Coffee and health-a better understanding of what you are drinking

It is Monday and you feel not that energetic as you were traveling during the weekend or taking care of young kids or busy with housework that you want to stay longer on the bed to get better refreshed, even for 5 minutes more. But you have to get up when the alarm goes off again, as you have to catch the bus for work. You are still a bit tired and you would like to get a cup of coffee to gain energy. The instant coffee machine just bought a few days ago sort of bucks up your energy as you could get a cup of tasty coffee in no more than 5 minutes. Your energy is replenished after drinking instantly-made coffee.

This is the daily scene for most of us. As one of the world's top 3 most popular non-alcohol drinks(the other 2 are cocoa and tea), coffee has become part of our lives and helped us to get ourselves together and ready for full-day work, eliminating our fatigue. We all know it could replenish our energy and relieve tiredness. But we do not know in detail how coffee works. Here those details are revealed to deliver you a better understanding of the coffee and its relationship to your health.

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The benefits of coffee

Though there is a lot of negative news on drinking coffee, moderate coffee drinking that 2-4 cups of coffee are consumed a day could bring some benefits.

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  • Giving oneself a lift

 Coffee contains caffeine which is in general not harmful to our body ( but harmful to those who are allergic to caffeine who should keep away from coffee or only drink coffee without caffeine), provided if you are not drinking excessively. Coffee can help with keeping up our spirits. When we just arrive at the office or after a lunch break, a cup of coffee would be the best drink to enable us to stay in shape for our work through the day.

Based on some research, caffeine could benefit our bodies by:

  1. Enhancing the logical thinking ability.
  2. Possibly lowering the risk of developing Parkinson's disease and Alzhemimers.
  3. Possibly preventing you from suffering from gallstones by promoting postprandial gallbladder contraction and emptying and reducing the formation of cholesterol which might generate gallstones.   
  4. Boosting one’s energy.
  5. Activating the central nervous system.
  • Improving metabolism

   Drinking coffee will help stimulate the central nervous system, refresh the brain and shorten our reaction time, which leads to the acceleration of the human body’s metabolism. Thus the fat or calorie are burnt in a faster way. That means drinking coffee could help us lose weight to a certain extent.

Improves athletic performance in aerobic and anaerobic conditions (However, it is not recommended to drink caffeine when someone prepares for the sports event. It is just unfair to all the competitors.)

  • Boosting bowl movement

 It is proven that coffee consumption would help enhance our bowel movement by provoking or activating our digestive systems. Sometimes when we encounter constipation, a cup of espresso would help stimulate our bowel movement. However, please keep in mind, if you are regularly constipated, better consult your doctor for medical advice and do not just have the illusions of drinking coffee to solve those kinds of issues. Besides, you have to note that if drinking coffee results in often going to the bathroom and even diarrhea, you are likely allergic to coffee and should stop drinking it.

  • Diuresis

Coffee helps boost urination and cut down the risk for kidney stones.

  • Nourishing the stomach and improving the functions of digestive systems.

Coffee is pretty good after the meal when you have consumed lots of greasy food, such as meat and seafood. Those things are hard to digest and could be a burden to our digestive systems. Coffee will improve the movement of our stomach and intestines and nourish our digestive systems to eliminate that greasy food in a more efficient way. But we can not always consider coffee as any type of medicine. As going beyond the limit is as bad as falling short, we should pay attention to the amount of coffee we drink every day and identify the most suitable amount for us.

  • Nutritive value

The nutritive value of coffee stems from its main components which are fat (non-esterified fatty acid), protein, carbohydrate, inorganic salt gallotannic acid, magnesium, etc. Drinking coffee helps with oxidation resistance with antioxidants inside coffee beans and this effect would be stronger if the coffee beans are roasted, as antioxidants are increased after this process. Magnesium and antioxidants together would lower the blood sugar level and possibly reduce the risk of diabetes.

