Depending on the perspective, coffee can be a fantastic, delicious and healthy drink and a significantly harmful one. Namely, this beverage can provide numerous health benefits as it is high in antioxidants and can reduce the risk of numerous diseases. Yet, it also has caffeine, which is a stimulant which can lead to sleep disorders, as well as other issues.
Today, we are going to consider the advantages and disadvantages of this tasty drink.
First of all, let us look at the bright side. This dark brown beverage is rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants. Namely, just a cup of coffee, 8oz (240 ml), consists of:
- Manganese: 3% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 11% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 2% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 2% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 2% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 1% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 6% of the RDA.
- Folate: 1% of the RDA.
These amounts may b seem insignificant, but if you multiply them by the number of cups of coffee you regularly drink during the day, it is actually a great portion of your daily nutrient intake.
However, its most important benefit is the number of antioxidants. For instance, coffee provides more antioxidants to a person who eats a typical Western diet that fruits and vegetables together.
Moreover, caffeine is the most regularly consumed psychoactive substance worldwide. Coffee is the richest source, although caffeine can also be found in tea, chocolate, and soft drinks.
One cup contains from 30-300 mg of caffeine, and the average cup is about 90-100 mg. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant which obstructs the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter (brain hormone) known as Adenosine in the brain and thus stimulates the activity of the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
This, in turn, prevents exhaustion and boosts our alertness. Numerous surveys have found that caffeine leads to a short-term boost in brain function, and this means an improvement of the reaction time, mood, vigilance as well as the general cognitive function at the same time.
Caffeine also stimulates metabolism (calories burned) by 3-11%, as well as the exercise performance by 11-12%, approximately. Yet, some of its effects are temporary. Hence, if you regularly consume it, your body will become tolerant to its effects and this will, in turn, reduce them.
Also, studies have found that people who consume coffee have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This disease is characterized by increased blood sugars as a result of the resistance to the effects of insulin.
Nowadays, billions of people suffer from this disease. On the other hand, it has been shown that coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes up to 23-67%. One major study reviewed 18 studies which included 457,922 participants and proved that each cup of coffee during the day caused a 7% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.