Coffee can make us feel more alert, boost our metabolism, make our heart race, affect our digestive system and more. And though most of us are aware of the brief caffeine high that coffee offers, most of us don't really know how coffee truly affects our body.
To learn more about the effects of coffee, both immediate and long-term, keep reading.
Coffee as a Stimulant
Coffee and caffeine are stimulants. You know that when you drink coffee you feel more awake, but you also know that too much coffee can give you the jitters or cause irritability.
Because coffee is a stimulant, it can also wreak havoc on your sleeping schedule. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try cutting back on your coffee consumption or opting for water or decaf after noon.
Coffee on the Digestive System
Coffee actually has fairly high acid levels, particularly with beans like Kenyan or Ethiopian roasts. This is why when you drink too much coffee on an empty stomach, you'll often experience “coffee tummy" or “coffee gut, " a basic discomfort in your digestive system.
The caffeine and acid in coffee can also be problematic for people suffering from ulcers. So, if you're having trouble with coffee, try switching to water, herbal teas or drinking milk with your coffee.
Coffee and Antioxidants
Coffee is actually the primary source of antioxidants for most North Americans. Antioxidants are, essentially, any compounds that fight or neutralize free radicals, which cause cells to break down and are cancer causing agents.
Studies have shown that coffee consumption can reduce the risk of developing liver cancer, throat cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's disease and cancer of the esophagus.
Coffee and Physical and Mental Performance
Coffee isn't just a study aid because it helps you stay awake - regular coffee consumption can actually improve your cognitive ability. A recent study showed that participants who regularly consumed at least one to two coffees a day scored higher on short term memory recall, spatial ability, logic tests and general IQ testing.
Coffee and Weight Loss
Coffee is a stimulant, meaning with every sip of caffeine, your metabolism will get a kick start. You'll also have more energy. For example, if you read the ingredients list for most pill-form dietary or weight-loss aids, you'll see one of the main ingredients is often caffeine.
Coffee and Your Teeth
While coffee can actually reduce cavities thanks to its acidity, it can also cause major teeth staining. To keep your teeth white, follow a cup of coffee with a bottle of water and brush your teeth at least two to three times a day.
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