Harmful effect of ‘Coffee’ – To Drink or not to Drink”

“Let’s go for a cup of coffee”- How many times in our daily life have we heard this phrase or used it ourselves. People usually try to kick-start their day with a cup of coffee or tea. But after reading this blog you might want to re-consider your daily caffeine intake which might come from coffee, tea , soda , energy drinks ,etc.

Caffeine is one of the fastest acting drugs known to man. When we drink it, almost every cell in the body, including the brain, absorbs it within minutes. There, caffeine works it’s magic by blocking something called adenosine, a chemical the body releases to tell the brain it’s tired. Caffeine intercepts the adenosine, turning the “I’m tired,” message into “I’m wide awake.” The result is an invigorating buzz coffee drinkers crave. We need to understand the harmful effect of coffee and take our decision of weather to drink or not.

harmful effect of coffee

A 2012 study assessed the impact on sleep of caffeine consumption at different times of day, suggesting that caffeine consumed up to six hours before sleep may have disruptive effects on sleep. Further work published in 2013 also suggested that coffee consumption decreases sleep time in physically active males and can even mimic the symptoms of insomnia.

The study looked at the effects of caffeine on sleep duration and daytime functioning. In young people it was seen that sleep was significantly related to the multi-tasking index. Teenagers who scored 1.5-2 fold higher on multi-tasking indices slept less than 8-10 hours on school nights. Among the 33% of teenagers who fell asleep during school, caffeine consumption tended to be 76% higher than in those not falling asleep. The study suggests that, as a consequence, these teenagers were not fully functional throughout the day due to excessive daytime sleepiness, rather than because of the daytime effects of caffeine.

Steven E. Meredith, postdoctoral research fellow at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told Medical News Today that, perhaps due to widespread consumption, many of us forget that caffeine is a psychoactive substance – a drug that crosses the blood-brain barrier to stimulate the central nervous system which very much affects the children and adolescents.

Kids and adolescents ‘should avoid caffeine consumption’. Meredith said that based on the negative side effects caffeine consumption can have, doctors should be discussing caffeine use with their patients to determine whether they are ingesting safe levels of the stimulant. The majority of pediatricians recommend that this population should avoid caffeine consumption, particularly since it is unknown as to how excessive caffeine intake impacts the developing brain.

Some psychologists are also concerned that a pattern of caffeine use or abuse among young people may lead to subsequent problematic drug and alcohol use.

Research studies have found that men who drank more than four 8 fl.oz. cups of coffee had a 21% increase in all-cause mortality.

A study out of the University of Alabama showed that women who consume a lot of caffeine are 70% more likely to develop incontinence. According to the medical reports, Caffeine can interact poorly with some common medications, and it can worsen insomnia, anxiety and heartburn.

Caffeine consumption may raise blood pressure. Especially in those already suffering from hypertension and those who don’t normally consume caffeine. People who consume caffeinated beverages often report an upset stomach or indigestion. This mainly occurs when the beverages are consumed on an empty stomach.

Caffeine is POSSIBLY SAFE in pregnant or breast-feeding women when used daily amounts of less than 200 mg. This is about the amount in 1-2 cups of coffee. Consuming larger amounts during pregnancy or when breast-feeding is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. When consumed in larger amounts during pregnancy, caffeine might increase the chance of miscarriage and other problems. Also, caffeine can pass into breast milk, so nursing mothers should closely monitor caffeine intake to make sure it is on the low side. High intake of caffeine by nursing mothers can cause sleep disturbances, irritability, and increased bowel activity in breast-fed infants.

A controversial study released in 1998 by the National Institute for Environmental and Health Sciences claimed that women who consumed at least one cup of coffee per day were half as likely to become pregnant than women who did not drink coffee. The study also concluded that women who drank coffee while pregnant were 17% more likely to have their newborn die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.

Caffeine increases the pressure inside the eye. The increase occurs within 30 minutes and lasts for at least 90 minutes after drinking caffeinated beverages. High caffeine consumption may accelerate bone loss in postmenopausal women. Caffeine may reduce control of fine motor movements (e.g. producing shaky hands)

Drink it for taste but don’t get addicted to it. Anything in excess is harmful.



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