The original taste of coffee is bitter, with a peculiar smell, containing alkaloids such as caffeol and caffeine, which are used as medicines for anesthesia, diuresis, and cardiotonic drug. Coffee drinks are much healthier than energy drinks and one can drink coffee each day.

  • Benefits to skin

That nutrition from coffee is what our body lacks in and it could boost our metabolism and activate the digestive systems’ function, which could be greatly helpful to constipation. Even some research suggests that using ground coffee while showering is one kind of thermotherapy that might help lose weight.

  • Prevention of gallstones

Caffeine inside coffee could stimulate gallbladder contraction and reduce the cholesterol level which leads to gallstones. There is research displaying that 3 or 4 cups a day could help men lower the risk of getting gallstones. But everyone should notice that firstly coffee is not a medicine and one should never consider it as a cure for any kind of disease. Secondly, coffee is not for everyone and anyone who does not feel well after drinking coffee should get away from it. Thirdly, never drink coffee excessively that once a certain limit is reached, a change in the opposite direction is inevitable. For more details on the side effect of drinking coffee, the readers could find them in the following context.

Negative sides of drinking coffee

Coffee lovers are all around the world. According to Science, there are 2.2 billion cups of coffee consumed on a daily basis. But still coffee is not for everyone. Coffee could bring about plenty of benefits as we have discussed above but at the same time, it might cause some negative effects on some people’s bodies. Here we would like to introduce some negative sides to drinking coffee.

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  • The risk of heart disease

The heart is the most important organ to our body it is the engine of our body. It provides blood circulation for the whole body. And the blood carried the nutrition from our digestive systems to all of our organs at the same time to carry off all the “rubbish” or toxic or “waste” generated by all of our organs, so to refresh our whole body. That means the great significance of the functions of our heart. Heart disease is a relatively common type of circulatory system disease. The circulatory system is composed of the heart, blood vessels, and neurohumoral tissues that regulate blood circulation. Circulatory system diseases are also called cardiovascular diseases, including all the diseases of the above-mentioned tissues and organs. They are common diseases in internal medicine, of which heart disease is the most common. Heart disease can significantly affect the patient's labor force. The heart is affected by external or internal factors that cause disease, such as coronary atherosclerotic heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, pulmonary heart disease, infectious heart disease, endocrine heart disease, hematological heart disease, nutritional metabolic heart disease, etc.

Some research, however, suggests that to some people, coffee consumption would lead to the risk of getting heart disease as the contents inside coffee would stimulate the heart. So people with heart problems should avoid drinking coffee. Or if they really love it, try to get advice from their doctors. When you feel uncomfortable after drinking some coffee, you should go to the hospital immediately and consult your doctor. Do not hide anything from your physician. It is always the greatest thing to ourselves that is to cure a disease before it is worse.

  • Risk of getting osteoporosis

It is suggested by some research that drinking a lot of coffee would cause bone degeneration (osteoporosis). Osteoporosis means the bone density and bone quality are reduced, the bone micro-structure is destroyed, and the bone fragility is increased so that the systemic bone disease is prone to fractures. Symptoms of osteoporosis are ache, deformation of the spinal column, and bone fractures. People who have Osteoporosis may have lower back pain or body aches, pain that aggravates, or restricted movement. When the body load increases, there would be difficulties in turning over, sitting up, and walking in severe cases. People with severe osteoporosis may have shortened height and hunch back. Compression fractures of the vertebral body can cause thoracic deformities, compression of the abdomen, and affect cardiopulmonary function. Fractures that occur without trauma or minor trauma are fragility fractures. It is a low-energy or non-violent fractures, such as a fracture from a station height or less than a station height, or a fracture that occurs due to other daily activities. The common sites for fragility fractures are the thorax, lumbar spine, hip, radius, distal ulna, and proximal humerus.

