Coffee. A magical brew containing the world’s most popular stimulant: caffeine. For some it’s a morning necessity, for others it may as well be a cup full of anxiety. So what’s the deal?
Some health gurus boast and rave about the antioxidant properties of coffee while others warn against its inflammatory tendencies.
We’re no scientific experts, but our team did some research and pulled from their own experiences. The key is to maximize the benefits and minimize the effects.
Coffee is known to raise levels of cortisol, a stress hormone released by your adrenal glands. It regulates your blood pressure, immune system and metabolism. It can also enhance alertness and focus. But, like almost everything else, if your levels are too high, it can lead to harmful effects on the body.
Caffeine in general can cause nervousness or anxiety, increase blood pressure and disrupt sleep patterns.
According to Dr. Giuseppe Grosso coffee contains polyphenols, which are plant compounds that are rich in antioxidant properties. It also jump starts your metabolism and helps you burn fat. Caffeine also boosts adrenaline, which can prepare your body for a better work out. Coffee contains essential nutrients such as Riboflavin, Magnesium, Niacin, Mangoes and Potassium. It also (obviously) leads to energizing effects.
Many scientists believe that for most people, Cortisol is at its peak about 30-45 minutes after you wake up. It’s suggested that the caffeine from coffee can further increase cortisol levels. So, drinking coffee when your cortisol is at its peak can lead to harmful levels.
If you can’t process thoughts, let alone speak to another human being before your morning cup or joe, we feel you! But, it’s suggested that delaying your coffee consumption until mid-late morning, after your cortisol peaks, can reduce the negative effects while allowing you to reap the benefits.
Another major tip: drink filtered coffee. Unfiltered coffee, like that from a french press, contains cafestol, a substance that can increase cholesterol levels.
The cut and dry science of the direct effect on the body is constantly evolving. But, the main takeaway is that it’s generally good for you, if consumed in moderation.
Many of us habitually drink a cup in the morning. But, it’s important to observe how the drink makes you feel and pay attention to why you’re reaching for the ol’ cup of joe.