Coffee is undoubtedly one of the most popular drinks in the world. We all love our cup of java, especially in the morning or during the break-in in the afternoon. The captivating aroma of freshly brewed coffee, its bold taste, and that instant burst of energy work wonders. Coffee contains caffeine, which can make you feel less tired, improve energy levels, and improve your general mood. While drinking coffee in moderation has numerous health benefits, it also has some drawbacks to be aware of. We checked with leading Indian health experts to learn more about the pros and cons of drinking coffee and the ideal number of cups per day. Here is what they had to say.
A recommended drink
It boosts the metabolism and supports fat loss. A number of studies show that caffeine can boost your metabolism by 3–11%. “Black coffee stimulates the metabolism, increases the energy level in the body and also helps burn calories. So add black coffee to your daily diet without feeling guilty, ”notes Shivoham, a well-known fitness expert.
In addition, caffeine is one of the few natural substances that has been shown to aid fat loss. “Coffee increases fat loss, especially when you are sober. When you add caffeine to your diet, especially when you are sober, the increased activity or energy in your system will cause you to burn fat faster. This is one of the main reasons people prefer black coffee as a natural fat burner. However, coffee can only be tolerated to a certain extent by the beta receptors in the heart and lungs. This is why coffee loses its fat burning properties after a certain threshold, ”explains Prateek Kumar, founder of FitCru.
The nutritional richness of coffee
Coffee is known to be a good source of nutrients and antioxidants. A single cup of Java contains vitamin B2, vitamin B5, manganese, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B3.
“The beneficial effects of coffee seem to lie in its ability to slow the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream after a meal. This has a beneficial effect on plasma glucose and insulin responses, as well as gastrointestinal hormone profiles, all of which promote a more efficient lipid metabolism in the long term. Additionally, coffee contains significant amounts of magnesium, niacin, potassium, and other powerful antioxidants like vitamin E. Therefore, having a cup of coffee after a meal seems like a great strategy that promotes a lower, more steady blood sugar response that is beneficial for fat metabolism, says Maya Pereira Sawant, nutritionist, prominent personal trainer and founder of Lean Kitchen By Maya.
General health effects
“Not only does a good cup of coffee help you feel energized and awake and help you through a hectic day, it also has certain health benefits. Research has shown that coffee is helpful in reducing Alzheimer’s disease and is good for cognitive health. In addition, coffee is helpful in treating liver disease, and recent studies show its benefits in protecting against type 2 diabetes. My advice is to drink coffee in moderation and take advantage of its benefits. It’s best consumed black, ”explains Kamna Bhandari, lifestyle coach and co-founder of intermittent fasting and mindful living.
“Coffee is beneficial to the skin because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The only downside is that excessive coffee consumption can lead to stress, which can further lead to acne, ”adds Dr. Manasi Shirolikar, chief dermatologist at Remedico Health, added.
So what are the downsides?
Drinking too much coffee can increase anxiety and make panic attacks worse. In addition to this, it can also disrupt your sleep cycle. “Coffee has the ability to dramatically improve our alertness and focus. This is because caffeine is structurally similar to a messenger molecule called adenosine that regulates alertness in our bodies. Caffeine increases our adenosine levels and makes us more alert in the short term. However, our bodies make up for this by removing adenosine faster and eventually leading to a crash. Over time, this cycle can negatively affect the quality of sleep and the levels of our stress hormones. It is a good idea to limit your intake of coffee or any source of caffeine in the second half of the day to make sure your sleep is not affected. Tea could be a better alternative for the evenings as it contains less caffeine on average, ”explains Akshay Pai, Founder and CEO of Nutrova.
Excessive coffee consumption makes people tolerant. This means that caffeine either no longer works as it did before, or a larger amount of coffee is required to achieve the same effects. On the other hand, when normal coffee drinkers forego coffee, withdrawal symptoms such as headache, exhaustion, brain fog and irritability can occur.
Caffeine is very acidic and can irritate the lining of the stomach. Shweta Shah, a prominent dietitian, suggests adding a little cardamom to your coffee to neutralize the acidic value of caffeine.
How many cups are ideal?
According to experts, light to moderate consumption is best for getting the health benefits of coffee. Conversely, consuming very high amounts of coffee (more than four cups a day) can affect your everyday life and even cause serious health problems. “The US Food and Drug Administration suggests a maximum of 400 milligrams of coffee per day (about four cups). However, health experts recommend consuming no more than 1-2 cups a day to avoid becoming addicted to coffee, ”concludes Dr. Shirolikar.