And this could happen to some ladies after menopause. Bone density might not be maintained for a lot of ladies after menopause. Thus it is likely for them to get osteoporosis. And drinking coffee would result in calcium losses that lowering the bone density. If they drink a lot of coffee on daily basis, there would be more calcium losses so the high probability of getting the risk of osteoporosis. That means to maintain a healthy body and enjoy a better middle-age life, ladies after menopause are suggested to drink less coffee. Just take water as the replacement.

  • Risk of getting gastric disease

Stomach disease is a collective term for many stomach-related diseases. They have similar symptoms, such as upper abdominal gastric discomfort, pain, fullness after meals, belching, acid regurgitation, and even nausea and vomiting. Common clinical gastric diseases include acute gastritis, chronic gastritis, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, gastroduodenal compound ulcer, gastric polyps, gastric calculi, benign and malignant tumors of the stomach, as well as gastric mucosal prolapse, acute stomach dilation, pyloric obstruction, etc. The most common are upper abdominal discomfort or pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. The symptoms of gastritis and duodenal ulcer are burning pain in the upper abdomen, especially between two meals, before breakfast, or after drinking orange juice or coffee. Severe cases may have tarry stools, black stools, or bloody stools.

Caffeine from coffee can cause increased stomach acid. For some people who have stomach problems themselves, drinking coffee can make them worse, especially those with gastric ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux, and other diseases, which can make this disease more serious. Therefore, people with stomach problems should drink less coffee in order to maintain their health.

  • Reducing the pregnancy rate

For young women, drinking coffee regularly could also be quite negative for the body that it could easily lead to a lower chance of pregnancy. For some women who want to have a baby, they should drink less coffee as much as possible, so as to keep the body healthy and so that they could successfully conceive and be a mother-to-be.

  • Reducing sleep quality

Many people are worried about caffeine. Caffeine can be mentioned as refreshing and refreshing, and it is precise because of this effect of caffeine that it may also affect our sleep. The metabolism of caffeine takes about 8-12 hours. If you drink coffee at dinner, half of the caffeine is metabolized in the body when you sleep, and the remaining half of the coffee will affect sleep. One wants to sleep, but he or she can't fall asleep. It feels uncomfortable at all.

Coffee is particularly effective for refreshing and anti-fatigue, but it also has certain disadvantages, so you should usually choose whether to drink coffee according to your own indications. In addition, you should pay attention to the following suggestion when drinking coffee.

Suggestion to drink coffee:

