Coffee - the world's second largest producer after oil - is consumed as a grain based beverage whose effects are due to its caffeine content. It is synonymous with pleasure for some while many of us use it to increase their work productivity and concentration.
In recent years, a real cult around coffee has developed making it even more popular especially with scientists. A debate has thus been created around its supposed effects, whether positive or negative.
So coffee, rich in antioxidants ? Bad for cardiovascular health ? Diuretic effect ? What about the reality behind this ?
Effects of caffeine on cognitive functions :
-It has shown protective effects in regular consumers.
-> Reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (65%).*
-> Decrease of 32 to 60% the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.*
-Cognitive stimulant : the active substance in coffee (caffeine) acts as a stimulant in the brain and central nervous system to keep us awake and stimulate our level of alertness. It is also the most consumed psychoactive substance in the world.
Its action is done on neurotransmitters "Adenosines". These increase during the day and cause fatigue and sleep.
When we consume coffee, caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors to stop its action. At the same time, it will increase the secretion of other neurotransmitters causing an improvement in mood and cognitive functions.
Its effect can be felt after 20 minutes to 1 hour.
Caffeine and sport :
Caffeine has shown increased sports performance during its consumption.*
Coffee consumption in diabetes prevention :
Type II diabetes pathophysiology is quite different from that of type I. It is not an autoimmune disease and its development increases according to certain risk factors.
Talking about caffeine, it seems to reduce this risk among its regular consumers according to several studies.*
Cardiovascular health :
In some people, coffee consumption can cause palpitations, especially among heavy users.
Conversely, it can cause high blood pressure in people who are not used to this drink.
Effects on the digestive system :
Hepatic protection :
-> Decrease the risk of developing cirrhosis (necrosis of liver tissue) by 84%.*
-> 40% reduction in the risk of liver cancer.*
Coffee and cancer :
-Potential decrease in the risk of uterus and liver cancers.*
-The coffee has been removed from the list of potential carcinogens of the WHO.
Impact on sleep :
Melatonin is the hormone that participates in sleep. Its secretion by the pineal gland increases logically at the end of the day while the secretion of cortisol (hormone of stress and alertness) decreases.
In some people, caffeine can interrupt the circadian cycle (24h) by delaying the peak of melatonin thus causing sleep disorders.
The psychological effects :
-Increase anxiety in some people more sensitive to the stimulating effects of caffeine.
-> Consuming coffee regularly will lead to a tolerance to caffeine and therefore a spontaneous increase in doses to find the same effects. Excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to addiction with onset of withdrawal symptoms.
Coffee or baby, should you choose ?
-Pregnancy : caffeine passes the placental barrier and can cause premature labor.
Coffee and weight :
-Studies have shown that coffee consumption leads to an increase in metabolism (calories spent at rest). But it could also lead to a more important secretion of cortisol (stress hormone). Excessive weight gain and nibbling are common responses to stress.
Coffee can not be considered as an ally slimming.
*All those studies are observational, which does not prove that coffee is directly responsible for these beneficial effects.
Frequency of consumption :
Excessive consumption of caffeine exceeds 400 mg or 3 to 4 cups per day.**
** Be careful, if you consume other products rich in caffeine, it will reduce your coffee consumption.
-> Other drinks containing caffeine: Energy drinks, tea, soda, decaf, hot chocolate.
Megane Nutrition's advice :
-Avoid drinking coffee after dinner if you have difficulty sleeping.
-Coffee is not recommended for pregnant women, people with anxiety, and people with heart rhythm disorders or high blood pressure.
-Decaffeinated coffee is obtained by rinsing the grains with chemical solvents. There are still small amounts of caffeine. In addition, the beneficial effects of black coffee are no longer present.
So coffee, good or bad for health ? Everything is a matter of measurement and preparation ...
In order to benefit from the positive effects of coffee, avoid drinking it with sugar as it adds empty calories that are of no interest.
If the taste is too bitter for you, try to have it with a date to balance the flavors.
Beware of coffees like frappuccino, mokaccino and cappuccino they are real caloric bombs.
Also, beware of plant-based milk preparations that are often high in sugar.
-> Always favor those with the words "no sugar added", you can also check out the list of ingredients to make sure they do not contain any sweeteners.
If you grab your coffee outside feel free to make a special sugar free order (which include agave syrup, honey and so on...)