t often consume caffeine or who already have insomnia. Regarding long-term excessive caffeine intake, two diagnoses are recognized by the American Psychological Association: caffeine-induced insomnia and caffeine-induced anxiety.
CAFFEINE, HEART DISEASE AND HYPERTENSION
Caffeine is also a stimulant of the cardiovascular system. It causes an acceleration of the heart rate which can cause palpitations and an increase in blood pressure, such an increase being about 6 to 8 mm
Hg per 250 mg of caffeine. People with heart problems, especially cardiac arrhythmias, should limit their caffeine intake, as should those with high blood pressure who do not respond to treatment. Some people, genetically predisposed, metabolize caffeine more slowly than the general population. In terms of heart disease, these people are therefore at greater risk than those who metabolize it rapidly. This genetic characteristic in the population may explain the sometimes conflicting results obtained in studies on the effects of caffeine.
CAFFEINE AND DIABETES
In diabetics, after-meal caffeine consumption of 250 mg (1 to 2 cups of coffee) can increase blood glucose levels. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see people consume two coffees after their meal, whereas before the quantities were smaller. It should also be noted that the method of coffee preparation influences the caffeine content. Indeed, an instant coffee contains no more than 100 mg of caffeine, while a filter coffee can contain almost twice as much.
CAFFEINE AND RISK OF FRACTURES
A recent meta-analysis concludes that caffeine appears to affect bone mass, especially in women, when calcium intakes are insufficient. Caffeine is believed to increase calcium excretion in urine and feces, while decreasing calcium absorption by the intestine.
CAFFEINE, REFLUX AND STOMACH ULCERS
Caffeine, by increasing gastric acid production in the stomach, can aggravate gastroesophageal reflux disease and stomach ulcers. But be careful, decaffeinated coffee can also cause stomach problems, as other coffee compounds (methylxanthins) also increase acid secretion in the stomach.
CAFFEINE, DIARRHEA AND FECAL INCONTINENCE
Caffeine, which relaxes the muscles of the internal anal sphincter, should not be taken by people with diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and fecal incontinence.
CAFFEINE AND HYDRATION
Above a certain amount of caffeine per day, 225 mg (equivalent to 1- 2 cups of coffee or 5-6 cups of tea), there is an increase in urine production,