Most of us fancy drinking coffee whether it is served cold or hot. But how much do we know about the coffee we’re drinking? I used to work in a coffee shop in my college days as a part-time Barista. It is one of the famous international coffee shops in the world. They served not only coffees but as well as teas, cold blended drinks, gourmet and some pastries. I really enjoyed working in that shop because I learned something from their company. I’ve managed to prepare gourmet foods, mix coffees, and ice blended teas, not the regular way we make our own in our home. Studying the company’s product which enables me to understand the story behind their main product–Coffee. Understanding how coffee is made of and knowing the different types of coffee beans making me aware of the type of beverage I’m drinking.
What is coffee bean?
What is coffee is made of by the way? As we’ve always seen it in the advertisements, companies provide information about how their coffee is made of. The coffee bean is a seed of a piece of fruit, known as a coffee cherry and termed as “stone-fruit” or “beans”. The caffeine is one of the active ingredients of coffee; a psychoactive and neuro-stimulating substance which help maintain cognitive functions of an individual. The two most popular commercial species of coffees; Arabica and Robusta and these two are not created equally. Robusta coffee consist of 1.7-4% caffeine content, is bitter in flavor, less sophisticated and is more caffeinated than Arabica. It is commonly used in commercial coffees while Arabica coffee consist of 0.8-1.4% caffeine, has a smoother, flavorful taste and is highly regarded than robusta. The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine and is slightly acidic and can have a stimulating effect on humans because of its content.
Benefits of drinking coffee:
Coffee can make you smart and help prevent cognitive decline. The caffeine found in coffee stimulates the brain helping you to be alert and boost your memory. According to US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, this may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, slower progression of dementia and may reduces the risk of Type II Diabetes when coffee is taken in moderation.
Coffee may help curb certain cancers. Compounds like hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols are one of the several powerful antioxidants found in coffee. According to the study, antioxidants may help protect the cells against free radicals that could be responsible for some certain tumors like liver, breast and colorectal cancer.
Coffee can enhance your physical performance. Coffee intake can incline your adrenaline, maximizing your endurance during the period of activity or work-out. Due to its caffeine content, it can stimulate the brain and contributes to clearer thinking and greater concentration. It may also fight fatigue after exercise.
Reasons to quit coffee:
Coffee disturbs digestion. Upset stomach or indigestion mainly occurs when coffee is taken on an empty stomach. The acidity found in coffee irritate the stomach and perhaps to other organs as well. This is associated with digestive discomfort, dysbiosis (imbalance in your gut flora), GERD and heartburn. The reason most people halt from drinking it.
Coffee causes dehydration. The effect of caffeine in our system dehydrates our body. Anyone who drinks coffee should be aware and drink plenty of water.
Coffee causes irritability. To some people drinking coffee causes tremors, fatigue, exhaustion or muscular tension, anxiety or nervousness. The caffeine in it stimulates the flow of stress hormones to increase the factors aforementioned.
Coffee causes insomnia. Caffeine refuels our bodies and stimulates our brain which can interfere with sleep. The caffeine in the coffee will make you stay up for long impacting your sleep quality making you tired throughout the day–and less productive.
Coffee may cause a headache. Overuse of caffeine can cause headaches and lead to migraines. Though on an occasional basis, caffeine can relieve headache symptoms but too much substance caffeine can trigger a what so-called “caffeine rebound“ a headache when coffee is consumed excessively.
Coffee causes wrinkles. Too much caffeine can cause wrinkle as it inhibits collagen production in the skin. This is a result of dehydration. To ensure that you have your water paired when having your coffee which means you’ll gain weight more easily than someone with ‘normal’ metabolism.
Coffee can cause weight gain. Drinking too much coffee intentionally slowing down your metabolism. Caffeine stresses your adrenal glands–cortisol, the glands that balance metabolism and manages immune function. Adrenal glands work cooperatively with your thyroid and not having enough thyroid hormone tend to slow down your metabolism.
Coffee may increase blood pressure. If you have hypertension, drinking caffeinated coffee does transiently raises blood pressure or heart disease. Caffeine can increase your blood pressure even if you don’t have high blood pressure. Drinking caffeinated coffee may increase blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, this effect might be less in people who drink coffee regularly.
Coffee may cause cardiovascular disease. Coffee may trigger a heart attack in some people and is associated with an increased risk of heart disease due to the amount of cholesterol and other fats in the blood. Apparently, caffeine may cause more forceful heart contractions and decreases insulin sensitivity makes it difficult for the cells of your body to regulate blood sugar. It is not sure if this has any long-term health implications except for those with existing health conditions.
Coffee may worsen GERD. Coffee is naturally acidic and it stimulates gastric acid secretion in your digestive system. Some people who experience symptoms of acid reflux, GERD, or people who can’t manage the natural acidity of coffee should refrain or minimize from drinking coffee and other caffeinated drinks. This may only lead to heartburn even in those with mild cases of GERD. For more additional information, you may also read further regarding GERD.
Coffee may reduce fertility in women. A study showed that caffeine can reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant by about 27% according to the study from The University of Nevada School of Medicine.
Caffeine and miscarriage risk. Women may slightly be increased the risks of a miscarriage when consumed at least two caffeinated beverages a day during the weeks prior to conception. A new study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University, Columbus says that caffeine consumption prior to pregnancy contribute to pregnancy loss or is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage.
I am also a coffee lover for such a long time and I didn’t even think of the benefits of it, I just simply love it. Perhaps I drink coffee for leisure, because of its delicious taste and the aroma of it are pleasurable in my nose and improves my mood. It is my booster~ at least for a short period. But that has changed when I was suffering from GERD a few years ago and because of that I know I had to adjust from my lifestyle especially when drinking caffeinated drinks particularly coffee. It was hard to stay away from coffee but I know I have to listen to my body and decided to quit from drinking coffee. However, I don’t want to deprive myself so I decided to look for a better alternative for coffee until I found this one “An Organic Coffee Alternative ~Caffeine Free” and feel free to read my post. I believe that regular coffee is not for everyone so when in doubt, see your doctor.
Listen to your body
So what’s my verdict? Some people would say that less is more and that they drink in moderation and I respect them. Some people can tolerate but there are others out there who have zero tolerance and count me in. If you have read through my post, by the time you have reached this end part, you may have something on your mind already. If you are the person mentioned on the latter, then, probably you will keep drinking or switched in moderation the fact that it’s delicious doesn’t hurt~ right? However, if you are the type of person who has sensitive guts like me, try to reconsider the items jotted down in my post and follow your intuition. Listen to your body, consume less caffeine, switch to decaf or switch to water and drink plenty of water instead of coffee~ the choice is yours. It’s hard, I know, been there. It’s not easy but it’s worth the attempt. I decided not to end this article with a negative notion. Medically speaking, even though coffee is not my cup of tea, it will always have a place in my heart, somehow I just have to prioritize my health over my want. I hope you enjoy reading this post much as I do. Until then.
Disclaimer: The writer is not a nutritionist or a health care practitioner and you should not use this as a substitute for your medication. Please refer to your health practitioner.