Benefit or harm of coffee? Facts which sellers would never reveal.
The popularity of drinking coffee has spread worldwide throughout human history. However, the health benefits of coffee have been the subject of a seemingly everlasting debate. Is there a high risk to drink it? How many cups can you drink daily without worrying about your health? etc. This article aims to reveal some facts about coffee concerning how it affects the body after consuming it.
There are numerous myths about where and when people first began to drink coffee. Coffee beans are gathered from the berries that grow on coffee trees. Most researchers believe that the discovery of the stimulating effect of coffee took place in Ethiopia. The prevalence of coffee as a commodity spread to Yemen first and then worldwide. Currently, it is the second most sold drink in the world (coming after tea), earning billions of dollars every year for the respective industry. Consequently, consumers of coffee end up overlooking the many unpleasant and unhealthy properties of coffee.
Coffee is only natural in its fresh green state before preparation. The coffee sold in stores is no longer natural, as it gets infused with close to a thousand different synthetic compounds and preservatives after frying. Eight hundred of them are responsible for the aroma, and the rest give it its taste.
However, the most harmful chemical in commercial coffee is the acrylamide carcinogen, which is a side product created during the bean roasting process. //The word “carcinogen” comes from the Latin word cancer, which means “cancer.”// The darker the coffee beans are, the more carcinogens they contain. The acrylamide carcinogen is a mutagenic substance. A mutagenic substance directly affects the chemistry of cells and leads to genetic mutations in the process of their division. The effects become more intense as the dose of the coffee increases. Unfortunately, a significant portion of coffee consumers can not manage with only one or two cups a day.
We often see in advertisements how coffee immediately gives a sleepy, tired person more strength and energy after a single sip. The stimulating effect of coffee was common knowledge for centuries. However, in reality, coffee depletes the energy supply of the drinker instead of boosting it. The following explanation will outline the actual effects of caffeine on the body.
In medicine, caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid. The caffeine content in a cup of coffee depends on multiple factors, such as:
Caffeine stimulates the production of stress hormones: adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol. Naturally, under life-threatening situations, our body releases these hormones, as they speed up the process of energy production necessary to survive the threat. Therefore, it turns out that caffeine forces the body to use up its internal energy supply rather than directly giving usable energy. When the effects of the stress hormones deplete, the body has spent a significant portion of its energy reserve. This process is the reason why the consumer experiences severe drowsiness 25-30 minutes after drinking coffee.
The severe weakening of the inhibitory mechanism of the brain is another unpleasant side effect of caffeine. Our brain has two central systems: the excitation system and the inhibition system, both of which contain neurotransmitters responsible for sending electric and chemical signals across the body.
Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that regulates the body’s consumption of internal energy reserves. For most of us, the effects of the adenosine transmitter prevail over the neurotransmitters that increase brain activity. When a person drinks coffee, the caffeine blocks the adenosine inhibition neurotransmitter, thereby leaving brain activity unregulated. The person becomes more attentive and quick thinking. However, this blockage is temporary, and the inhibition effect catches up as soon as the caffeine wears off, so any drowsiness experienced before consuming the coffee comes back in a stronger form.
Caffeine is not the only significant drug we consume when drinking coffee. Coffee beans have two components: the outer shell and the inner contents. The outer shell contains the caffeine, while the inside stores another alkaloid, known as theobromine. The first one, as discussed earlier, gives coffee its stimulating effect, while theobromine intensifies both the inhibition of brain activity and the desire to sleep. After the effects of caffeine go away, the consequences of theobromine become more significant. It is simply another reason why, 30 minutes after a cup of ground coffee, you gain the desire to sleep. Those who prefer ground coffee to whole grains get both of these alkaloids in a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
In the production of instant coffee, the outer shell containing caffeine is removed, meaning drinking instant coffee does give a single drop of caffeine at all. Since the shell is the most valuable part of the coffee bean, it is repurposed for the production of other products like citramone and energy-drinks instead of being disposed of during the making of instant coffee.
Manufacturers of instant coffee are not very keen on reporting the fact that their products contain no caffeine to their consumers. Though, there are a few brands that do add some share of caffeine to their coffee products. It may seem that instant coffee is a healthier alternative to grounded drinking coffee. Unfortunately, it turns out that instant coffee still contains a high concentration of theobromine, which, as explained before, stimulates inhibitive effects. As a result, instead of experiencing a surge of strength, the consumer experiences more drowsiness. This effect occurs in about 25-30 minutes after consumption of instant coffee and lasts about an hour.
This particular feature of instant coffee could lead to severe consequences, especially for long-distance drivers.// Many truckers go on a flight at night until road traffic gets heavy.// Before driving, most drivers have a cup or two of instant coffee, and half an hour into the journey, the theobromine begins to take effect, leading to potentially devastating events. Even if the driver has a good nap beforehand, they will still be unable to resist the temptation to fall asleep from the instant coffee. It is also the reason why a significant portion of road accidents involving large freight transport occur around the thirtieth kilometre of the way due to the supposed “caffeine crash”. In general, it is best not to consume any instant coffee before long drives.
Coffee is also unhealthy for the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to caffeine and theobromine, commercial coffee contains various chlorogenic acids, which irritate the gastric mucosa and can cause diseases such as gastritis. Many people who start their day with a cup of coffee drink it on an empty stomach. As a result, a reaction between the coffee and the hydrochloric acid in the stomach occurs. If coffee is drunk before having breakfast, the digestion mechanism begins to deteriorate gradually. The stomach starts producing less hydrochloric acid, and the process of digesting whole meals becomes more time-consuming.
Frequent consumption of coffee with an empty stomach can also cause stomach ulcers and heartburn. Coffee lovers often face both problems after a certain period of drinking coffee. The relaxing effect of caffeine on the lower oesophagal sphincter cause those problems. This muscle should fully contract after we have eaten so that the food and the hydrochloric acid do not enter the oesophagus from the stomach. Regular consumption of coffee can potentially lead to the dysfunction of the sphincter, which is often accompanied by strong odours from the mouth.
Coffee is not as harmless as many would like to think, and perhaps we should reconsider our attitude to the amount of its consumption.
We hope that the information we have collected is useful for you. Write your opinion in the comments.