What could be better in the morning than waking up to the smell of coffee? Most of us grew up with and we drink an average of 2 cups of coffee per day per person. How healthy or unhealthy is coffee I wonder as I sit with a cappuccino at my computer. I'm not talking about the sugar and milk we also add, but about the pure coffee.
What we all know is that coffee contains caffeine. Caffeine is a substance that in small amounts can improve concentration and performance and can help fight fatigue. Caffeine can improve your memory and alertness but this involves minor differences. Athletes can benefit from caffeine by prolonged exertion.
Caffeine is also found in energy drinks, cola, iced tea, chocolate and cocoa. How much caffeine a cup of coffee or tea contains depends on the type, strength and size of the cup. Where an Americano (125 ml) contains approximately 85 mg of caffeine, an espresso (50 ml) contains 60 mg of caffeine. A mug of tea (150 ml) contains 38 mg of caffeine.
Caffeine is quickly absorbed into your body. 3 to 4 minutes after you drink it you can already find it in your blood. The effect of caffeine lasts from a ½ hour until 2½ hours.
Excess intake of caffeine, however, can also have adverse effects, such as restlessness, headache, insomnia or stomach problems. Research shows that no complaints are experienced at 400 mg per day in general. This can of course vary by person. Caffeine may have a negative effect on people who suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or gastrointestinal complaints. Listening to your body is still important. Where one person can drink six cups of coffee a day without any consequences, the other feels already restless or chased after two cups.
The way in which a cup of coffee is made can also have further advantages and disadvantages. Coffee that has been filtered contains less of the substances cafestol and kahweol. These substances may raise your "bad" cholesterol. Espresso and Nespresso coffee contain more cafestol than filtered coffee.
The good news is that drinking two to four cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. Also drinking five cups of coffee a day may cause a lower risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes. With this it does not matter whether you drink decaffeinated coffee or not. Coffee also contributes to maintain your hydration.
All in all not such a bad habit, drinking coffee. So who wants another cup?