Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It’s tasty, it’s cheap – well at least most coffees (looking at you, Starbucks) – it’s effective and yes, it’s a drug. I have drank 10 cups of coffees a day and I’ve drank no coffee for weeks. Today I want to tell you which one of these options might be better for you, and why it isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The working ingredient of coffee is caffeine. Whenever your brain depleted energy, adenosine will build up and minimize the communication in the nervous system. Adenosine is the caring mother figure, which tells the brain to chill down, you’ve done enough work. Caffeine works like a general officer – it tells the adenosine to go away, and the brain to get his shit together. It blocks the adenosine build up, by binding on to the adenosine receptors, which prevents you from feeling tired.
But – your body isn’t stupid. If you frequently drink coffee and the caffeine molecules will continue to block the adenosine receptors – your tiring brain will get angry pretty soon and simply will build new adenosine receptors. This will leave you in a vicious circle, because you now have to drink more and more coffee to feel the same wakefulness effect as before. Which means that if you’re stopped drinking coffee now you would feel way more tired, than you would have felt without coffee, in the first place. So this adaptation creates some kind of addiction, which makes you spending money day in and out for a beverage that leaves you worse off in the long-term – productivity wise.
But not health-wise. If you compare heavy coffee drinkers to non coffee drinkers, and ignore the negative effects of smoking because heavy coffee drinkers are more than 6 times as likely to smoke, the heavy coffee drinkers have a lesser risk for death. Why? Because if you think about it – coffee is generally beans with water. Coffee contains more than 1.000 compounds with tons of antioxidans. Antioxidans help slow down aging, make you recover faster and prevent cancer. Coffee contains so much antioxidans that it’s considered the main source of antioxidans in the american diet. Which isn’t a highly competitive position though, I mean beer comes at place 7 by the way. Congratulations Americans!
So is coffee bad? It depends. If you drink it to increase your productivity – drink it sparingly. Your body adjusts to the caffeine and builds adenosine receptors, which make you feel more tired than before. It can also interfere with your sleep pattern and your ability to relax. Caffeine has a half life of 6 hours, which means it takes about 2 full days to completely clean it out of your system, during this time it can still mildly affect your sleep quality. Health wise coffee shouldn’t pose a problem though, because the beans have so much positive effects that they may negate the negative ones of caffeine. If you want to go to the safe side though, drink a cup of Matcha Green Tea – which is even better than coffee, antioxidans wise.