“Don’t drink too much coffee”. “How many coffees did you already had today?”
Raise your hands if you have never heard this questions through your daily routine. Friends, family or simply people around you keep asking how much coffee do you drink. Seems like everyone is concerned about your daily caffeine intake. Is coffee really so bad for you? Well, like every food/drink/supplement if you exaggerate of course could have negative effects on you but do not worry too much if you are an average drinker.
Let’s see the most common effects people are experimenting when drinking too much coffee. But first, “too much” coffee depends on your habits. If you usually drink only one espresso in the morning with your croissant, don’t go suddenly to three cups of filter coffee only because it is enjoyable. If you don’t like coffee don’t force yourself at the vending machines only in order not to be the black sheep among your coffee-maniac colleagues. Stay in your coffee-comfort zone. First, we should remember caffeine is a stimulating substance that works directly on your nervous system with the following effects: speeding up the heart and breathing, making you feel more alert, and increasing muscle tension. Caffeine is in a certain way a drug.
For most people, drinking coffee with moderation, is not harmful but if you have ever experienced anxiety or panic reactions this could affect your behaviour after massive caffeine consumption. My personal advice is to drink water while you are having your morning brew. It will also keep you hydrated and at the same time will dilute the caffeine intake. At the same time caffeine increases the levels of dopamine making you feel good and it can make your performance better in the short term (especially if you are performing an intense short term performance).
Caffeine is said to affect your sleep. This can be true for very sensitive people, after you get used to this I’m sure you won’t be affected by a shot of espresso after dinner. It is also true that caffeine is “digested” by our body in around 3h from consumption so it is true but only if you drink coffee just before bed (which sound not very likely to most of us).
But there are also good news: caffeine keeps blood sugar levels elevated, leaving you feeling less hungry. This, combined with its effect of fat burning during exercise, can actually enhance workouts if consumed with moderation.
And then just to conclude we can say that coffee could be beneficial thanks to its naturally present antioxidants: an average serve of brewed coffee contains more antioxidants than blueberries or grape juice. Furthermore antioxidants may reduce inflammation and the risk of disorders related to cardiovascular disease.
If you want to investigate deeper the effects of caffeine consumption on your body you can find useful sources online but remember always to ask your doctor in case of doubt. Consume coffee regularly but always listening to your body signals. But most of all consume good quality coffee, is better to have a cup less in your daily intake than having a burnt or bad coffee quality in your drink.