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  • As old saying goes: “Things will develop in the opposite direction when they become extreme.” The first thing we need to learn is to drink the right amount of coffee each day. Pay attention to how you feel after consuming a cup off coffee. If there are any side effects such as dizziness, diarrhea, Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, digestive upsets, cutaneous and mucous symptoms (such as urticaria, eczema, dermatitis allergic, seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, peliosis and so on), respiratory symptoms (such as Allergic Rhinitis, Allergic asthma), anaphylactic shock and any other negative feelings, indicating you might be allergic to caffeine, you should stop drinking coffee or any type of tea which contain caffeine.
  • You need to choose the right time to drink coffee. Coffee can recharge our body and make us feel energetic, and this kind of effect might last for a few hours for a lot of people. So it is not suggested to drink coffee in the evening or when you are planning to go to bed soon. If you drink coffee at night, it is easy to be in a state of excitement when you sleep, which makes it difficult to fall asleep quickly, resulting in poor mental health on the second day.
  • Coffee is not suitable for those who have a heart disease. Espresso will speed up the heartbeat, cause irregular heartbeat, excitement, insomnia, affect rest, and is detrimental to the recovery of physical strength. People with arrhythmia and neurasthenia should not drink coffee, especially at night. Drinking coffee can increase blood lipids and promote arteriosclerosis. People suffering from arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and heart disease should not drink coffee. Drinking coffee and sugar can induce disorders of glucose metabolism. Because sugar can promote the synthesis of lipids in the liver, increase the concentration of serum cholesterol, promote arteriosclerosis, increase blood pressure, induce glucose metabolism disorders, and even diabetes.  Drinking coffee in moderation can relieve fatigue and is good for the skin. However, drinking large amounts of coffee may cause heart disease and aggravate high blood pressure. Coffee is an exciting and stimulating drink that can increase blood pressure, increase the excitability of the nervous system, increase the heart rate, and even induce arrhythmia, thereby increasing the burden on the heart and impairing the function of myocardial valves. For people with heart diseases such as high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, drinking coffee can easily cause myocardial ischemia, palpitations, and even severe angina pectoris. Coffee contains caffeine, which can be regarded as a kind of stimulant, which can cause excitement, and affect the heart rate. People with heart disease need a comfortable and quiet living environment and should not be too excited. It is better not to drink coffee for patients with heart disease to put their health first.
  • Coffee is not for teenage. Due to the incomplete development of the liver and kidney of children and poor detoxification ability, the half-life period of caffeine metabolism will be prolonged. Therefore, generally speaking, children under 12 years of age need to prohibit the intake of caffeine. Even Europeans and Americans who drink coffee as boiled water all day long have strict restrictions on children drinking coffee. Adults can't drink too much, let alone children! Drinking it will also affect physical development, and teenagers will not grow taller! The caffeine in coffee is actually a central nervous excitatory substance. This substance changes the degree of nerve excitement of a person. When a person is normal in childhood, nerve excitement does not need to be changed. If forced to change, it will affect the future that would cause a certain psychological impact. That is to say, there will be a psychological shadow, which will temporarily or permanently change the child's personality and cause artificial distortion. I believe you must not want to see this situation. While coffee excites the central nervous system, it also inhibits the secretion of certain glandular hormones in the brain. Children who often drink coffee will definitely affect their growth and development. The substance in coffee inhibits the absorption of calcium and affects the child's bone development. Coffee increases the metabolic pressure of the liver and the excretion pressure of the kidneys, which has a greater impact on the development of children's organs. Coffee does not contain essential nutrients for children.

To sum up, it is best not to drink under 12 years old.

  • Ladies who are preparing for pregnancy should not drink coffee. Excessive intake of caffeine by women will reduce the secretion of estrogen and decrease the level of estrogen in the body, which may adversely affect the ovulation function of the ovary, thereby reducing the chance of conception. It is understood that, on average, young women who drink more than 3 cups of coffee a day have a 27% lower chance of conception than women who never drink coffee; young women who drink 2 cups of coffee a day have a 10% lower chance of conception than women who do not drink coffee. Therefore, it is better not to drink coffee when preparing for pregnancy.
  • It is not suggested for ladies who are pregnant to drink coffee which could lead to miscarriage or premature delivery or even fetal malformations.
  • Women and the elderly after menopause are not recommended to drink coffee. Excessive caffeine can lead to the loss of calcium. Drinking by the elderly can cause osteoporosis and increase the chance of fractures. After menopause, the body needs more than 10 times more calcium than before menopause, so after menopause women and the elderly are better not to drink coffee.
  • Patients with gastric ulcer are not suggested to drink coffee. Caffeine stimulates the secretion of gastric acid. If patients with gastric ulcer drink too much coffee, it will worsen the course of peptic ulcer. If you drink coffee on an empty stomach, it will cause hyperacidity and aggravate the condition. Therefore, it is best not to drink coffee drinks for patients with gastric ulcer.

To conclude, it is impossible to list all those types of people who should not drink or drink less coffee in this article. But here is one thing we all should know. If we have a certain disease or we have worries about coffee consumption, we need to consult our doctor on drinking coffee. If we consume coffee and find that there are some side effects shown by our body, we should know that the body is telling us not to drink coffee. We need to stop drinking it and go to see the doctor. All in all, when we have any kind of negative body condition, we need to pay close attention to and go to see the doctor. Health comes first.

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