Coffee and its effects on health
The research, always more intense and rigorous of these last twenty years, allowed to put in light more simply the benefits of this black nectar which is the coffee. Yes, there are many benefits to drinking coffee, from energy intake to daily well-being, including the prevention of certain cardiovascular diseases and cancers. However, it is important to limit its daily consumption.
Here are some of the effects of caffeine on our body:
- Physical performance
- Type 2 diabetes
We all know the habit of having a small coffee at the end of a meal. Well, this habit is also good for your digestion. Indeed, coffee favors digestion because it acts on the secretion of gastric acids, but also on biliary and pancreatic secretions, and on the motricity of the colon (effective against constipation), allthanks to caffeine.
It is important to know that the effects can be variable depending on the degree of roasting of your coffee. Indeed,a very roasted coffee, with a high level of N-methylpyridinium, tends to reduce gastricsecretion and therefore to slow down digestion.
Moreover, it is well known that our stomach is considered our second brain. A Swiss team wanted to examine the effect of coffee on our intestinal flora. The study, based on 16 healthy adult subjects, looked at the results on the intestinal flora after consuming three cups of coffee daily, all for three weeks. The result was an increase in metabolic activity and the number of bifidobacteria, a bacterium with recognized beneficial effects.
Coffee and physical performance
Well yes, coffee, or more precisely caffeine, is good for sports performance! It is found in many energy and isotonic drinks.
Numerous studies show that athletes who consume caffeine before a sporting event are able to go faster, have more endurance and recover more quickly than those who do not benefit from the boost of this wonderful molecule. It is not uncommon to see soccer players consuming mate before and after their game.
Also, caffeine boosts your immune system. Immediately after drinking a coffee, the body temperature increases, because caffeine stimulates thermogenesis, which causes the burning of calories. Coffee rapidly increases blood pressure.
Coffee and type 2 diabetes
Studies on large populations show a significant effect of regular coffee consumption on reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, even with moderate consumption.
Caffeine would not be the cause of any action on diabetes, since most studies have shown a similar effect for coffee and decaffeinated coffee. It would therefore come from other components of coffee, probably the antioxidants, chlorogenic and quinic acids. These act in particular on the metabolic stress responsible for insulin resistance.
Researchers from the American Chemical Society found that people who drank at least four cups of coffee a day reduced their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 50%. Then, with each additional cup, the risk is further reduced by 7%.
Coffee and cancer
There are rumors that coffee is a trigger for certain cancers.
Let's start by mentioning that according to recent studies, coffee is not carcinogenic, but we must be careful with its temperature.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drinking coffee does not promote the development of malignant tumors, but it is the temperature of the beverage that is responsible. A hot drink, coffee or other, consumed at 65°C or more would be "probably carcinogenic".
The WHO has also reassured on the consumption of coffee and yerba mate and no longer classifies them in the category of foods considered "possibly carcinogenic".
If you are a woman, coffee would reduce the chances of developing skin cancer. Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School followed 112,897 men and women over a period of more than 20 years, and according to their findings, women who drank at least three cups of coffee a day were significantly less likely to develop skin cancer than those who did not.
Coffee and pregnancy
Hydration is very important during pregnancy. It is important to drink a lot, 2 to 3 liters per day. It is no secret that drinking regularly allows for good hydration, and it also facilitates the elimination of waste from the mother's body and the baby's body in the urine.
However, coffee and tea are not recommended. Indeed, caffeine stimulates the nervous system of the woman and the fetus. If consumed in large quantities, caffeine can cause palpitations and nervousness, but also disrupt sleep. Pregnancy can make a pregnant woman more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. In addition, excessive consumption increases the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.
It is therefore recommended that pregnant women not exceed 300 mg of caffeine per day, the equivalent of just over two 237 ml (eight ounce) cups of coffee. This amount includes all natural sources of caffeine, including herbs such as guarana and yerba mate, but also high-caffeine teas such as green tea, soft drinks and energy drinks.
It is therefore good to know that:
- a 250 ml cup of filter coffee contains an average of 179 mg of caffeine.
- A 30 ml espresso contains 30 to 90 mg of caffeine.
- a 250 ml cup of black tea contains 50 mg of caffeine.
- A 250 ml cup of green tea contains 30 mg of caffeine.
You should also be careful with the large sizes sold in Starbucks-type coffee shops. Some of them can contain up to 600 ml of coffee, far exceeding the recommended amount of caffeine during pregnancy.
Note that it is not advisable to drink coffee or tea during or immediately after a meal. These contain substances that interfere with the absorption of iron and calcium.
But there is always the option of decaffeinated coffee, with water of course!
Coffee and caffeine consumption has its good and bad effects.
A very recent review concludes that the positive health effects of moderate coffee consumption far outweigh potential negative effects (Pourshadidi, 2016)
So you can continue to sip your coffee guilt-free and enjoy all these benefits.