The Impact of Coffee on Your Day

If you think about it, most people drink coffee. Maybe some drink it once in a while, maybe some drink it daily. But the truth is drinking coffee has become a habit most of us forget we even have. 

You don’t believe me? 

Then let me ask you this: What’s your morning routine like? 

Your alarm rings, you wake up and get ready for the day. This process might include going for a quick jog, taking a shower, eating breakfast, or drinking coffee

Let’s say you don’t usually have your coffee at home. But you might buy it on your way to work, or your company might have one of those fancy coffee machines that’s going to make you a chocolate mochaccino with a double shot of espresso and extra cream. 

Now, drinking a cup of coffee per day isn’t all that bad. But the issues arise when you start drinking more. You might start having irregular sleep patterns, which will only leave you feeling more and more tired. So you reach for more coffee, which disturbs your sleep further. Other health issues could start appearing as well, and you might not even realise that they are all caused by your coffee intake. 

To better understand how coffee affects our bodies and how we can protect ourselves, let’s try to understand first what is coffee and how it works: 

 

Going Over the Basics of Coffee

It’s hard not to know what coffee is. Even if you’re not a big coffee drinker, you’ve probably still had to brew coffee at least once in your lifetime. But to start off on the right foot, let’s break it down.

Coffee is prepared from roasted coffee beans, which mainly come from two plants: Coffea canephora and Coffea arabica. Of course, these are not the only plants that produce coffee beans, but they are the most popular. 

Once roasted to the desired degree, the coffee beans are ground up and brewed with near boiling water. The result is the drink that many of us love — coffee. 

The main compounds that can be found in coffee are: 

  • Caffein (this is the molecule that has the stimulant effect on our body)
  • β-carboline
  • Harmane

 

How Does It Affect Your Body?

Like many of the things we ingest, coffee provokes certain reactions within our bodies. This is to be expected, as we usually drink coffee to get energised. But what exactly happens to our bodies when we drink coffee? And what are the long term effects that it has on us? 

Well, to simplify the process, once in the liver, caffeine is converted to paraxanthine, theobromine, and theophylline. The metabolism of caffeine basically depends on the enzyme system within each person’s liver.

But what happens once caffeine is metabolised and reaches different tissues?

The most important system that caffeine stimulates is the central nervous system. Usually, coffee makes us more alert. But the nervous system is not the only one affected. 

Caffeine also has an impact on:

  • The digestive system
  • The circulatory and respiratory systems
  • The skeletal system
  • The muscular system
  • The reproductive system

It has a half-life of around 5 hours, which means one or two cups in the afternoon can still be impacting your body and acting as a stimulant come bed time.

 

Is It Good for You?

There have been a lot of studies done on caffeine and its impact on the human body. Many believe that it is unhealthy and even toxic, although this can be a relevant criticism about most things consumed in excess. So not too dissimilar to alcohol.

Like eating fast food for example. Treating yourself to a burger once in a while isn’t going to cause irreparable damage to your body. But eating one every single day… now that might become a problem. You might soon start gaining weight, your cholesterol levels could start to rise, the risks of digestive issues and other health related issues might increase. 

So this brings us to two very important points:

1. How much coffee should we drink?

According to the experts, the human body can take up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This would be about four cups of coffee. But just because you can safely drink four cups of coffee daily doesn’t mean you have to do it. 

I would personally recommend one cup of coffee per day. Also, you should avoid drinking coffee after midday because it might impact your sleep. These are the best practices, but keep in mind that everybody is different and what works for some might not work for others

But what happens when you consume excessive amounts of coffee on a daily basis? This can provoke adverse reactions such as: headaches, insomnia, vomiting, heartburn, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, higher risk of miscarrige, and even hallucinations.

 

2. What kind of coffee should we drink?

So you know how much coffee you should drink. Now you only need to know what kind.

If you want to tell me that all coffee is pretty much the same, let me stop you for a quick moment. Let’s take another look at the example above. Now, I think we can agree that eating a burger from McDonald’s isn’t the same as eating a burger from a local restaurant that uses premium organic beef and fresh ingredients. 

Quite obviously, the local restaurant will have healthier (and tastier) options. It’s the same thing with coffee.

So then, what kind of coffee should you drink? 

When picking your coffee, try to go for high quality free trade organic coffee. Also, the healthiest way to drink coffee is to drink it black, without adding any milk or refined sugars.

 

Bottom Line

Drinking coffee might not be seen as a huge risk, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. This essentially means lowering your intake of caffeine and drinking better quality coffee. But if your habit is to drink three cups or more of coffee a day, putting a stop to that might not be as easy as it seems. 

This is where life coaches like me come in. I can help you replace bad habits with good ones, and this includes stopping excessive caffeine consumption. So if you want to live a healthier and more balanced life, don’t be afraid to reach out. Change starts with you. 

Also, check back in next month to see our new decaf coffee plans!