How Much Can I Drink the coffee and Still Be Healthy
We tend to worry that coffee is intrinsically bad for us but there are actually pluses and minuses to drinking coffee. Certain studies show that drinking coffee can have a positive affect on our health. Evidence shows benefits regarding the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Other studies show a reduction in the risk of liver cancer by up to 50 % and significant reductions in mouth and throat cancer cases. Research also suggests coffee can boost long- term memory, and have preventative properties regarding cardiovascular disease and stroke. A regular cup of coffee can inhibit chances of developing Type II Diabetes. Furthermore, coffee drinking can reduce the risk of suicide in depressed patients. All this said, there are two things to be particularly mindful of. Firstly, coffee consumption in moderation may have these positive affects. An excess of caffeine intake is not so beneficial. Secondly, caffeine is a psychosomatic drug and one which requires metabolizing. The effects from drinking coffee are highly individualized. One person’s experience of drinking coffee will be entirely different from another’s.
What does in moderation mean?
Experts seem to agree that more than four cups of coffee a day is too many. Too much caffeine over long periods of time can put strain on the heart and increase blood pressure. Caffeine can be highly addictive. Even moderate coffee drinkers can build a tolerance and begin to crave more. Tolerance levels are also higher in some people than others. A smoker metabolizes caffeine quicker than a non-smoker and so, until they stop, can drink higher amounts without feeling adversely affected. Pregnant women, and anyone suffering from liver disease, will have a lower ability for metabolizing caffeine and, hence, a lower tolerance to high amounts.
What are the adverse effects of too much coffee?
Too much coffee: our minds and moods
Coffee can give us an energy hit within minutes of drinking it. The effects can last from four to six hours. The caffeine releases dopamine and adrenalin giving us a high and alerted sensation. This feels good. Until we crash. Then we often feel tired and sometimes low in mood. The crash we experience is caused by a flood of adenosine in the brain. Adenosine represses dopamine. Adenosine is part of the waking/sleeping cycle. Anyone, who experiences problems with sleep should stay away from coffee altogether. Even coffee drank in the morning can disrupt your body’s natural rhythms making it difficult to sleep at night.
For people sensitive to mind-altering substances, coffee is probably best avoided. Many people need only one cup and it upsets their ability to regulate their emotions. They feel anxious and irritable and, in some cases, experience paranoid feelings. If you are particularly stressed, it is best to avoid stimulants such as coffee. Caffeine will cause more agitation of the nervous system.
Too much coffee and our bodies
Like wise, coffee has a muscle relaxing quality – which is good news in some scenarios but not so good in others. For example, it relaxes the bowel muscles so you don’t want to drink too much if there is no toilet nearby! It is also a diuretic so if you drink too much prior to that early morning meeting, chances are you’ll have to excuse yourself to use the bathroom! Some antibiotics can lower your tolerance to caffeine so be wary of this. If you suffer from Type II Diabetes restrict your caffeine intake to 200mg daily (or less, as your doctor advises). Caffeine can disrupt your body’s ability to metabolize glucose. As caffeine activates the central nervous system it can also affect metabolism. Too much coffee will weaken the digestive system so that you store unwanted fat.
Further things to bear in mind
Your personal history and age can affect how well you can tolerate the effects of coffee. You will know when you’ve overdosed. It feels horrible. Some people even experience muscle spasms. In addition to the, already mentioned, physical affects of too much coffee, caffeine can be dehydrating. If you do not keep your body hydrated it can have an aging effect on your skin and, hence, make you look older than your years. Ensure you refresh with plenty of water in between coffees.
Cutting Out Coffee Altogether
Withdrawal symptoms can be quite acute. Even those who have only one of two coffees per day can have an unpleasant experience. People report flu-like symptoms, headaches, extreme tiredness and sleep disturbances. Withdrawal can be experienced for days or, in some cases, weeks. If you decide that you want to cut caffeine from your daily diet, it is advisable to reduce amounts first rather than going cold turkey. This should minimize the side effects. On the bright side, those who have decided to stop drinking coffee do report increased feelings of natural energy, vitality, quality sleep and balanced moods.