What You Should Know about Coffee

The benefits and disadvantages of long-term consumption of coffee will surprise you.

effects of coffeeMonday. Early start. Meeting first thing. An exhausting work day lies ahead. Tomorrow too. And the day after tomorrow. And the day after that. Faced with this panorama, either you get a phone-call to tell you that you’ve inherited a huge fortune or, when the alarm-clock goes off, you need an extra shot of espresso to help you stay human. What flavour and what an aroma! And as if we only needed one little cup a day. Coffee has become our main fuel for performance and concentration at work.

If you’re addicted to coffee, don’t feel guilty! The world is too; around 2000 million cups of coffee are consumed every day. (I’m sure you’re not that bad.)

In any case, it’s always good to know all we can about our work/life companion. For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. And hey, I’m not trying to break up the special relationship you have with your coffee, but we’ve got to be aware of the bad just as much as the good. And maybe after, you can decide whether to go on living blissfully with coffee or give it up.

What we love about coffee

list_okHaving coffee an hour before an exam or a presentation will improve your intellectual performance.

list_okThe effectiveness and benefits of coffee are greatest between 9:30am and 11:30am because that is when the hormone cortisol, linked to our state of alertness, is at its lowest. Is it 9:30 yet?

list_okCoffee increases our capacity for concentration, especially when we are doing repetitive tasks or when we are working rotating shifts with sleep alternation.

list_okThe caffeine in coffee, in acceptable doses, relieves depression, helps prevent Alzheimer’s, reduces the risk of breast cancer, and eliminates bad breath.

list_okSome athletes drink coffee on an empty stomach before exercising. The caffeine increases resistance when doing sport and, if that weren’t enough, it reduces subsequent cramps.

list_okCoffee stimulates the metabolism and purifies the liver… if you take it through enemas.  (Coffee enemas… When you say it like that, I’m not so sure it’s good).

what we love about coffee

What we don’t love about coffee

list_wrongOver 3 cups a day (200mg), the recommended dose, may bring out the worst in you: headache, insomnia, anxiety, heartburn, high blood pressure. Yikes.   

list_wrongIt generates dependence. The above are also withdrawal symptoms.

list_wrongNot so bad if you want to fit into that XS: a Swedish study on the effects of coffee on women determined that there is a relationship between drinking more than 3 cups a day and having small breasts. Caffeine makes breasts shrink!

list_wrongThis is not only bad, it’s scary: English research concludes that drinking coffee to excess increases the probability of hearing voices and having paranormal experiences. Weird… isn’t it?

That’s it: now it’s up to you to decide whether to go on, give up or change (to tea?)

Sources: Study by Tel Aviv University 2009, Universidad de Barcelona, Lunds Universitet in Sweden 2009, Durham University in the United Kingdom 2009.

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