Coffee’s impact on your health isn’t so bitter after all

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By Claudia Dupé, 3rd year English

The Croft Magazine // After much confusion and debate, health experts have tipped the balance in favour of coffee and are even advocating it as part of a healthy lifestyle.

For most of us, a day without coffee doesn’t exist. Whether it’s black and bitter; frothy and sweet; hot or iced, there is never a time or place which doesn’t beckon a cuppa. The first thing I do in the morning is switch on the kettle and pour myself a black coffee to kick-start my day.

Of course, caffeine is a drug and can be addictive. Therefore, like a lot of things in life, it’s only good for us in moderation.

However, I have often been warned of the negative effects of caffeine and how coffee shouldn’t be part of a daily routine.

But now, after much confusion and debate, health experts have tipped the balance in favour of coffee and are even advocating it as part of a healthy lifestyle. Next time someone calls you out for the amount of money you spend on coffee you can tell them it’s part of a health investment plan.

Coffee is rich with powerful antioxidants which fight off diseases.

Here’s a breakdown of the positive effects of coffee on our health:

  • Caffeine: The average cup of coffee contains 120-200mg of caffeine. Health professionals recommend a maximum of 400mg of caffeine a day, meaning around 3-5 cups of coffee a day is a-okay. Caffeine is a natural stimulant which increases brain functioning levels such as your ability to focus and it even improves memory.
  • Antioxidants and vitamins: Coffee is rich with powerful antioxidants which fight off diseases. Surprisingly, it also contains lots of vitamins and minerals. Science says it’s good for your gut, helps protect your liver and skin.
  • Longer and healthier life: Lowers risk of diseases such as heart disease and alzheimers.
  • Mood: Can improve your mood and put you at a lower risk of depression.
  • Skin: Dermatologists recommend its anti-inflammatory benefits which improves skin by reducing puffiness and redness.
  • Exercise enhancer: Workouts can feel easier - if that’s even possible - when fuelled by coffee.

Of course, caffeine is a drug and can be addictive. Therefore, like a lot of things in life, it’s only good for us in moderation. So maybe after your 5th cup of coffee for the day, it’s time to relax and opt for a non-caffeine fuelled beverage instead.

Here are some of the negative side effects that shouldn’t be ignored:

  • Caffeine-induced shakes: We’ve all been there. That last cup of coffee was just one too many and suddenly you’re buzzing from a huge caffeine rush. Caffeine tolerance is also down to genetics, meaning some people are simply more receptive to its effects. Make sure you eat well, maintain a healthy diet, stay hydrated and don’t have back-to-back coffees.
  • Anxiety: For some, caffeine can trigger anxiety. If this is the case for you, reducing your caffeine intake may be more beneficial for your wellbeing. Try switching to a more calming beverage such as peppermint tea.
  • Sleep: If you aren’t planning on pulling an all-nighter to meet that deadline, then maybe don’t drink coffee too late during the day. To state the obvious, coffee is good at keeping you alert, not drifting you off to sleep.

Featured: Chelsie Craig


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