Hello and welcome to the Revolution Personal Training Studios blog.
I’ve been looking at the effects of drinking coffee on the body and thought that I’d share a few pros and cons that I’ve found, so I’ve pulled some ideas together for your information / amusement.
If you’re anything like me then you love to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ as the saying goes. I don’t know whether it has something to do with my Italian blood or a subtle brain washing that has taken place from the years from walking down my local high street past few several big brand coffee shops lined up alongside a few independent cafés, all of which are busy all day long with friends chatting, business’s meeting and people getting their daily eye-opener.
Research has shown that coffee has many health benefits. Part of this is because coffee beans are seeds and like all seeds, they’re packed with protective compounds and antioxidants (so the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says), some of which may help to prevent colon cancer by helping to boost the activity of phase II enzymes.
Coffee is only one aspect of course. One of the key parts to a decent cup of coffee is the caffeine in it. Caffeine can be found everywhere and as a nation we simply can’t get enough of the stuff. It can be found soft drinks like cola’s right through to energy drinks. Even some foods contains it (especially foods with chocolatey elements).
Anyway for your interest and entertainment, I’ve made a short list below showing some of the good and bad sides of coffee and caffeine.
Some of the Good
1) Caffeine works by blocking adenosine (the stuff in your brain that tells your body that it’s sleepy) from bonding with the brains receptors which in turn helps to keep you alert and may even help you stay more productive (if taken in a well regulated manner of course). Also interestingly once a caffeinated drink is sipped it only takes 10 minutes before it starts ‘kicking in’.
2) Caffeine is believed to (when taken the correct dosage and with proper diet and exercise) help speed up the body’s metabolism which would help with burning off body fat. It’s interested to see how much caffeine is contained in many popular ‘fat burning’ supplements.
3) The British Coffee Association have stated that caffeine helps us to exercise harder and for up to 30% longer.
4) Coffee may drastically lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. In observational studies, coffee has been associated with reducing risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 67%.
Some of the Bad
1) Caffeine is addictive! When the brain is tricked (the blocking of its receptors as mentioned above in ‘Some of the Good’ 1) it continues to make more of them so that the adenosine has something to bond with. This throws the brain’s chemical balance out of whack which eventually means that you’ll need to take in more caffeine to have the same effect.
2) Like any addictive drug, caffeine can give someone terrible withdrawal symptoms as soon as it’s stimulus has been removed from the nervous system. This can cause headaches, feelings of worthlessness and severe depression!
3) Too much caffeine can also cause:
- Blurred vision and dizziness
- Anxiety and Insomnia
- Raised blood pressure
- Diarrhea and dehydration
4) Caffeine can be lethal! Believe it or not there is such a thing as a killer dose of caffeine. Well… if someone took it upon themselves to drink 100 strong coffees within 4 hours it would be. So don’t worry, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t accidentally happen but just in case you were thinking about it now you know!
So there you have it, some interesting information about coffee and why it can be either awesome or terrible.
Giuseppe Di Credico
Revolution Personal Training London