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Is coffee good for us?

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Across the world, billions of people drink coffee. The reasons vary from enjoying the taste to needing the stimulate effect to wake-up. But is coffee, or to be more accurate caffeine, good for us?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee and cacao plants. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping us to stay alert and prevent the onset of tiredness. Around 80% of the world's population consume some form of caffeinated drink on a daily basis.

Many studies have been conducted exploring the effects of caffeine on the body, including whether it can support weight-loss. Here, we shall explore some of the main findings.

  1. Caffeine has been found to lower the risk of depression. This is due to the effects it has on the brain and how it can have a positive affect on our moods.

  2. Caffeine can stimulate brain function and suppress the chemicals that make us feel tired. This then gives us the feeling of being alert and more energised.

  3. The increased brain stimulation from caffeine, has some benefits to protect us against the possibility of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

  4. Because of its ability to stimulate the central nervous system, caffeine may increase metabolism by up to 11% and fat burning by up to 13%. Putting this into context, one cup of coffee can lead to our bodies burning an addition 60 calories.

  5. Consuming small amounts of caffeine, about an hour before exercise, is likely to improve exercise performance.

However, there is a downside to caffeine. Due to its ability to stimulate brain and nervous system function, some people may experience:

1. Anxiety - this is due to heightened sense of being alert.

2. Restlessness - the caffeine makes us feel too energenersied and we are unable to rest and relax.

3. Trouble with sleeping - the suppression of chemicals in our brains to help us relax and fall to sleep.

The key is to know our bodies and act accordingly. If we find getting to sleep hard, then we should limit the consumption of coffee to the morning or even remove it from our diet entirely.

Everything we eat and drink will have both positive and negative affects. it is important to remember, balance is the key. Too much of a good thing can be bad for us, including caffeine!

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