Coffee and caffeine benefits and false myths on the world’s most famous beverage

All around the world, from north to south, from east to west, everyone starts the day with a cup of coffee and it cannot be otherwise because of its energizing effect that can bring back to life anyone in this world.  But why does it provides us with this energy boost? What are the effects of coffee? Drinking too much coffee is bad for our health?

Coffee consumption, the world’s most consumed beverage

Coffee history begins in one of its many legends: this story tells that ethiopian shepherds that, during their long travels leading their herds of goats, fed, or it would be better to say recharged themselves, with plant seeds, specifically coffee seeds, to gain a boost of energy and liveliness.

It can be estimated, thanks to ico (the international coffee organization) statistics and research, that nowadays coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world right after water, for an estimated yearly world production for 2018/2019 of more than 167.47 million sacks. Regardless of the preparation of the beverage, from american coffee to espresso, we europeans consume more than 31% of the total world production and northern countries are on top of this consumption chart of “black coffee” (arabica blend, a type of coffee with slightly elongated seeds). Maybe coffee wouldn’t have been so famous if it was still in its “seed” form as they did in the legend of the ethiopian shepherds or if man had not found a way to transform it into a beverage. Certainly, however, it would have still kept on making its consumers happy and full of energy. Why is that?

Properties of coffee: what are the effects of coffee on our body? 

Many effects to our health have been ascribed to coffee and 90% of the researches made have focused on caffeine, the alkaloid found also in tea and cola-based beverages that stimulates the nervous system and that, on the contrary of what is usually believed, creates no addiction. Nutritional studies proved that consuming coffee has effects on behavior, metabolism, digestive system activity, brain activity and physical activity. Let’s go check the effects of coffee!

American coffee 12oz

 

The effects of coffe on behaviour

Even if most of the studies conducted were focused on the administration of pure caffeine against a placebo, the results still make coffee a great companion for all our days.

The researches demonstrated how coffee can improve our alertness, performance during various tasks and information retaining both in adults and in elderly people, in other words it help us in staying concentrated and aware. Quite nice, isn’t it?

The effects of coffe on metbolism

Coffee acts on our metabolism by carrying out a light anti-obesity action thanks to its thermogenic effect, basically it helps raise our body energy consumption. But beware! Coffee isn’t a cause of immediate weight loss, but supports our body in burning more energy and in burning it faster, together with a balanced diet and a regular sport activity. 

The effects of coffee on the intestine

Many people always believed that coffee hindered digestion but, in reality, it has been proven quite the opposite: regular caffeine consumption can have beneficial effects on our digestive system thanks to its stimulatory effect on gastric and biliary secretions. Now a coffee after a huge lunch has its scientific importance! Research has also highlighted an important matter: coffee is good also for your liver as, compared to other caffeine-based beverages, it carries out a protective function, consequently decreasing the risk of developing hepatic cirrhosis.  

The effects of coffee on brain activity

How many times did a coffee help us get over with a “difficult situation” or in livening up our spirits? Well that’s all true, coffee, according to some studies, has beneficial effects on our mood aside from boosting our alertness and overall performance; other researches are even trying to demonstrate a close connection between caffeine consumption and strengthening of short-term memory! 

The effects of coffee on physical activity

It’s been no longer than a few years since caffeine was cancelled from the list of doping substances. In the sports field, before this decision, there was a heated debate on the interpretation of caffeine as a coadjutant or as a real doping substance. All this debate was born from its benefic effects: aside from boosting energy consumption, caffeine enhances anaerobic power and lowers fatigue by modifying the fatigue threshold of the body. That’s why a good coffee before your football match is always a good idea!

Caffeine doesn’t hurt anyone!    

The scientific debate on the influence of coffee on health is something that goes on from the xivth century and more than once, thanks to studies and research, all the question and the false myths on its harmfulness have been belied. The biggest of these false assumption was also contradicted: the belief that coffee, or rather caffeine, could create addiction.

Even though caffeine meets some of the criteria used to diagnose an addiction, there are no real social repercussions on the consumption of caffeine as there could be with the consumption of alcohol or nicotine. Even in the moment we interrupt our coffee consumption there may be some deprivation symptoms, but these symptoms vary from one subject to another and it has a very low case incidence.

So, it’s better not to exaggerate, just like any other food in your diet, but for now you are safe, no one can take your beloved 12oz from you!